The stress of having strangers walk through your home, opening closets, and going through all your rooms during an open house can be unnerving. However, it’s important to be aware that just as potential buyers are admiring your home, so are potential burglars and identity thieves.
In an episode of ABC’s What Would You Do, this very topic was addressed – you can take a look below for a snippet of the broadcast below:
Even though a typical open house is managed through your realtor, it’s impossible to keep an eye on visitors 100 percent of the time. If you don’t take precautions before hosting an open house you are leaving yourself and your family potentially vulnerable to physical, digital, and identity theft.
Here are some of the best ways to make sure your open house doesn’t become a security risk:
Remove Your Valuables
Before showing your home, scan each room and remove, hide, or lock up your valuables. Thieves can easily smuggle jewelry, small electronics, and other items.
Another area that criminals target is your medicine cabinet. Clean out your bathroom cabinets before showing your home to prevent theft of your medications.
Finally, hide anything that could entice a future burglary. Your spare keys, garage remote control, family calendar, and anything else that a thief could use to plan a break-in should be stored away.
Secure Your Wi-Fi & Smart Devices
Many homeowners have their Wi-Fi password written down for guests. If a technically savvy thief gets into your network, they can hack into all of your digital accounts. Never keep your Wi-Fi or other passwords out in the open. And, if your Wi-Fi is currently unsecured get it password-protected before your next open house.
If you have a smart speaker, like an Amazon Echo or Google Home, unplug it and hide it, or take it with you during your open house. A criminal could use voice commands to summon your calendar, track shipments to your house, or divulge sensitive, stored information.
Keep Your Documents Private
Before hosting an open house it’s critical to either lock away or destroy any confidential documents. This includes your mail, bills, checkbooks, banking and credit card statements. Also, make sure that passports, Social Security cards, birth certificates, and other ID cards are out of sight.
Consider removing photos that show you or your family members’ faces, or items like diplomas that give away who you are. Fraudsters can use facial recognition to find your social media accounts, enabling them to learn even more information. A diploma not only gives a criminal your name and where you went to school, but they can use that information, for example, to locate where you work.
Selling your home can be a stressful experience. Don’t compound that stress by forgetting to secure your belongings and any confidential information. By following these tips and taking precautions, you’ll significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to theft.
Consider Protecting your Personal Information
Identity thieves don’t discriminate who they’ll target, and many times attacks are made on those most vulnerable – children and the elderly. Remove the risk by securing the Personally Identifiable Information (PII) of yourself and your family members. It’s a fact that identity thieves only need two pieces of PII to commit synthetic identity theft.
IdentityForce protects you by monitoring all of your PII, 24/7/365. Get secure by starting with a Free Trial today.