When dealing with real estate, the issue of home protection is always in someone’s mind. When buying home, you may want to start thinking about which system, if any, you would like to use to protect your home. Burglaries, fires, carbon monoxide, and other detection issues can save lives. It isn’t wrong to not have these things, it just depends on you and your personal preferences.
Any product that promises to protect your home deserves a certain level of scrutiny. It isn’t surprising that you’ll find plenty of strong opinions about the potential vulnerabilities of popular home-security systems. After all, home security is a bit of a chess game, you want your system to be as many moves ahead of the bad guys as possible. The most likely burglary scenario by far is the unsophisticated crime of opportunity, usually involving a broken window or some other kind of brute force entry. According to the FBI, crimes like these accounted for roughly 2/3 of all residential burglaries in the US. The wide majority of the rest were unlawful, unforced entries that resulted from something like a window or a garage door being left open. The odds of a criminal using technical means to bypass a security system are so small that the FBI doesn’t even track those statistics.
One of the main theoretical home-security concerns is whether or not a given system is vulnerable to being blocked from working altogether. With wired setups, the fear is that a burglar might be able to shut your system down simply by cutting the right cable. With a wireless setup, you’ll stick battery-powered sensors up around your home that keep an eye on windows, doors, motion, and more. If they detect something amiss while the system is armed, they’ll transmit a wireless alert signal to a base station that will then raise the alarm. That approach will eliminate most cord-cutting concerns, but what about their wireless analog jamming? With the right device tuned to the right frequency, what’s to stop a thief from jamming your setup and blocking that alert signal from ever reaching the base station?
Even though the odds are low of such an attack being attempted against you let’s look at the facts. Jamming concerns are nothing new, and they’re not unique to security systems. Any device that’s built to receive a wireless signal at a specific frequency can be overwhelmed by a stronger signal coming in on the same frequency. For comparison, let’s say you wanted to “jam” a conversation between two people all you’d need to do is yell in the listener’s ear. Jamming a wireless radio requires knowledge of its broadcast frequency as well as the right equipment to jam that frequency. It also requires criminal intent, because jamming is highly illegal. Buying or selling these devices without the right certifications is often illegal, too.
Security devices are required to list the frequencies they broadcast on that means that a potential thief can find what they need to know with minimal Googling. They will, however, need to know what system they’re looking for. If you have a sign in your yard declaring what setup you use, that’d point them in the right direction, though at that point, we’re talking about a highly targeted, semi-sophisticated attack, and not the sort of forced-entry attack that makes up the majority of burglaries. It’s easier to find and acquire jamming equipment for some frequencies than it is for others. For instance, there’s a great deal of common radio equipment that broadcasts at the 400 megahertz range, making it easier to find something off of the shelf that will jam at those frequencies. Wireless security providers will often take steps to help combat the threat of jamming attacks.
So even though you may have nightmares about these new cyber savvy burglaries, they aren’t easy to pull off. Having a security system that notifies a home-base may be a hassle sometimes, but it is worth it if you want to keep your home safe. They say that most burglars bypass the homes that have security systems, so they work simply by having one. Those rare jamming cases can capitalize on you telling them what system you use, so that may not be the brightest system anymore. In all cases, you must decide what is best for you and your family and try to keep your family and possessions safe.