Renter Resources   DIY   , Life Hacks  

Apps That Will Help Protect Your Stuff

As a society, we're constantly connected to our mobile devices. Whether we're looking up directions to the closest pizza place or checking in on our friends to see what they're up to, our phones are never far from us. It makes sense, then, to utilize these devices to amplify our home security. These are some of the best (and coolest) apps available that will help you keep your stuff protected.  

Protecting Your Home

Home security can be super expensive. As a first-time homeowner, spending thousands of dollars on a home security system installation and hundreds a month to pay for the actual service probably isn't in your budget. Instead, try these more affordable options:
  • SmartThings This app allows you to connect a number of your at-home devices to a sensor. That sensor then syncs up with the free iOS app, putting you in control of everything from your television to your coffeemaker. Each sensor sort of adapts to the ways in which you live and, subsequently, the mistakes you tend to make. For example, if you're prone to accidentally leaving a window open when you turn the air on, the AC will adjust so that you don't waste as much energy as you would without the sensors in place. The tech itself will put you back about $300, but it's totally worth it if you're the kind of person that leaves your straightener plugged in or the back door open.
  • iSmartAlarm Another flexible option, iSmartAlarm doesn't hold you to a contract or monthly fees. Instead, you're able to customize the security camera to meet your needs. They have contact and motion sensors available, and you can purchase as many as you nee to feel comfortable. The monitors have video recording, time lapse, 2-way audio, and sound recognition capabilities. Plus, they're designed to pan and tilt, making it easy for you to see your entire home from your smartphone or tablet.

 Protecting Your Information

Consider this: Smartphone malware infections have surged in recent years. According to a study conducted by Nokia, 71% of smartphones are unprotected from data-stealing software. Now consider all of the things you store on your phone, including credit card information, passwords, and more. Keep your phone and the information on it safe by having the most up-to-date software and installing these apps:
  • FindMyiPhone This is a layup for anyone who owns an iPhone. You can track where your phone is in the event that it gets stolen, and you're able to secure any information on the phone that you don't want the thief to have access to. What makes this app supremely awesome is your ability to log into another Apple device and set an alarm off on the device that has been stolen. This attracts a great amount of attention to the jerk who took your phone or gives you an idea of where exactly your phone is hiding under your bed. Where's My Droid does the same thing for you Android users out there!
  • TigerText This app allows you to encrypt your text messages. It's ideal for entrepreneurs or anyone who uses their phone for both business and pleasure. It's a free app that protects any kind of sensitive information that's in text or photo format. While it was designed for those people like lawyers and doctors, it works just as well for the Average Joe looking to keep their information safe.
  • LastPass One of the main reasons people's accounts get hacked is because they use the same passwords across the board. The same login credentials give you access to your e-mail, social media, and bank accounts. This makes getting into any and every aspect of your life simple for hackers. As difficult as it feels, it's important that each of your logins have their own unique password. LastPass makes keeping track of all of these passwords easy! Your information is stored in an encrypted vault, safe and sound. The app will also generate really difficult passwords for you so you don't have to worry about coming up with strong passwords on your own.

 Protecting Your Car

Next to a home or apartment, our cars are one of the biggest purchases we make in our lifetime. Therefore, we should put as much emphasis on protecting them as we do our homes and personal information. Keep your car in check with these apps:
  • SmartStart This app allows you to start, control, and locate your car with your smartphone or tablet. When it's extremely hot or cold outside, you can start your car from the comfort of your home with remote start. This app will also lock or unlock your car without you having to fumble and find your keys. You can also set the app to locate and track your car, ideal for parents of teens or those who live in unsavory parts of town.
  • CarLock If you're moving to a new neighborhood or don't trust your car on a busy city street, this app is for you. You'll receive an alert when your vehicle is moved, or when the engine starts, or when a weird vibration is detected. It will also keep track of the health of your car, notifying you of any faults your car battery might have. The CarLock itself costs $110 and the monthly fee is $9.60 (the first month is free), but can you really put a price on knowing that your car is safe?

 Protecting Your Kids

Perhaps the most valuable thing we have to protect on this Earth is that of a human life. If you have kids, these apps can help you stay in the know as to where they are:
  • Life360 Track your entire family through GPS locations on this app. Installing the app will allow you to set up notifications that let you know when your child arrives home, at school, or at work. It also allows you to track where your child has been and gives any and all users access to a panic button and locations of the nearest hospitals and police stations.
  • mamaBear This app provides you with the same reassurances as Life360 like tracking and access to emergency services. In addition, it protects your kids online. mamaBear tracks your child's FaceBook usage, monitoring for any crude language or signs of bullying. You'll get notified of your child's check-ins and photo tags as well, making it easy to see what your kids are up to. They're looking to update the app in the near future to track Twitter and Instagram usage, as well.
Technology continues to get better and better every day. One day, we may not even have to worry about protecting our information, people, and personal belongings. Until then, keep track of every aspect of your life with these great apps!