Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Ask Slashdot: Anti-Theft Products For the Over-Equipped Household?

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the exploding-dye-packs dept.

Crime 408

First time accepted submitter Dufflepod (3656815) writes "After yet another hardware purchase last week, I realized with some alarm just how drastically an enterprising burglar could increase the crapulence quotient of my life if they ever made off with my hardware. The house is alarmed, but much to my annoyance it isn't always set when people go out for any length of time. Ideally I want to 'alarm' the expensive items among my various PCs, UPS, NAS box, test equipment, and some of the sundry other gadgets & gizmos I require to stroke my inner geek. Over the past few days I have spent hours Googling for every combination of "anti-theft perimeter alarm radius motion detector vibration wireless" etc etc.. I have found various possible solutions, though the cost of some of them does make my eyes water (eg SonicShock @ €150/box). Has anyone out there decided to bite-the-bullet and protect their kit with decent alarms, and do you have any suggested 'do's & don'ts'?" So how would you secure valuable items, as opposed to securing the entire place?

cancel ×

408 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Don't. (3, Insightful)

mythosaz (572040) | about 4 months ago | (#47019199)

Yeah, don't.

You can install FindMyWhatever on some items, but for the most part, you're wasting your time.

Thieves look for targets of opportunity. Make your home less friendly. Place a camera in plain view and out of reach. Put up a beware of Doug sign and get a Glock window decal.

If someone comes for your electronics specifically, it's an inside job. You can avoid that by screening your friends better.

In the meantime, just do regular backups offsite.

Re:Don't. (4, Insightful)

danomac (1032160) | about 4 months ago | (#47019227)

It kind of boggles my mind that after spending how many thousands on geek stuff/tech toys he balks at another 150 to try to protect them...

Re:Don't. (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019363)

Key word there is "TRY"

Would OP pay $150/device if it WOULD protect his valuables - IMHO - yes.

Would I pay $150/device if it had a 1% chance of protecting it - No, unless device is $50/100k plus and not insurable.

If the goodies are commodity items (PC, NAS, etc) and the main value is the data on them - IMHO far better to have the physical parts insured and the data backed up off-site as will cost a whole lot less than $50+/item to attempt to keep it from being stolen in the first place.

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47020637)

It kind of boggles my mind that after spending how many thousands on geek stuff/tech toys he balks at another 150 to try to protect them...

Must be in management.

Re:Don't. (1)

Dufflepod (3656815) | about 4 months ago | (#47054829)

How very dare you... I work for a living!

Re:Don't. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 4 months ago | (#47021005)

It's not another $150, it's another $150 per device, some of which may be less than $150.

Engraving a code on all the devices is something that was recommended back in the '80s. I don't know if it's done anymore, but if the items get sold to pawn shops and such, they can be identified and returned.

Re:Don't. (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 months ago | (#47021593)

Especially curious because desire for tech toys is one of the major justifications for embarking on the major PITA that is a DIY security system...

Sure, if you work with expensive gear on the 'fancy jeweler' or 'datacenter' scale, that makes security part of your job, or at least something you have to actively outsource. At smaller scales, some off-the-shelf alarm system might pay for itself by making your insurance company happy and lowering your premiums.

Rolling your own, though, is unlikely to be a task that pays off. It can be useful if what you want are data, a few remote cameras are just the ticket for settling any nagging doubts about whether the neighbors are in fact feeding the cat; but you will probably be underwhelmed by the police response to your footage, and doing retrieval on your own is just asking to either get fucked up, or spend months in court (possibly) avoiding being convicted for whatever you did to the other guy.

Re:Don't. (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 4 months ago | (#47022241)

A real geek would have built the tech toys rather than just buying them and so would be able to rebuild them if they were stolen.

Re:Don't. (1)

belmolis (702863) | about 4 months ago | (#47023309)

That's 150 euros, about US$225, per box, not total. It is understandable why he would balk at that.

Re:Don't. (5, Funny)

stewsters (1406737) | about 4 months ago | (#47019263)

You gotta watch out for that Doug.

Re:Don't. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019349)

You gotta watch out for that Doug.

fat people cannot bathe and clean themselves properly as lots of slashdotters personally know. that is something to watch out for.

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47021163)

I use a sponge on a stick and lots of hose. Also, car washing brushes work great for those hard to reach areas and can get the crusties to fall off.

Re:Don't. (5, Funny)

lagomorpha2 (1376475) | about 4 months ago | (#47019391)

You gotta watch out for that Doug.

The other decal seems to indicate that Doug does have a Glock...

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019575)

ya I head Dougs are extremely vicious

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019941)

My parent's friends actually had such a sign. They removed the upper part of the "o" in "Beware of Dog" so that it became "Beware of Dug". Oddly, it seemed much more appropriate for that house to be afraid of "Dug" than any "Dog".

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47020141)

and Cate

Re:Don't. (1)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 4 months ago | (#47019569)

Say no to Dougs.

as the Detective once asked.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019827)

does your Doug bite?

Re: as the Detective once asked.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47023479)

Zat iss not my dog!

Re:Don't. (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 4 months ago | (#47020213)

It's extremely effective at fucking with robbers named Doug. "Holy shit! HE KNEW! I better run."

But that wouldn't be useful for robbers not named Doug... maybe buy a "beware of X" sign for all names and hang them up over all your electronics, that would cover your bases.

Re: Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47022833)

This is slashdot.
Beware of / [a-zA-Z]+/i

Re:Don't. (5, Insightful)

FuegoFuerte (247200) | about 4 months ago | (#47019271)

I disagree about the Glock window decal... That tells a certain percentage of burglars "hey, I have guns in my house... come steal them." Yeah, they could be in a safe, but that safe might not be bolted down, or they might not be in a safe because safes are expensive. So do without the decal.

Totally agree with the camera though. Another option is to realize that if you're that concerned about your stuff, your life is probably pretty miserable. Keep a good itemized list with pictures and serial numbers, make sure your insurance company has a copy of that list and your coverage is sufficient, and go on about your business. Maybe sell some of it and get out more.

Re:Don't. (5, Insightful)

AdamThor (995520) | about 4 months ago | (#47019491)

Copying down serial #'s for your equipment is the action nobody ever takes. It's the low-hanging-fruit when it comes to theft preparedness.

Re:Don't. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019997)

Copying down serial #'s for your equipment is the action nobody ever takes. It's the low-hanging-fruit when it comes to theft preparedness.

That and actually making sure your insurance covers your stuff, which requires the documentation and photo evidence. Also keep proof of purchase materials like receipts. So many people throw those things away... GAAA! If for no other reason keep them as long as the warranty or five years in case you get audited for any reason.

Re:Don't. (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 4 months ago | (#47022055)

I mean really folks, how hard is it to take your smartphone, snap a picture of that expensive $gizmo, snap a pic of the receipt, maybe a closeup of the SN??

I've done that for all of my camera gear, guns and whatnot. The data sits in my 1password file. Encrypted and copied to dropbox. Encrypted and copied to off site storage. If I lose all of that, well, sucks to be me. But it takes but a few seconds whenever you buy something expensive.

Get some insurance, pat your Doug on it's head and enjoy life.

Re:Don't. (1)

ssam (2723487) | about 4 months ago | (#47023761)

The one time you accidently leave a window open is the time you will get burgled, and the insurance will just laugh at you.

My tip for insurance is to look through the conditions, implement all the security things they need, and put what you would spend on insurance in a savings account.

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47020197)

Copying down serial #'s for your equipment is the action nobody ever takes. It's the low-hanging-fruit when it comes to theft preparedness.

But it does nothing for theft deterrence

Re:Don't. (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about 4 months ago | (#47022021)

"Copying down serial #'s for your equipment is the action nobody ever takes. It's the low-hanging-fruit when it comes to theft preparedness.

But it does nothing for theft deterrence"

You could just bring your stuff to a laser engraver service that engraves your name, address and phone on _everything_.

The only drawback, you can forget selling it on eBay later.

Re:Don't. (1)

dargaud (518470) | about 4 months ago | (#47020447)

How does having the serial # of your 6Tb hard drives helps you when it walks away with 20 years worth of family and work pictures ?

Re:Don't. (1)

AdamThor (995520) | about 4 months ago | (#47020595)

In much the same way as a security system, be it alarms or cameras: by making it easier for the police to apprehend the criminal.

Neither of these things actually prevents someone from kicking down your door while you're away and grabbing something and running away with it.

Re:Don't. (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | about 4 months ago | (#47020793)

It doesn't; the comparatively-cheap 2nd array of 6TB drives (or equivalent storage method), providing off-site backups does. Having the serial numbers makes it easier to replace the drives themselves.

Re:Don't. (1)

toddestan (632714) | about 4 months ago | (#47028929)

Well, if they try to pawn your Playstation and get busted because the serial number is flagged as stolen, your 6TB hard drive might be in the stuff they are able to recover.

Re:Don't. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019495)

I wish I could Mod this up. People that put stickers on their car that say "Sig" or "Glock", those are the people asking to get broke into while you are visibly walking away from your vehicle. Sure, it spooks other drivers into thinking that you'll have armed combat if they cut you off, but it is no different than someone have Rockford Fosgate/Apline stickers.

I've heard people fair slightly better when they have a fake ADT sign/stickers they bought off eBay.

Re:Don't. (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 4 months ago | (#47019591)

Worst move ever: 'Spoon' sticker for a Honda window. Almost guaranteed to get it stolen.

Re:Don't. (2)

mlts (1038732) | about 4 months ago | (#47019851)

On RVs and cars, a "protected by Glock" sticker is something that can be used as probable cause for a stop and search in some cities/states. It isn't a good idea because it attracts attention... the wrong type of attention by both the bad guys and the local LEOs.

At least with the Alpine sticker, not even the desperate druggies go after car stereos these days, so one is probably safe there.

If I were to go with a bumper sticker, it would probably be the local "100 club" or similar sheriff charities.

Re:Don't. (1)

uncqual (836337) | about 4 months ago | (#47020055)

a "protected by Glock" sticker is something that can be used as probable cause for a stop and search in some cities/states.

I don't think so, unless the sticker was obstructing the driver's view (in which case, the text on the sticker would be irrelevant). Such a sticker might cause an officer in a few jurisdictions to look for a "legitimate" reason (missing front license plate in states that require them; broken taillight; starting to signal 90, instead of 100, feet before turning etc...) to stop the car in hopes that there would be an illegal weapon in plain view or something like that.

The sticker is free exercise of speech - it's not an admission of guilt any more than 420 stickers are.

Re:Don't. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 4 months ago | (#47021123)

The sticker is free exercise of speech - it's not an admission of guilt any more than 420 stickers are.

That begs the question. You seem to be assuming that a 420 sticker won't get more attention than someone without. No, it will get you pulled over, in the absence of other fun things to do for the cop. So, with your logic, one with a gun sticker should expect to get pulled over without cause. And yes, that is the case.

Re:Don't. (1)

uncqual (836337) | about 4 months ago | (#47021313)

The point is that the sticker alone is not "reasonable suspicion" to justify a "Terry Stop" [wikipedia.org] .

Might such a sticker (or the fact you have long hair, are a cute blonde, or drive an old car) call attention to you and cause the police to look more carefully and therefore more likely to actually find "reasonable suspicion" (or more)? Yes. But the sticker would not be cause for a stop legally - the stop will be for something else.

Re:Don't. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 4 months ago | (#47021737)

You are confusing the rules as written with the rules as practiced. I've been pulled over for "weaving within my lane" (doing nothing wrong, but attracting the attention of local cops by not being from there). I doubt a challenge of that stop would have stood up in court, but fighting for your rights is very very expensive, and I was a poor student at the time.

The cop will *never* state "I had no reason to pull you over, other than a sticker on your car." But having the sticker will increase your odds of being pulled over.

Re:Don't. (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about 4 months ago | (#47023441)

Then also include stickers from popular civil rights lawyers? "Protected by suits"

Re:Don't. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 4 months ago | (#47023675)

Many cops do say that a pro-cop sticker of some kind does help.

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47021939)

Realistically, it is the same thing. The excuse given can be anything, but in any case, a "protected by Glock" sticker is going to get your derriere pulled over in a lot of states, and likely the vehicle thoroughly searched.

For example, in Texas, you can have an open container behind the driver/passenger seats of a motorhome, taxi, limo, and a hearse. Try that in California, and CHP will have scored some arrests under the laws on their books, which disallow open alcoholic beverages in -any- vehicle... even if someone has a half-full wine bottle in their RV's refrigerator.

So, there is always an excuse for a stop and search. The sticker is just going to bring unwanted attention and provoke people who really shouldn't be provoked.

Re:Don't. (1)

uncqual (836337) | about 4 months ago | (#47022321)

Yes -- once a cop has an interest in pulling you over, they can usually figure out a legitimate reason to do so by following you for a while (we all break obscure traffic laws regularly).

Although, the "full search" is quite a bit harder for them to do without your consent - they need more than just "reasonable suspicion" for that (and, of course, I'm sure everyone here is smart enough to never give consent and to inquire regularly "Am I free to leave?").

Re: Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47024297)

Which is why when we put cameras on all of these assholes they should state the reason for pulling you over BEFORE pulling you over to a time coded system.

Re:Don't. (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 4 months ago | (#47021357)

First, it doesn't beg the question [wikipedia.org] .

*whew*

That said, all you've done is repeat what the poster above you said while trying to chide him.

He said, very clearly, that a sticker on your car espousing something the police in your neighborhood might find unpopular in and of itself wasn't something that would get you pulled over, but could certainly be the trigger that caused police to scrutinize your car and behavior until they found some nitpicking reason to pull you over.

You then said that, no, he was totally correct.

[/pedant]

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47021533)

It does beg the question. Your logical fallacy has nothing to do with begging or questions, and is a mistranslation of petitio principii, "seeking the principles", which actually describes the fallacy of circular reasoning.

Re:Don't. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 4 months ago | (#47021789)

It was begging the question. He stated he assumed that it isn't an admission of guilt, thus not a reason to pull someone over, when saying it isn't a reason to pull someone over.

He said, very clearly, that a sticker on your car espousing something the police in your neighborhood might find unpopular in and of itself wasn't something that would get you pulled over, but could certainly be the trigger that caused police to scrutinize your car and behavior until they found some nitpicking reason to pull you over.

You missed any nuance. The cop will pull you over solely for having the sticker. They will say "I thought your inspection was expired" (it wasn't) or "I saw you weaving within your lane" (I wasn't, and even if I was, it's legal). Both are actual reasons given when I was pulled over for not fitting in (100% illegal, but impossible to prove, as the cops get training in how to lie to people whose rights they are violating to reduce lawsuits). He was confusing "reason" with "stated reason".

He said they won't pull you over solely for having a sticker. I'm saying he's wrong. They'll pull you over for the sticker, but they'll say something different when they pull you over. Most of the time I've been pulled over, I was 100% legal, but the cops made up a reason on the spot for having pulled me over for an illegal reason.

Re:Don't. (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 4 months ago | (#47029971)

...most of the time I've been pulled over...

Where do you people come from that have been pulled over enough times to generate statistically useful information about it? Are you psychic? Do you have the special ability to interpret other's intentions merely by thought?

Here's a little something I've noticed, that's probably just as scientifically valid as your theory that cops are out to get you because of your stickers (ha!): People driving like civil humans rarely ever get pulled over for "illegal reasons."

I've been driving for about 30 years, and in the last 20, I've probably been pulled over fewer than half a dozen times, all for pretty valid reasons.

Maybe I should get some more anti-establishment stickers... ...which cops can TOTALLY read from the roadside. :/

Re:Don't. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 4 months ago | (#47030589)

Are you psychic? Do you have the special ability to interpret other's intentions merely by thought?

Yes. I can read faces. Have you never seen the expression on anyone's face, ever?

I've been driving for about 30 years, and in the last 20, I've probably been pulled over fewer than half a dozen times, all for pretty valid reasons.

I was pulled over a pile of times as a younger person. After my first 10 years of driving, I've been pulled over less than a half dozen times, and not all for valid reasons. I also grew up in the south, and had a variety of friends. I know plenty of people pulled over for DWB (one thrown in jail for the night, no charges, no "arrest" and no apology). And I know a white person who lead the police on a high speed chase, when he was finally cornered in a dead-end alley, the cops pulled him out at gunpoint (because of the high speed chase, they assume him dangerous). They let him go with an apology for pointing guns at him. No ticket, no arrest, just an apology.

If you want to mistrust cops, get to be friends with a few of them.

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47033527)

In theory.
Legally, one of those Glock stickers will not get you stopped by the police.
In practice, it might.

Like the old say, In theory there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is.

Re:Don't. (2)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 4 months ago | (#47020377)

I've heard people fair slightly better when they have a fake ADT sign/stickers they bought off eBay.

This. Surveys/research has shown that thieves avoid houses that might be alarmed (according to signage) and move to easier targets. Most insurance companies even offer a discount for merely having a security system on the premises (with the presumption that it came with signs/stickers) even if said system is deactivated and not monitored remotely.

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47021569)

OR better yet, get an actual monitored alarm system.

I don't have ADT, I have vivint or whatever they're called this week. It ain't cheap (compared to some at least) but the one time the alarm was tripped (accidentally, by the brain trust from the alarm company who was installing it and forgot to extend the "testing" period with the ppl at the monitoring center) there was a surprisingly heavy police response to my house in literally three minutes. This is not an atypical response time, at least where I live.

Armed and pissed off cops on a priority call tend to make life miserable for anyone trying to cart off pricey (and usually bulky) electronics from your home with stealth.

Alternatively, if you like dogs and can give one enough attention, get a rottie or a great dane. They make amazing additions to your family, and nobody without a death wish will be entering your house uninvited. From a pure price standpoint, an alarm will cost you less, though.

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47024075)

Thieves dont need to to see stickers on the car, for people that like to stroke off their egos on an expensive stereo system, all a thief as to do is hear them coming down the road. And these people usually brag about it, show them off, only making it easier for a thief to know which car to target. Threatening stickers are a giveaway the person is full of themselves.

The submitter of the question seems obsessed over his stuff, the rules of theft protections, are to never leave boxes whole or cut up out in the open, inside but in particular outside, if you can cut them up and make sure the blank or inside is facing out, bag them and wait till the garbage man is at your house, you can also hide it in the newspaper, there's several tricks.

Always document your stuff, model#, color, or any detail, [aka you can get a cheap digital camera and have detailed physical descriptions] and like the previous poster said write down the damn serial#'s.

Put blinds on your windows, or have a room dedicated towards keeping tech equipment out of view, from prying eyes outside and from anyone who could be entering your home, another previous comment, don't go bragging about it to people, or those who you --consider-- friends.

Those things are common sense, but thieves are not going to just target a house because your paranoid, random thieves just pick a target. The type of thieve he seems to be concerned with would be a professional, in that case they will monitor when no one is home and at what times, also they will scout the house when no one is around to scoop out the security, cameras, alarm system, police patrols, ways to get in without setting alarms off, even with an alarm, If they want in, their going to get in, get what they came for and get out before cops show up.

A majority of comments=== Fully document your stuff with pictures and serial numbers, get it insured, backup everything off-site, or find a place to store back-ups that will not be noticeable/visible, so if it happens your covered. For goodness sakes man stop obsessing over material goods.

Re:Don't. (1)

Streetlight (1102081) | about 4 months ago | (#47019915)

Agreed about inviting thieves to steal your Glock. I have a friend in the DC area who said he was going to get National Rifle Association (NRA) stickers and put them on all his windows as his defense against thieves, even though he didn't own any guns. I told him that that might be an invitation to the thieves to see what his armaments might look like and while inside peruse other valuables. I don't think he followed through.

An interesting aside: One day his wife was home and a couple of very big guys in suits with bulges under their left coat pockets came to the door and inquired about a couple of guys that lived down the street. Turns out they were FBI agents and the guys they were interested in allegedly robbed a bank in DC while double parked in front of the bank and their car was ticketed. Sounds like a plot from a Mel Brooks movie.

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47020013)

"I disagree about the Glock window decal... That tells a certain percentage of burglars "hey, I have guns in my house... come steal them." Yeah, they could be in a safe, but that safe might not be bolted down, or they might not be in a safe because safes are expensive. So do without the decal."

What about the gun that is fully loaded in sitting in the corner ready and willing to go?

Ill take my chances defending myself with a firearm over a camera any day..

Re:Don't. (1)

losfromla (1294594) | about 4 months ago | (#47020269)

He's not really worried about a violent break in while he's home, I think those are vanishingly rare and probably a result of bad timing/casing. He's worried about his stuff disappearing while he's not home.
Some of the professional cameras would make fantastic projectiles and even close quarters weapons, btw. ;-)

Re:Don't. (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 4 months ago | (#47020887)

He's not really worried about a violent break in while he's home, I think those are vanishingly rare and probably a result of bad timing/casing. He's worried about his stuff disappearing while he's not home.
Some of the professional cameras would make fantastic projectiles and even close quarters weapons, btw. ;-)

We call those "home invasions" and they're definitely not rare.

Re:Don't. (1)

TWX (665546) | about 4 months ago | (#47021157)

That's not the point though, the article submitter is looking at protecting his chattel property when he's not there to do himself; he did not ask about defence against violent invaders.

The best bet for securing electronics are Kensington cable locks tying equipment down, or rack-mount equipment making it difficult to quickly abscond with. If the gear can't be stolen quickly then the burglar generally won't try for long enough to make a lot of headway; the longer they're in the house the more chance for being caught red-handed.

Re:Don't. (1)

Proudrooster (580120) | about 4 months ago | (#47021781)

Kensington cable locks? Seriously, just pull hard, break plastic, and gone in 60 seconds.

Re:Don't. (1)

TWX (665546) | about 4 months ago | (#47021921)

Break plastic as in the side of the device where the lock goes through? Good luck pawning that one...

Remember, most things aren't stolen for personal use, they're stolen to be sold or quick cash.

Re:Don't. (1)

losfromla (1294594) | about 4 months ago | (#47022933)

Here's some discussion about what "home invasions" are:
http://www.homeinvasionnews.co... [homeinvasionnews.com]
Here are some statistics, scary? Not really, quite small numbers:
http://www.homeinvasionnews.co... [homeinvasionnews.com]

Here is one that has higher scary numbers but they try to distance themselves from terming the incidents "home invasions". Had a hard time unwinding it (it's a long article and I'm feeling lazy) but one thing that stands out is that in 65% of cases, the offender was known to the victim.
http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub... [bjs.gov]

So, I think you could make the case for rare or not rare depending on whose data you latch onto.

Re:Don't. (0)

lagomorpha2 (1376475) | about 4 months ago | (#47020907)

He's not really worried about a violent break in while he's home, I think those are vanishingly rare and probably a result of bad timing/casing.

In the US burglars try their best to only go to houses when no one is home because owners can defend themselves. In Europe and Australia burglars are more likely to enter occupied dwellings than they are in the US because they know self defense is illegal there and they can have fun with the cowardly homeowners.

Re:Don't. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 4 months ago | (#47021173)

In Europe and Australia burglars are more likely to enter occupied dwellings than they are in the US because they know self defense is illegal there and they can have fun with the cowardly homeowners.

Self defense in Australia is not illegal. In the US, executing someone for scaring you is legal almost everywhere. That low standard may not be the same elsewhere, but that's most certainly not "self defense is illegal".

Re: Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47024319)

If you break into my house while I'm there you've insinuated the will to do me harm. There's a reason that I've got an semi automatic twelve gauge; there will only be one version of the story: mine.

Re:Don't. (1)

losfromla (1294594) | about 4 months ago | (#47022955)

You are presuming that self defense is limited to guns.
Of course the best defense is a violent and decisive offense.

Re: Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47024335)

Many of these comments mention "Glock decals" and guns. I know the OP personally and live in the same country, where we don't have a mad gun culture. The fact that he gave prices in Euros, not dollars, should have made this obvious. Neither he, nor I nor any opportunist burglar would know what a "Glock decal" is or what deterrent effect it supposedly offers. For this reason, it would certainly have no effect whatsoever, here.

Can we please restrict comments to practical solutions to the OP's query?

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47020605)

Even better. Actually shoot an intruder.

Then, post a sign stating "You 0, Intruder with bullet holes in him - 1, with a link to the newspaper articles"

Even better if you kill the guy. Take a pic of his dead body and include it on the sign

Re:Don't. (use obvious cameras) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47020847)

Security cameras are easily thwarted when you make them plainly visible. The burglar just holds a hand in front of their face, uses a mask, disables the camera.... The best security camera is one that notifies your cellfone with clear pictures of what is happening and captures clear pictures and video of the perps faces before they know there is a camera. This allows you to phone the police, have them picked up while they are still in the house, and gives you excellent evidence to provide the police afterward. Not that that should even be necessary when the cops catch them in the house. And while there may be a mess, you don't lose anything. Worked for me.

Re: Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47020929)

But all my serial numbers are scratched off.

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47038875)

As an insurance agent, I agree with this post. Some agents will store your photos as well as your list -- ask! You might consider putting the list and photos in a safe deposit box at the bank. PS, my "Doug" has a lovely, big that disguises the fact that she has no bite!

Re:Don't. (1)

kryliss (72493) | about 4 months ago | (#47019279)

Where exactly does one find a Beware of Doug sign?

Re:Don't. (3, Informative)

kryliss (72493) | about 4 months ago | (#47019309)

Ah, found it.

(SFW)
https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7170/6715691973_bca11f829f.jpg

Re:Don't. (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about 4 months ago | (#47019537)

Doug's Mom's house

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47038887)

My hardware store had one, although it was spelled "Dog." It was suggested to me that saying "beware of .... " means you know your dog is mean, where as "Dog on Premise" only states that a dog is there -- not the nature of the dog. My dog's bark speaks for her.

Re:Don't. (1)

ClayDowling (629804) | about 4 months ago | (#47019317)

The glock sticker might not be a swell idea. Weapons are a particular target of theives. A friend bought a gun for personal protection. Guess what the thieves stole when they broke in?

Re:Don't. (1, Interesting)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 4 months ago | (#47019587)

That's unfortunate. Your friend is now responsible for any harm caused by not securing his gun. He'll never know it, and probably isn't evolved enough to care, but he's likely to be responsible for murder.

Re:Don't. (3, Insightful)

lagomorpha2 (1376475) | about 4 months ago | (#47019725)

He's no more responsible for any acts committed by criminals than the gun itself is responsible for "causing" murders. You may as well say that if you don't shoot a burglar in your home and instead let him escape you're responsible for any homes he breaks into in the future because you could have stopped him.

The only people responsible for crimes are the criminals committing them.

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019833)

What lagomorpha2 said. The only one "responsible" here is the law enforcement that does not prevent theft of property from their owners. And if your car gets stolen and the thief drives over someone... I guess it's your fault?

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47022069)

Law enforcement doesn't work that way. They do their best to prevent crime, but to suggest that the police are responsible for proactively keeping every residence/business in the world completely safe from thieves? Stop being a retard.

Re:Don't. (1)

healyp (1260440) | about 4 months ago | (#47019991)

Depends on the state. If you're traveling with a weapon through Massachusetts and that weapon is stolen from you and then used to commit a murder- you will end up standing trial for murder with the thief who stole your weapon.

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47020131)

And that's why I don't live in Massachusetts.

Re:Don't. (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 4 months ago | (#47020453)

Depends on the state. If you're traveling with a weapon through Massachusetts and that weapon is stolen from you and then used to commit a murder- you will end up standing trial for murder with the thief who stole your weapon.

That's a little rhetoric-heavy, care to cite a source? Seems that most heavy gun ownership laws only require reporting the theft (upon penalty of loss of license or possible civil action, not criminal, if the gun is used in a subsequent crime) and there is no precedent available that suggests that in MA you are going to be charged with a capital offense if your gun is used by a thief to commit murder.

I doubt it. (1)

daninaustin (985354) | about 4 months ago | (#47021845)

Where do you get that?

Re: Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47024427)

Have you not yet figured out that the OP doesn't live in ANY of your States?

(Hint: prices given in Euros)

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47020079)

"The only people responsible for crimes are the criminals committing them."

I would agree with that if we had a justice system in the States.

As it stands right now, we have a legal system that would disagree with you.

Re:Don't. (1)

Triklyn (2455072) | about 4 months ago | (#47020297)

IAALAOV. I am a law and order viewer. I'd say it certainly opens him up to an thorough invasion of his home by warrant if his gun is involved in a crime.

Re:Don't. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47020413)

You may as well say that if you don't shoot a burglar in your home and instead let him escape you're responsible for any homes he breaks into in the future

Fuckyeah you are!!!

Oh wait this isnt ar15forums.org. shit, gotta switch the rhetoric.

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47021835)

Well said sir. I was about to post something similar but yours is much more elegant than mine would have been.

You even managed to get your point across without use of the term "gun control fag" which I find impressive. I'll be studying your message in depth, with the hope of figuring out how I can evolve my style to be less combative.

Re:Don't. (1)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | about 4 months ago | (#47022121)

The PP didn't say a damn thing about criminals. What about acts not committed by criminals? Are there ever kids in the house? How about their friends? Do you have a friend who might get inebriated and shoot himself accidentally? How about his mistaking someone else in the the house for a burglar?

Guns are dangerous tools. The notion that they are only ever used for defending oneself against invaders is a dangerous and foolish one.

And, yes, you can be held responsible if your weapon is insufficiently secured and someone causes an "accident" with it. Depending on the severity of said accident, a gun owner could be looking at a manslaughter charge. At the very least, those who leave unsecured and loaded weapons around that are involved in accidents deserve to have their asses sued off in a civil proceeding.

Re: Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47024349)

Really? I have no children, but I do have a Smith and Wesson .357 in my nightstand. If a friend comes over and gets drunk, comes into my bedroom and then shoots himself while I'm in the bathroom *I* should be responsible?

As a libertarian leaning Dem I say fuck you nanny state pussies. Nobody seems to want to take responsibility for their own actions.

Re:Don't. (1)

kaatochacha (651922) | about 4 months ago | (#47020481)

Bravo. You both crapped all over gun rights, stereotyped gun owners as un-evolved murderers, and blamed someone for the actions of others committing a crime.
I bet you're probably from the Bay Area. Typical.
See what I did there? We can both make silly assumptions!

And also, yes, the gun should have been secured. Perhaps it was and they took the safe?

Re:Don't. (1)

Kaenneth (82978) | about 4 months ago | (#47023183)

Safe should be bolted to the structure with bolts that can only be undone from the inside.

Re:Don't. (1)

rthille (8526) | about 4 months ago | (#47023639)

And if they use a diamond saw or cutting torch or plasma cutter?

Re:Don't. (1)

Kaenneth (82978) | about 4 months ago | (#47024407)

They would have already sold their power tools for crack/meth money.

Re:Don't. (1)

ixuzus (2418046) | about 4 months ago | (#47025395)

As someone who has used both cutting methods very recently this seems a little implausible.

If you put a spinning blade into a metal safe it is going to make a hell of a racket which is probably not an ideal situation for a thief

Now a plasma cutter is one of the power hungriest tools I have ever used. I wouldn't count on even being able to run it off a standard household point. In addition you're going to need an air compressor which is hardly a quiet beast. Making a racket and then coming out of someone's house carrying a plasma cutter and dragging an air compressor will make even the least curious neighbour inquisitive.

Re:Don't. (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about 4 months ago | (#47020851)

You may feel that way about it, I certainly don't. He is a victim. Would you consider him liable if someone stole his car and ran someone down? Stole his chainsaw and cut up a body? I see no reason gun owners deserve some special onus on them.

No matter what happens from the point its stolen, its not his fault. Now if he sabotaged the gun so anyone using without knowing how to fix it first, it would be injured....then their injury would be his fault. However, he can't be considered honestly responsible for any decision he was not party to.

I don't care what you or your laws, or your courts say....I will never personally hold guilt against a victim of theft for what is later done with his property; and I will hold guilt against those who do.

Re:Don't. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 4 months ago | (#47021219)

Would you consider him liable if someone stole his car and ran someone down?

If he left it running unlocked with the keys in it, then yes, the law would generally consider him liable.

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47022491)

No it wouldn't. You're going to have to back that up.

He may not get to collect the insurance on the car because of his negligence, but he won't be held responsible for what happens after it's stolen.

Re:Don't. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 4 months ago | (#47023641)

He committed a crime that enabled another crime. There was someone in Florida tried for "murder" for loaning their car to someone. So under Florida's rules, you should be tried for murder for committing a crime related to a murder. I never claimed anything made sense. I just stated that's how it works.

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47033713)

So, you're going to back up your previous bullshit claim by spouting more unsubstantiated bullshit? Way to go... very convincing.

Re:Don't. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 4 months ago | (#47034219)

My apologies. I didn't understand you were too stupid to work Google. Let me help [lmgtfy.com] There, now substantiated bullshit. Where's my apology?

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47035767)

So you've found one case that superficially fits your description and you think that demonstrates that "the law would generally consider him liable"? Try harder. Do I get an apology?

Re:Don't. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 4 months ago | (#47036181)

That's not the only case, but you obviously are here just to waste my time.

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47040399)

You're doing a perfectly good job of that yourself. Your sad need to have the last (inane) word will keep you coming back...

Re:Don't. (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about 4 months ago | (#47024919)

Then the law is wrong. Nothing new about that. The law is seldom very just.

Re:Don't. (1)

ClayDowling (629804) | about 4 months ago | (#47021101)

It's possible that you haven't met a lot of gun owners, or don't realize that you have. It's possible, for instance, that the gun was taken from the home of a single woman living in a bad neighborhood, who felt that it was more responsible to leave the gun locked up at home than to bring it to the medical clinic where she works.

Re:Don't. (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 4 months ago | (#47022277)

Thieves will often spend the time actively searching for the guns. So even someone being conscientious and finding a good hiding place can find the gun stolen. Add a lot to a handgun box will end up with the entire box stolen (even though it was safe against the kids playing with it), they may even use a crowbar to get into a gun case. If this is not just a 5 minute in-and-out opportunistic thief then they will look in the back of the top shelf in the closet, maybe pull up rugs, feel underneath the clothes in the drawers, etc. There's really not a safe hiding place.

Re:Don't. (1)

daninaustin (985354) | about 4 months ago | (#47021841)

It's kind of hard to steal if you are wearing it.

Re:Don't. (4, Interesting)

lgw (121541) | about 4 months ago | (#47019341)

Understand how thieves work and think. I've live in bad neighborhoods (bullt holes in the walls bad) before without worrying about my place getting burgled thanks to leveling on the second floor. Seriously. A staircase to climb is sufficient deterrent for a sufficient % of criminals looking for a quick score.

Plus, a thief looking for a quick boost doesn't want to spend much time in your place. The electronics I care about are kept awkwardly large and heavy, while a couple of valuable-seeming small items are left scattered about.

I don't have jewelry, and some robbers will ransack the place until they find the goods, so I leave about $200 in cash in a drawer where it's easy to find. According to the experts I've read, that's an ironclad defense. The thief will take that wad of cash as his victory and leave promptly, as long as the place doesn't seem nice enough that he keeps looking for more.

Re:Don't. (0)

lgw (121541) | about 4 months ago | (#47019473)

Wow, 50% spelling failure, a new record! C'mon /., fuck Beta and give us the ability to edit posts instead!

Re:Don't. (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 4 months ago | (#47027543)

Close, A spelling hat trick is the same word misspelled, three different ways, in one post.

Re:Don't. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019511)

So your suggestion to the OP is to sell his house, move to a second floor apt, stop caring about small electronics because they're easy to steal, then leave a gift for the criminal.

Re:Don't. (1)

lgw (121541) | about 4 months ago | (#47019595)

No, but to find a similar optimization. Definitely leave a gift for the criminal - alarms don't do shit. Don't keep stuff you care about, by which I mean files, only on anything portable. And if your life would go to shit if someone took your easily-replaceable consumer electronics, you have deeper life issues my friend.

Re:Don't. (1)

Fjandr (66656) | about 4 months ago | (#47019707)

Definitely agree. All of my major electronics are bolted into a rack, which itself probably weighs 500-600 pounds loaded. My monitors are attached to wall arms, which are bolted to the wall. Nothing worth taking can be easily picked up and carried out.

Re:Don't. (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 4 months ago | (#47020937)

Definitely agree. All of my major electronics are bolted into a rack, which itself probably weighs 500-600 pounds loaded. My monitors are attached to wall arms, which are bolted to the wall. Nothing worth taking can be easily picked up and carried out.

Never underestimate the amount of destruction that thieves are willing to commit just to walk away with something trivial. If they can destroy the wall just to get the monitor, they will.

I'm with lgw, though. Toys are nice, but they don't define me. If I worry more about my possessions than anything else, I don't possess them, they possess me.

Re:Don't. (1)

Fjandr (66656) | about 4 months ago | (#47030197)

If they can rip four 3" lag screws out of the stud to which they're attached, they're welcome to the monitors. :)

Re:Don't. (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 4 months ago | (#47031691)

If they can rip four 3" lag screws out of the stud to which they're attached, they're welcome to the monitors. :)

Theyre just as likely to rip out the studs. And a good chunk of the wall. Remember the attempts that have been made to steal entire ATMs?

Re:Don't. (5, Interesting)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 4 months ago | (#47019877)

You're right about leaving a windfall in an easy to find location, but I've got a few stories that go against your main argument.

When I was living in a ground floor suite, someone grabbed a ladder, propped it up against the 2nd floor balcony, and then proceeded to move everything of potential value onto a blanket in the middle of the tenant's living room floor. I interrupted the job by coming home early, so they only made off with what they could carry in their hands -- which happened to be a CD organizational case with the jewel cases loaded and a jar full of pennies.

Unfortunately for them, the tenant had just moved all of their CDs from the cases to a binder, so all they got was the cases and a jar of pennies.

But the point is that you have to be on the third floor or higher and away from the stairwell (I've been in a number of places where there's been forced entry to the apartments beside the stairwells) if you want to avoid being low hanging fruit.

You have a number of types of house thieves.
1) addicts looking for something to pay for their fix. These are by far the most common. Give them something easy to take that appears to be worth more than their next drug fix, while not looking like a good place to return to is a good defense here.
2) professional thieves who case out an area and raid it methodically. They'll often come back to the same place multiple times, giving you time to get your stuff replaced by the insurance companies first (as they know your place will now contain brand new items). Not having expensive stuff easily visible from the street is the best defense here. Oftentimes, these guys pose as security system installers (or sometimes ARE contract installers), or something similar, to get a view inside the houses.
3) people you know somehow, often related to #1. Someone who for some reason has had opportunity to case the inside of your house. Oftentimes, these people steal purely based on opportunity (they know the alarm's off and you have something valuable in place X that they can easily walk off with, right when they need the money).
4) gang related thefts -- often also related to 1, and sometimes 3. This is the biggest "pick your friends" item.

So don't leave your electronics in plain view and don't have a reputation with friends for having really expensive electronics, leave $100-200 worth of replaceable stuff that is just the right size to carry (without allowing to grab for anything more easily) around within easy access of a quick exit, have steel door frames and decent locks, secure your windows decently, and live beside someone who's a better target and in a neighborhood that isn't a good target. The closer you can get to that, the safer you are.

Of course, being an electronics geek, you could make your own perimeter defense system -- I did that for my room when I was a kid; a few optical sensors, contact plates, etc. and a simple electronics kit and I had a very effective "don't touch my stuff" system. It was also useful for protecting against people that might just want to "borrow" or play with it, which is the more realistic threat to electronics than a burglary.

Re:Don't. (1)

lgw (121541) | about 4 months ago | (#47020069)

You make several good points, and I was only focused on #1. I think most people the risk of theft due to who they know - especially someone who may not steal from you, but may rabbit on to his friends about all the nice stuff you have, or friends who are in turn friends with gang members.

I've heard the preferred size for stolen items is "fits in a pillow case", but I hadn't heard the piled-on-a-blanket approach before.

Re:Don't. (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 4 months ago | (#47020345)

I hadn't heard the piled-on-a-blanket approach before.

We never did figure out why they went for the blanket instead of pillowcases -- but then when you're dealing with an addict who has missed his fix, you're not dealing with someone who's an especially clear thinker. Having a gun around such people, by the way, is an extremely BAD idea.

And addicts come in all shapes and sizes; we're not just talking about the downtown meth addict here, but also the uptown recreational drug addict or even hard liquor addict or gambling addict. If you've got more than a few friends or relatives, you know a few people with hidden addictions, or at least people with friends that have hidden addictions.

Re:Don't. (2)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 4 months ago | (#47020959)

If you've got more than a few friends or relatives, you know a few people with hidden addictions, or at least people with friends that have hidden addictions.

I'm a computer geek. So no worries about too many friends!

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47020949)

There was an interesting show on the Discovery Channel (?) a while back, called To Catch a Thief. Ex-thieves would stake out a volunteer's house and break in. They showed how they'd exploit weaknesses in house & neighborhood design, lax security (so many times they just got in through an open window; even second-floor windows were a cinch since many homes have stuff they could pile or climb up to get to the window), and people's perceptions to get in and ransack the place. Sometimes they were able to pull a work van into the garage and load it at their leisure for hours. Even though it was a staged burglary with minimal damage and they got their stuff back, the homeowners often got very emotional.
Then they'd recommend security changes and come back a few weeks later to try and break in again.
The blanket technique was used frequently, and they gave little regard to the stuff they didn't bother stealing. They may not want your photos or kid's ceramics projects or collection of classic video game boxes, but they didn't care if they ruined them looking for stuff that's easy to monetize.

Re:Don't. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 4 months ago | (#47021271)

I hadn't heard the piled-on-a-blanket approach before.

I got robbed. They stole one (and only one) set of curtains. They were pulled down, not taken down gently. This indicated to me that the curtains were pulled down to make a carrying case. Things were thrown in, and they ran off with the "bag" full. They took their time. They went back for at least 3 trips. I suspect the neighbors.

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47023383)

Funny story, a friend from work was recently robbed blind (has tons of electronics) and suspected his neighbor. Luckily he had the original boxes for everything and thus had serial numbers. 1 month later his neighbor gets pulled for a traffic violation, and the ensuing vehicle search turns up an xbox 360 matching the serial. One search warrant later he's getting nailed for multiple counts of possession of stolen goods under $5000, one count for possession over $5000, and possession of meth.

... and I thought nobody ever got caught.

Re:Don't. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 4 months ago | (#47021329)

They don't do #2 as well as you'd think. Either that, or we were better secured than we thought. I grew up in an unlocked house. It would *only* be locked if my mother expected to get home after dark alone. It was unlocked in the day almost all day with nobody home. We were never broken into. But everyone else on the road was broken into, at least once. I lived in the worst house in a nice neighborhood. It was the best defense.

Re:Don't. (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 4 months ago | (#47030019)

You notice the part about them pretending to be alarm installers to get inside homes. My guess is that if you left the door unlocked, you probably weren't getting some alarm company in for a quote. You probably also didn't have expensive valuables in plain sight from the street, and as you say, you lived in the worst house.

So they did #2 pretty well -- they don't care about locks or alarms, as those can be bypassed easily. They care about the work required for the profit gained. Your house probably looked like the largest risk for the smallest gain. Seems like a pretty good application of #2.

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47021975)

Leave them a "gift"? Silly. If everybody does that, you'll get a lot of thieves looking for such gifts specifically, making a living that way.

No, leave them a trap instead. If you don't want to do real damage, do like the banks. Have some money with that color spray thing that marks them (and the cash) pretty good.

Then there is the lethal options. A small explosive charge - not enough to blow the place apart, but something that might take a hand off. Illegal, but who would know if it goes off somewhere else. And if it happens in-house, you can claim the thief brought the "weapon" himself.

Or, consider that many thieves just want money for drugs. Have something that look like drugs "for personal use", but is poisoned. Many poisons are not even illegal to have. And what "looks like drugs" don't have to be real dope.

Re:Don't. (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 4 months ago | (#47030051)

Your second suggestion has merit, but you obviously haven't lived in the areas that get a lot of the kind of theft we're talking about. You don't leave a "gift" with a little note saying "a gift for you, the thief wanting to get his fix, love, the homeowner. Come back whenever you want more!" You just make sure that your most replaceable valuables are also the most accessible should someone decide to burgle your home. These guys aren't trying to make a living, they're usually not even thinking clearly. They just want enough to get them to their next high, and will take it from the handiest location when the urge gets unbearable.

A trap will just make them angry. Poison may make someone come back for revenge. Marked cash as the "gift" -- that's an excellent idea; especially as most of these kinds of thing are by someone you know. For an added bonus, use UV fluorescent ink, and have a UV light somewhere in the house -- you can get readable prints, plus you might catch your friend's friend "green handed".

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47024517)

Oftentimes, these guys pose as security system installers (or sometimes ARE contract installers), or something similar, to get a view inside the houses.

When security system installers come door to door at my house, I talk up a storm about our "homebrew" security system. The multiple fallback wireless communication lines. (Cell, Neighbors WiFi, wired, even amateur radio.) The video surveillance, with local and remote (cloud) storage. Along with how we can remotely disable egress to delay thieves until the police arrive. That and the fact that our house is loaded down with kids toys and other non-monetizable junk... Oh, and how I work from home and there's someone here 24x7x365.

They can't wait to leave our house.

re: understanding the thief (2)

King_TJ (85913) | about 4 months ago | (#47020457)

I, too, spend years living in a pretty rough neighborhood. (Two houses down from me, someone ran an old Chevy through the middle of a guy's living room on purpose, because he wasn't happy with the drugs they sold him. A few houses down the street, the other direction, I heard a single gunshot -- and found out the next day the guy had an argument with his wife and decided to make sure he had the last word, using his shotgun.)

In 6 years there, though? I never had anyone break in once. (Some teenagers did steal my lawnmower that was sitting on the back porch, but I heard later that was going on all over town as a group of kids figured out they could make some quick money reselling the engines to repair shops.) I solved that by chaining up its replacement with a bike chain to the railing going up my back porch steps.

The whole time, I was known as the "computer guy" in the neighborhood and had expensive systems set up at home. So why wasn't I ever targeted?

I didn't waste time or money on an alarm system. (Heck, my next-door neighbor had ADT and he was still burglarized twice.) The biggest thing that helped in my case was making good friends with my neighbors on both sides of my place and letting them know if I was going to be gone for any length of time. Most burglaries really are "inside jobs", at least in the sense that the burglar knows something about the situation. If they get the idea that someone's usually home at your place, they'll choose a different target. (Most thieves aren't thrilled about the idea of having to commit armed robberies instead. They'd rather not up the ante quite that high.....) Additionally, if they get the idea your neighbors actually watch out for you -- they'll go elsewhere. Ideally, they want a place where they can park a vehicle and load it up with your stuff, and nobody will notice or care.

I agree that some cameras can't hurt though. If you're into computers anyway, surely you can rig up a few wi-fi webcams with night vision to watch over your vehicle in your driveway and so forth, and automate it so it only records when it sees motion. Cheap insurance. Probably also helps if you have a loud, barking dog -- but I didn't even do that.

Re:Don't. (2)

TheCarp (96830) | about 4 months ago | (#47021097)

So I think its long enough ago that I don't have to worry about telling the details of this story..... anyway, more than a decade has passed.... (am I getting old? Someone told me I am middle aged now....damnit). In any case, it illustrates your point:

So there was a point where I was making a lot less money at my day job, and tired of how much I was spending on pot. I was a drug dealer for about a month. It ended for entirely unrelated reasons to this story (no I didn't get arrested; I did have, lets say, some bad experiences with unscrupulous people).... but anyway in that time, the most expensive item in my apartment was a bit less than a pound of marijuana. It was in a brown paper bag, in the bottom of a dresser drawer. In my night stand, was my pipe and my "head stash", about 7 grams of pot.

So during that time, my apartment was robbed. They took 3 things, 1 of which I reported to the police. That is, they stole the laptop I was issued by my workplace. It was slightly broken (screen was fucked up) and ran linux, but was about 5 years before disk encryption became an option in the linux installs.... so they didn't get much there.

The other things they took.... my head stash and my pipe (first glass pipe I ever owned....assholes)! They never found the rest of the pound....which was all of 2 feet away (I had a very small bedroom at the time).

That said, they did put in some effort more than you would expect to get in....I think they saw the laptop through a window from the fire escape. They actually tried the door and failed to get in, took one of the wooden spokes from the banister, came around the other side of the house and up the fire escape....and used that to break the plexiglass window (actually the wood frame around it)....this was all on the third floor.

Re:Don't. (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 4 months ago | (#47022081)

Hmm.. What about $50 on the outside of the door? Do you think that would keep them from breaking the lock and rummaging around inside?

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47022871)

But when the thief comes back to the same place, he finds another set of $200. He gets his reward in this Pavlovian process.

Re:Don't. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019347)

Put up a beware of Doug sign and get a Glock window decal.

I doubt too many miscreants will be put off by a window decal advising them that you own a glockenspiel. Warning them about Doug, though, that should certainly put them off. You don't want to mess with Doug.

Re:Don't. (1)

plover (150551) | about 4 months ago | (#47019641)

I doubt too many miscreants will be put off by a window decal advising them that you own a glockenspiel.

Wait a minute, he may be on to something. Notice how "Gangsta Rap" is prevalent among thieves, but you've never heard of "Glockenspiel Rap". Perhaps it serves as a really effective deterrent.

Re:Don't. (1)

lagomorpha2 (1376475) | about 4 months ago | (#47019741)

I doubt too many miscreants will be put off by a window decal advising them that you own a glockenspiel.

Wait a minute, he may be on to something. Notice how "Gangsta Rap" is prevalent among thieves, but you've never heard of "Glockenspiel Rap". Perhaps it serves as a really effective deterrent.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_... [bbc.co.uk]

Actually classical music has been used as a repellent against young thugs with some success.

Re:Don't. (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 4 months ago | (#47020475)

Maybe that's why some parking garages around here always have classical music playing...

Re:Don't. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 4 months ago | (#47021371)

That's seriously why elevator music got its name. It was designed to do two things: play music in public (so it was Public Domain or low cost- classical or covers), and soothe those with claustrophobia. Really, soothing people that are afraid of elevators, but get in them anyway.

Re:Don't. (1)

lagomorpha2 (1376475) | about 4 months ago | (#47024703)

I imagine it also helped playing somewhat familiar tunes in what could be felt were unfamiliar places (for people who grew up in a world without elevators). You know, tunes that you know you've heard somewhere before but have to think a little bit about to recall where.

Re:Don't. (1)

thatnerdguy (551590) | about 4 months ago | (#47022529)

Strip mall across the street from my high school started doing this...I don't think it had too much effect though.

Re:Don't. (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 4 months ago | (#47019909)

I doubt too many miscreants will be put off by a window decal advising them that you own a glockenspiel.

Wait a minute, he may be on to something. Notice how "Gangsta Rap" is prevalent among thieves, but you've never heard of "Glockenspiel Rap". Perhaps it serves as a really effective deterrent.

Instead of a standard alarm, just play elevator music really loud whenever someone comes in. Glock solos are a bonus.

Re:Don't. (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 4 months ago | (#47020027)

Pretty much any German music will do the job, Polka, Techno, Glockenspiel Rap...all effective 'person with a sense of hearing' deterrents.

Re:Don't. (1)

nevermore94 (789194) | about 4 months ago | (#47020277)

Hmm, Du Hast blasting from my stereo activated by a motion sensor might just do the trick, or give me a heart attack some night.

Re:Don't. (1)

lagomorpha2 (1376475) | about 4 months ago | (#47021017)

Pretty much any German music will do the job, Polka, Techno, Glockenspiel Rap...all effective 'person with a sense of hearing' deterrents.

Except for repelling Germans obviously but then Germans aren't really a demographic known for committing burglaries.

Re:Don't. (1)

gaudior (113467) | about 4 months ago | (#47050465)

Pretty much any German music will do the job, Polka, Techno, Glockenspiel Rap...all effective 'person with a sense of hearing' deterrents.

Except for repelling Germans obviously but then Germans aren't really a demographic known for committing burglaries.

Burglaries, no? Invasions, on the other hand....

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47027519)

What about Polish Reggae?

Re:Don't. (1)

war4peace (1628283) | about 4 months ago | (#47019385)

Yeah, we all know Doug is not to be messed with. Especially if he doesn't shower.

Re:Don't. (2)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 4 months ago | (#47019425)

he can also turn into quail man and really make things awful for evildoers

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47020103)

I thought about giving you a mod, but I just can't do it for a Quail Man reference.

Re:Don't. (-1, Flamebait)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about 4 months ago | (#47019475)

No way do you want a Glock decal in your window. Thieves love finding guns in homes or under car seats. Guns registered to an address or an individual and Harley Davidson motorcycle registrations increase your chances of a burglary or robbery. And the law itself causes a lot of crime. The law takes all the fun out of things. No longer can one hide a bear trap under a window sill. And even if you enjoy the heck out of gunning down an intruder it is vital that you act all hang dogged and make it clear that you just hated emptying your gun into an intruder. Look at the nonsense applied to George Zimmerman. there we had a man who was attacked and had an attacker trying to bash his head apart on the concrete and people still got upset that he shot the trash that was attacking him. Go figure.

Re:Don't. (1)

Shakrai (717556) | about 4 months ago | (#47019705)

And even if you enjoy the heck out of gunning down an intruder

If you enjoy gunning someone down there's something seriously wrong with you. Talk to someone who has ended a human life. It's not a pretty thing to have to live with.

Re:Don't. (1)

dargaud (518470) | about 4 months ago | (#47020467)

I'm as anti-gun as the next guy, but I'm sure there's quite a few people I'd enjoy shooting down. You just need to be picky.

Re:Don't. (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 4 months ago | (#47020995)

I'm as anti-gun as the next guy, but I'm sure there's quite a few people I'd enjoy shooting down. You just need to be picky.

Aim to maim!

Re:Don't. (1)

rthille (8526) | about 4 months ago | (#47023653)

No, aim to kill. You don't want to leave the criminal as a witness.

Re:Don't. (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 4 months ago | (#47027591)

No, aim to kill. You don't want to leave the criminal as a witness.

Who said we'd only enjoy shooting at criminals???

Re:Don't. (1)

Fjandr (66656) | about 4 months ago | (#47019737)

People in my city are so sick of property crime that the guy most recently charged with manslaughter for killing a thief was exonerated. He shot the guy in the head as the thief drove off with his vehicle. It was a pretty damn good shot, too. One round through the back window, at night.

Whether his story is true or not really is irrelevant, which was that the guy turned to look back and appeared to be aiming a weapon at him. If the excuse is good enough for the cops, it's good enough for anyone else.

Re:Don't. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 4 months ago | (#47021495)

In Texas, it's legal to shoot a fleeing thief in the back, so long as you don't know the thief (if you know the thief, then you could go after him legally and non-fatally).

Re:Don't. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 4 months ago | (#47021461)

Look at the nonsense applied to George Zimmerman. there we had a man who was attacked and had an attacker trying to bash his head apart on the concrete and people still got upset that he shot the trash that was attacking him.

He's a man who claimed to be lost one block from home on a route he's taken hundreds of times, and grabbed his gun to pursue a "dangerous" person down a dead end alley as a habit, and had no intent to use it. Even if I believed his story 100%. As he told it, it contradicted common sense and reasonableness enough that I'd have convicted him. THat, and as he was on the ground, being beat senseless with the gashes to his head, he stated that Martin went for the gun first, but he was faster than the taller, stronger guy above him with no wounds who grabbed for it first, and got a clean shot off while pinned to the ground.

More plausible, he went hunting Nigger, and banged his own head on the ground after the execution of Martin. The forensics doesn't support a shot at the distance Zimmerman asserts. There was no Martin blood on Zimmerman, despite Zimmerman being under Martin as Martin bled out.

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019535)

Depending on where you live the Glock window decal may make you more of a target. It's gernerally not a good idea to advertise publicly that you have firearms (even if you don't).

Re:Don't. (1)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 4 months ago | (#47019559)

>If someone comes for your electronics specifically, it's an inside job. You can avoid that by screening your friends better.

His friends, or the hookers he's having over. As mythosaz points out, these things are almost always inside-jobs. When a friend who lived in a dodgy neighborhood was robbed, the first thing the cop asked was "have you had any broads over." Now I don't condone calling women "broads," but this tells us what the police are seeing.

Screening your associates, and having insurance to cover any potential loss is the solution to this situation. Applying technological solutions to a non-technical problem is a common mistake geeks make, the same as a man with a hammer seeing all problems as nails.

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019631)

Don't call bitches, broads, they hate that.

Re:Don't. (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 4 months ago | (#47019947)

Don't call bitches, broads, they hate that.

Having a lack of an opposable thumb, bitches wouldn't be able to answer the phone; that probably accounts for the hate.

But I don't think you can limit that advice to broads -- this applies to everyone.

Re:Don't. (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 4 months ago | (#47019771)

The Glock window decal may not mean much... it just means the burglar will shoot first, or escalate things to an armed home invasion. Dogs, on the other hand can be a good deterrent... even a 10 pound wiener dog can bark enough that it might get attention, provided the dog isn't the type that yaps at everything that moves.

My primary concern with my home security is the meth-head, smash/grab type of thief. To protect against that, I encrypt all hard disks and backup media, as well as have some offsite storage (also encrypted). That way, when something does get stolen, it is "just" a theft of hardware, and I don't have to worry about the data being used for blackmail or extortion. I can get a police report, hand it to my insurance company for the claim, and go on.

What I might end up doing is building a NAS for backups that is located "off the beaten path", such as in the attic, or somewhere that isn't obvious. It can be found by a determined party because it would either have an Ethernet jack or a Wi-Fi presence, but a smash and grab intruder wouldn't think it is there, much less hunt for it, especially after they get an armload of equipment.

Re:Don't. (1)

mrzaph0d (25646) | about 4 months ago | (#47020039)

we..er..a friend of mine has a smaller dog who rolls over to get his belly rubbed for anyone. but if the front door is closed and he hears something outside, he goes nuts barking. he also barks at the wind blowing, his shadow, and when we open the door and wake him from his nap. and the A/C unit coming on. and when i move too suddenly when he's asleep on my lap.

Re:Don't. (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about 4 months ago | (#47048805)

when he's asleep on my lap.

I think you mean on a friend's lap.

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47021247)

What do you use to encrypt all hard disks and backup media? And is it convenient? It seems most encryption methods cause problems with backups, etc. Everytime the pc is powered on the password or keyfile needs to be entered.

Re:Don't. (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 4 months ago | (#47021377)

All it takes is entering the password once on boot, and that's it.

A good platform independent way is TrueCrypt. BitLocker is decent as well, and you can put your backups on BitLocker protected media, and if restoring from wbadmin, you can unlock the protected media before restoring, so nothing is stored on any media in plain text.

For Linux, TrueCrypt also works, LUKS is also good.

Macs have a good choice as well. FileVault 2 will ask you for your user password on bootup, and can be used to protect Time Machine backups.

All the above can work with disk images as well (BitLocker would require creating a .vhd or .vhdx file), which can be stashed on a cloud provider's drive to allow for secure file storage, but encrypted. Apple's solution is the best in this case, due to storing data in 8MB "bands" as opposed to one large contiguous file.

Re:Don't. (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#47019803)

Place a camera in plain view and out of reach. Put up a beware of Doug sign and get a Glock window decal.

Better yet, get a real dog and Glock instead. If someone ever breaks in, I guarantee they'll be a lot more effective than any sign.

Re:Don't. (5, Informative)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 4 months ago | (#47019857)

Thieves look for targets of opportunity. Make your home less friendly. Place a camera in plain view and out of reach.

Here are a few more tips:
Keep in mind the 4 D's: Deter, Defend, Delay, Deceive

* Install motion sensor lights on the front and back of your house.

* Install a fake camera. For deterrent value, a fake camera will work as well as a real camera, but will cost far less. It should have a bright blinking LED to make it more noticible. You can buy realistic decoy cameras for less than $10 on Amazon.

* If you install a real camera, make sure it is good enough to actually identify the perp. Otherwise, what's the point? Install several fake decoy cameras as well. If the perp is trying to avoid the fakes, he is more likely to be seen by the real camera.

* Put a "Beware of Dog", "Vicious Dog" or "Dog on Premises" sign on the gate to your back yard, whether you actually have a dog or not.

* Put up a security alarm yard sign and window stickers, even if you don't have an alarm system. Yard signs and stickers are available on Amazon, eBay, etc.

* Get some old, well worn work boots, size 14 or larger. Leave one pair on your front porch, and another by your back door.

* When you leave home, leave a radio playing on a talk station. Set the volume so it is slightly audible from outside your home.

* Set up timers to turn lights on and off when you are not home.

* Using an alarm company is a waste of money in my experience (most police depts will not respond to their calls), but you can install your own sensors and alarm.

* If you have an alarm that frequently goes off accidently, get it fixed. Otherwise your neighbors will ignore it.

* Valuables should not be visible from any door or window.

* Put wood dows or PVC pipe in the slide track of each window and sliding door. These should fit snuggly, so they are not easy to dislodge by someone reaching through the broken window. Make sure everyone in your home knows how to remove the stop in case of a fire.

* When not home, lock internal doors. This will prevent an intruder from moving quickly around your home.

* Leave out some decoy valuables, such as an old laptop with no HDD, or some fake jewelry. Decoy valuables should be left in a conspicuous place, but not visible from outside.

* Frost or laminate your garage windows, so a perp cannot see if your car is gone.

* If you have a safe, bolt it to the floor with a bolt that is only accessible from inside the safe. Cut the bottom out of a cardboard box and put it over the safe to hide it.

* If you have a an usused safe or lockbox, fill it with bricks, lock it, and put it in a conspicuous location.

* If you have a second story, don't store a ladder in your yard or shed.

* Trim any trees that can be climbed to reach a second story window, or make sure those windows are secure.

* Use plants with thorns, such as roses, in front of your windows. Keep them trimmed below the window sill, so neighbors can see anyone breaking in.

* Go through your wallet and purse. Do you really need to carry more than one credit card? Write down the account number and phone number for each card, so that you can cancel them quickly if they are stolen.

* Make your possessions easy to identify. Paint the handles of your tools bright orange or lime green. Laser etch a custom design on the back of your phone or laptop.

* Take photos of your valuable possessions, and recored any serial numbers.

* Scan any important documents, and save the images off site.

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47020553)

I have read this post on similar "Ask Slashdot" pieces before, and I do find the advice highly thought provoking, in a good way. The only problem when I read it is that I start to wonder if it is too much work, and if adhering to principles in such an elaborate way is too far into paranoia-land. I am not sure that it is, it is just what I start to think about.

In any case, it is good advice for those who are on the lookout for more preemptive actions to take.

Re:Don't. (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 4 months ago | (#47020565)

I have never seen a real camera with anything close to a blinking LED. Those just scream "Fake!". I doubt anybody is stupid enough to fall for that kind of crap, especially since they can just browse Amazon to check for popular fake cameras and learn what fake ones look like.

Re:Don't. (2)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about 4 months ago | (#47020855)

I have a couple of fake cameras, interspersed with real ones. Except for the blinken light, the housing is indistinguishable from the 4 real ones, until you get real close. And turning off that light merely involves taking out the battery.

Re:Don't. (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 4 months ago | (#47021537)

I wonder what kind of genius thought the stupid lights were a good idea...

Re:Don't. (2)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 4 months ago | (#47021027)

I have never seen a real camera with anything close to a blinking LED. Those just scream "Fake!". I doubt anybody is stupid enough to fall for that kind of crap, especially since they can just browse Amazon to check for popular fake cameras and learn what fake ones look like.

A blinking LED is actually a good idea. People look to see what's blinking, which means that you can get a full-on shot of their face. But I haven't seen one either.

The police DO answer my alarm company promptly. Making bail on the cat is a bitch, too! And they'll fine you if it happens too often.

Re:Don't. (1)

KozmoStevnNaut (630146) | about 4 months ago | (#47037275)

At the Edinburgh airport, I noticed the security cameras had a spinning ring of white LEDs around the lens. It was basically impossible not to look directly at them.

Re:Don't. (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 4 months ago | (#47037553)

At the Edinburgh airport, I noticed the security cameras had a spinning ring of white LEDs around the lens. It was basically impossible not to look directly at them.

Spinning white lights? After the distillery tour?

Re:Don't. (1)

KozmoStevnNaut (630146) | about 4 months ago | (#47065137)

Both before and after, but they must have installed at least twice as many when I got back from the tour.

Re:Don't. (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 4 months ago | (#47021915)

I doubt anybody is stupid enough to fall for that kind of crap

I think you are overestimating the intelligence of the average burglar. Besides, even if the burglar is 90% sure it is fake, there is still that 10% of doubt that makes him keep going another 20 meters to the next house.

Maybe I should take the batteries out of my fake cameras, and insert a blinking LED into the real one.

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47020571)

* Use plants with thorns, such as roses, in front of your windows.

This is also great for collecting DNA evidence in case someone does attempt to break in.

Re:Don't. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 4 months ago | (#47021567)

Where do you live where the police would pull DNA for a robbery? I gave the police the stolen moblile phone number that the burglar was still using, and they still couldn't find him.

Just get a dog (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 4 months ago | (#47021407)

Or just get an actual dog. Preferably two. Best damn burglar deterrent in the known universe and they'll make their presence known very quickly. All this high tech finagling has nothing on man's best friend. /thread

Re:Just get a dog (1)

AMDinator (996330) | about 4 months ago | (#47021619)

Assuming you're not deathly allergic, as some are.

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47021923)

Better yet, get a dog. The best thing you can do to defend against burglary according to a relative in the insurance industry.

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47024939)

"* If you have an alarm that frequently goes off accidently, get it fixed. Otherwise your neighbors will ignore it."

Theres a car on my street with a very sensitive car alarm. I'd be willing to pay somebody up to $200 to steal the damn thing & take it to a chop shop.

nail stuff down (1)

Barbarian (9467) | about 4 months ago | (#47025255)

You know how they sometimes say burglars took everything that wasn't nailed down? Well, nail stuff down. Make it harder for the thief. For example, use laptop security cables on computers and monitors. Most TVs can be mounted to their stand for child safety ( anti-tip), so screw them to the stand. Got a pricey DSLR? Keep it out of sight, maybe put it in a locked drawer. But don't only lock one drawer...

There are devices like make soup cans you hide jewelry in.. Don't use them. Every thief knows you don't keep your soup on the bedroom.

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47020017)

Place all your valuable items inside cardboard boxes labeled "Donate to thrift store".

Re:Don't. (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 4 months ago | (#47020349)

Put up a beware of Doug sign

+1 I have one of those. That Doug is a mean motherfucker. No one messes with my shit. End of ask /.

Re:Don't. (1)

HideyoshiJP (1392619) | about 4 months ago | (#47020353)

Very much this. Backup the important things. Beyond that, get it covered under renters/homeowners insurance.

Re:Don't. (1)

PPH (736903) | about 4 months ago | (#47020501)

beware of Doug sign

This. Your doge will thank you.

Much safe.

Very alarm.

Wow.

U R good human, Doug.

Plz no Glock sign. Burglars attract.

Re:Don't. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 4 months ago | (#47020577)

Yeah, don't.

This.

OP is fighting the law of diminishing returns. If he can't get family members to remember to turn on the alarm, he can do these things which might actually help:

(1) Better doors with good locks. If you got it at Home Depot and paid less than $100, it probably isn't "good".

(2) Bars on the windows. Note that in some places those are illegal for a residence unless you provide some kind of emergency escape other than windows.

(3) A homeowner's insurance policy with theft protection at full replacement value. Then back that up by supplying them with a comprehensive home inventory list, including pictures.

Re:Don't. (1)

Golddess (1361003) | about 4 months ago | (#47020603)

Put up a beware of Doug sign

The only thing that sign will do is make burglars nostalgic for The Far Side.

Re:Don't. (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 4 months ago | (#47020839)

Put up a beware of Doug sign and get a Glock window decal.

I was going to suggest a sign that said, "Beware of Rabid Dog with AIDS". But if Doug has a Glock it's probably more humane.

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47020895)

If someone comes for your electronics specifically, it's an inside job. You can avoid that by screening your friends better.

A metal door mat connected to a pressure-sensitive plate connected to 240 VAC feeding to the metal door handle should be sufficient deterrent.

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47023129)

As anyone can see here: https://www.youtube.com/user/SpeedingCheetah9000/videos "It Takes A Thief" series, their is all kind of situations where the thief can enter with, or without you there... with or without an alarm system... dogs? In 100% of the cases was no problem, no matter how big or how small they where (sometimes they even take the dogs with them)... weapons? They like them, and take them!

Most times they will enter by the window or door (almost 100% of the time!)... they can also enter by the wall and the roof... but was not common by any means.

So... buy your self a good security door (one that is certified) with one or two security locks (also certified for high security)... both certified by independent organization (all makers say their product is so good not even them can bypass it... guess what, thief's can every single day of the week).

Use double windows that can offer protection against smash and weapons. For those that can't buy new security windows for all the house... a second option is security laminates films to apply to the windows. Ace (usace.com) offers this kind of products.

Whenever you can, try to put two high security door and windows between outside and inside... with alarm and cctv working... thief's will start feeling the pressure since they didn't get in by the second door/ window and they have been already detected. Sometime this solution is better than security bars.

Alarm system, only useful if properly installed, with no blind spots... and the main brain of the system is well protected. Should be always enable whether is some one in house or not. Thief's also use gas to put people inside home sleeping... guess what... the alarm isn't affected by gas (can even give a special alarm if the gas is detected!.. in special models).

Unless you have dogs specially trained for protection purposes, they will not be useful most of the times... even if you know thief's are coming!

Cameras... well, they are good to detect people... and sometimes may be used to intimidate the thief's by saying that they have been spotted and police/ security guards are on their way (since you will be describing them... guy with the blue t-shirt and crowbar... they will be pretty sure they are being seen live)... only if you are seeing the cameras (or a security company for example)... otherwise is just to see how they did it/ what they carry, and reinforce the security in those weak spot's.

For those that only talk about insurance... well, how much is the value of your life and the ones you really love and care about? Good and ultra secure doors and windows (security bars on windows, when people cannot keep them self from opening them all the time). Good alarm, for when you are out, but specially for when you are in! Security cameras all around home to see what's happening outside (and maybe inside... if you live alone this may feel comfortable... but if you live with others, privacy may be an issue). Secure room may also be a good investment if you have the money for that. Security fog with strobes, may also be a nice add on to the security alarm (it does cost electricity money, since they usually need to be turn on all the time).

For those more wealthy... a few (armed, when possible) security guards with security dogs, well paid/ feed/ trained may be much more efficient in real protection... all the smash and grab thief' should never be seen... the professional may also be avoid entirely if the proper measures are in place... and depend on the circumstances.

Remember, in some places/ occasions YOU may be the target, not your stuff. So don't just think on your stuff... most of the times it can be changed by something similar or another different thing... you can't replaced your self if you are shot death (trough you can change to other person if is the other who is killed).

Re:Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47028139)

Place a camera in plain view and out of reach. Put up a beware of Doug sign and get a Glock window decal.

Does he really need the decal? I am sure Doug can do the job!

If I tell you you can defeat my defenses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019217)

Security through obscurity - I'll never tell

Why is theft a problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019247)

I thought with the 3D printing revolution we are in the post-scarcity cloud model? Just download and print!

Unless all the wildly overenthusiastic hype on Slashdot was just ... not true?

Re:Why is theft a problem? (2)

plover (150551) | about 4 months ago | (#47019647)

They stole his printer!

Sniff, sniff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019253)

the cost of some of them does make my eyes water

I hear you buddy. I'm still grieving over the cost of my last motherboard. Woe is me...

Don't do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019259)

We're not talking about irreplaceable items: just ensure your data is safe and get a good insurance.

Simple solution (3, Informative)

beaviz (314065) | about 4 months ago | (#47019261)

Backup your data. Everything else can easily be bought for the price of a few years security.

Re:Simple solution (3, Informative)

plover (150551) | about 4 months ago | (#47019435)

This.

Instead of an alarm, use an insurance policy to protect the gear. It's cheaper, and most policies are tied to the monetary value of your stuff when you bought it. But we all know tech stuff devalues over time, and much quicker than most items. So if you have a loss, your insured and replaced items are more valuable than the originals.

Where you might be more interested in security hardware is if your gear is often in a more public place: library, dorm room, etc. But you said "house".

Instead of physical protection, consider electronic detection. Install phone-home heartbeat software on your kit, so that if a thief takes it, it will reach back to your house periodically to check in. You can have APIs like GROWL alert your iPhone if a device fails its heartbeat. (Assuming you can put up with hundreds of false alerts.)

Or you can simply relax. If you can afford $50,000 worth of gear, you can probably afford to replace $50,000 worth of gear.

Re:Simple solution (1)

Fwipp (1473271) | about 4 months ago | (#47019685)

Seriously. Stop worrying about "what if somebody takes my stuff."

Re:Simple solution (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 4 months ago | (#47021053)

Seriously. Stop worrying about "what if somebody takes my stuff."

It's true. If my gear was cleaned out, I could start over again, pay less and have more up-to-date equipment.

Electronics. Where it's obsolete before you open it.

Re:Simple solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47020035)

We had a break in about a year ago and home owner's insurance took care of everything that was stolen, including $3,000 worth of camera equipment. We may have really made out because the replacements were the newest models of everything so we got an upgrade.

What I knew was that we had coverage for replacement value. Apparently you can buy home owner's insurance without replacement value coverage and in our case we might have recovered 10% of the cost of replacement on many items. So check your insurance coverage and get that option. Not sure the difference in cost but I don't think it's much. However, nothing can insure against lost data so back up off site.

Re:Simple solution (1)

gspear (1166721) | about 4 months ago | (#47021055)

What my insurance company does is to send a check for the depreciated value of the stolen items. I would then have up to a year to buy replacements. After showing proof, the insurance company would then send me another check to cover the difference. Makes sense if I choose not to replace any stolen items.

over thinking it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019269)

sounds like most of it is computer equipment, so maybe going lowtech and using some kensington locks on them? seems like a simple alternative to trying to turn your home into the data room from Mission: Impossible

Re:over thinking it (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 4 months ago | (#47019301)

Though that does give me some ideas. What about installing a bunch of bright red lasers all over your house. They don't have to do anything, probably scare the thief away just with their presence.

Re:over thinking it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019513)

sharks with red laser beams!

Re:over thinking it (1)

plover (150551) | about 4 months ago | (#47021613)

You had me at "sharks".

Re:over thinking it (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 4 months ago | (#47020247)

You could add a few things to this, like a microwave emitter in the area where your stuff is, that's tied to a motion sensor and can be enabled/disabled by bluetooth proximity -- so it's off when your phone is around, but on otherwhise when it detects motion.

The thing won't be enough to seriously harm anyone, but the closer you get to your stuff, the more metal objects will spark and skin will get hot and itchy. Should be enough of a subconscious warning to keep people away.

Between the lasers and the microwaves, I think most would-be thieves would stay away -- unless they were someone you knew and stole your phone first, of course.

Re:over thinking it (1)

plover (150551) | about 4 months ago | (#47021623)

He's trying to protect "electronics". Y'know, those things that are destroyed by induced high voltage electric sparks?

Unless he wants to protect them by rendering them inert, and thus valueless to the thief, this probably isn't the best solution.

Re:over thinking it (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 4 months ago | (#47030023)

Open-air microwave emissions aren't going to do much to electronics, or all your electronics would already be fried. Only mild induction, and not of his electronics, as the emitters would be pointing out, not in.

Of course, if they DID move any of his electronics, they might go on the fritz due to mild induction. But that would likely cause power failure due to a short, and if most electronics are unplugged, there would be no short. It might be a problem if you brought your phone within bluetooth range to disable it and the microwave frequency messed with the bluetooth frequency though -- that's a point.h

But then again, the entire idea was tongue in cheek in the first place :)

Re:over thinking it (1)

plover (150551) | about 4 months ago | (#47021601)

You can get a movie-prop style scanning laser here: http://www.homesecuritystore.c... [homesecuritystore.com]

It looks like something they would have to defeat in a heist movie. Of course it doesn't actually do anything other than wave red lights around like an autistic kid at a rave, but your average burglar won't know that.

Off site backups + Home Owners Insurance (4, Insightful)

JD-1027 (726234) | about 4 months ago | (#47019287)

1) Very consistent off site backups for data
2) Full inventory of items you own
3) If theft occurs, use home owners insurance to get your money back. You'll probably end up with a free hardware upgrade in the process.

What is better?
a) 100% chance of giving up your time and money now securing your items.
vs.
b) (very low)% chance of having to give up time if a theft does occur

The cost of securing your items may balance out any deductibles you have to pay to have home owners insurance cover the lost items.

Re:Off site backups + Home Owners Insurance (1)

swillden (191260) | about 4 months ago | (#47019459)

Exactly what I came here to say. Insurance is usually the best defense against unlikely monetary losses. Lost data often cannot be replaced, so you need offsite backups to ensure your data won't be lost of destroyed.

As a bonus, this plan not only addresses theft but also vandalism, fire and any other sort of damage covered by your insurance policy.

Re:Off site backups + Home Owners Insurance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019589)

While there is a cost-benefit and risk analysis that could be done here, assuming the extra measures are within tolerance, I would still prefer to have them. So many people like to fall back on insurance and product warranties. They are good things to have (again, depending on the cost and risk), that's for sure, but I don't want to have to use them. Even if it is covered and you can deal with any deductible and you are made "whole," you still have the not so minor inconvenience of going through the process of gettings things straightened out which is bad enough even without the loss of peace of mind. I would feel better knowing I kept someone out because sometimes burglary turns into a violent thing and I don't want my family subjected to that.

Re:Off site backups + Home Owners Insurance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019643)

Yep, lock the thread. Everyone else will just be kiddies fantasizing about some Rube Goldberg contraptions.

Re:Off site backups + Home Owners Insurance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47020065)

This plus cameras that stream to an off-site on motion detection so you can nail the bastards.

Re:Off site backups + Home Owners Insurance (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 4 months ago | (#47020111)

The only thing insurance does on time and completely is collect premiums.

Never make a small insurance claim, they will just take it back x2 (or more) in higher premiums. Insurance is for losses you can't afford, when you are willing to change insurance companies afterward (or they will just take the money back) and you have the time to fight the bastards over the amounts.

Re:Off site backups + Home Owners Insurance (1)

ssam (2723487) | about 4 months ago | (#47023861)

There are lots of reasons that the insurance company may decide not to pay out. You might be better just putting into a savings account each month.

Dog (1)

ClayDowling (629804) | about 4 months ago | (#47019295)

A dog would be a fine choice. Not only will the dog provide companionship, but assuming you acquire a canine of some size, most burglars will try to find other places to rob. Any of the bulldog breeds are generally friendly and sociable dogs, and intimidate the heck out of would be intruders. As a bonus, there are lots in the shelters and they can often be adopted at a discount. Just know that this alarm system requires a significant amount of daily maintenance: you have to play with your dog if you want a good dog.

Emu (4, Funny)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 4 months ago | (#47019419)

Not too sure about this. I do not know the statistics, but all competent thieves know how to handle dogs, even packs of big dogs are no trouble for the determined thief. Sometimes in fact is is better to go with the tiny loud ones.

But I hear people really interested in protecting their shit are getting Emus, Emus are very territorial, and no one comes prepared to fight off a hyper aggressive 200 pound turkey (which can outrun them 3 times over). They also survive very well after getting shot, apparently, for some reason.

Re:Emu (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 4 months ago | (#47019619)

But I hear people really interested in protecting their shit are getting Emus, Emus are very territorial, and no one comes prepared to fight off a hyper aggressive 200 pound turkey (which can outrun them 3 times over). They also survive very well after getting shot, apparently, for some reason.

That sounds fine for the back yard, but I'm not sure about having (basically) a small Velociraptor running around *inside* the house...especially, if you're doing any coding [xkcd.com] .

Re:Emu (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 4 months ago | (#47019675)

Competent thieves know how to handle dogs. They move along to then next cat person's house and give the dogs a wide berth.

Statistically, dogs do more to reduce your chances of being burglarized then electronic alarms.

Re:Emu (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#47019847)

Statistically, dogs do more to reduce your chances of being burglarized then electronic alarms.

Anecdotally verified by a conversation I had with an insurance adjuster, who told me my large breed dog was the "Best security system money can buy!"

Re:Emu (1)

gspear (1166721) | about 4 months ago | (#47021133)

Yeah, a policeman told me the same thing after I had a break-in: "Get a dog."

Re:Emu (1)

lagomorpha2 (1376475) | about 4 months ago | (#47021083)

http://forcetoknow.com/wp-cont... [forcetoknow.com]

Boston Dynamics makes a Big Dog that might be useful at repelling intruders.

Re:Emu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019723)

I suggest taking it up a notch and getting a cassowary [youtube.com] .

Re:Emu (1)

lagomorpha2 (1376475) | about 4 months ago | (#47019791)

They also survive very well after getting shot, apparently, for some reason.

If they're anything like Turkeys it's because their central nervous system is roughly the size of a quarter so it's difficult to hit anything vital.

Re:Emu (1)

smugfunt (8972) | about 4 months ago | (#47020403)

[emus] also survive very well after getting shot, apparently, for some reason.

I suspect they are somewhat less resistant to machetes, which is what most miscreants around here will be carrying.

Re:Emu (1)

Gramie2 (411713) | about 4 months ago | (#47022535)

I remember going to a dairy farm in South Africa (about 25 years ago) that used ostriches to guard the dairy cattle. An ostrich can disembowel you with a single kick, and they are mean.

Re:Emu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47024489)

Got robbed twice with a large breed dog (golden retriever) at home. She just licked the robbers faces.

True story though: Years ago, when I was just a kid, back when computers were the size of rooms, my Dad bought a house. The folks who built it, and who used to live there, moved down the road. Maybe 1000 feet away or so. They had a pet goose. That goose didn't understand the move, so it kept wandering "home".

So we arrive, with the movers, and the goose is there. Movers get off the truck. Goose spreads her wings and charges. Movers freak out and get back on the truck. Rinse. Lather. Repeat. Over and over again until someone came to get the goose. Funniest thing you ever saw!

And, least you think those movers were cowards, you should try getting "goosed" (bit) on the nuts. Once. Just once.

Re: Emu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47026701)

And have big, sharp, pointy beaks! (Cue Monty Python bit.)

surprised this wasn't posted earlier. (1)

swschrad (312009) | about 4 months ago | (#47019899)

big ass noisy dog does wonders.

Re:Dog (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47023795)

Greyhounds. I've provided a home for an ex-racer for about 2 years now, and once they've learned about houses (whether trained by others or you), they're bloody amazing pets. A ten minute walk every day, the rest of the time spent sleeping or looking for time with you, and that's about it. My one has one hell of a big dog bark, and the only time he showed any aggression toward me was because he thought I'd stolen his food - he snapped at me so fast that by the time I realised he'd moved, his head was back on his cushion having realised I wasn't taking it.

When Fifth Edition's time on this planet is up, and I hope that day is many years away, I'll be providing a home for another greyhound.

DIY? (1)

vinn (4370) | about 4 months ago | (#47019303)

What about some kind of DIY thing? Get a Raspberry Pi, use the GPIO pins to run some wires from the cases of each device (something thing like telco cross-connect), drive it and if the circuit breaks then send out an email or something. Bonus points for integrating a camera and snapping photos at the same time the wires break. Similarly, if the device is an always on kind of thing, just use some kind of network monitoring.

Re:DIY? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019549)

No, much too simple..

Set up webcams all around the house, each tied to a raspberry pi, with wired interconnects (bad guys might have jammers), and battery backups. Run all the images to a central image processing facility where you do image recognition and recognize the pieces of equipment, and calculate their exact position by comparing among multiple views. Develop an algorithm that looks for "theft" type movement of the device (as opposed to dog pulling it off the shelf or earthquakes), and when that algorithm detects a potential theft, you retrieve the previous history of images from within your abode and apply another feature extraction algorithm to find all the people, do facial and/or gait recognition against a database to identify the perpetrator. Since you already have a complete RF monitoring system set up (I assume), you can go and figure out what the cellphone number of the perp is by looking at the IMEI in the messages it sends and cross referencing it. Then, you can send the police the GPS coordinates of the perp's cellphone.

There *Is* a fair amount of computation required here, so some sort of UPS operated beowulf cluster will probably be required to do the image processing (or you could purchase cloud services).

All of the software needed is available as open source, although it is likely you'll have to do a bit of configuration (not all of it is for the same distros.. you might need to run a bunch of VMs, or fix the build files appropriately), and there's probably some minor bugs in the software you'll need to fix (curse those grad students who do 95% of the work, get their thesis approved, and then abandon their software, leaving the 5% which is inevitably the part you need to have working). You might need to write some glue scripts and some simple bash, perl, awk, and sed scripts. But hey, if you were some lame script kiddy or wanted a turnkey solution, you'd be looking for a MS product, and we know better. You want to get down and dirty with the metal of the system.

Re:DIY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47025995)

OpenCV FTW! Using my Raspberry Pi for Machine Vision preprocessing & as an RTL-SDR server for my triple-7950 dogecoin-mining GNU-Radio machine.

My anti-theft Rube Goldberg machine looks like this:

I'm gonna hook the whole thing up to Facebook and Google's facial recognition databases and use an inkjet print head(open source arduino driver) to dye threads in a loom encoding the names of targets for assassination in morse code. Another Raspberry Pi is hooked up to a microscope camera which monitors the output of the "Loom of Fate" using canny edge detector and HSV thresholding. The second Raspberry Pi uses a USB to TTL adapter to maintain a closed loop with the Loom of Fate's main program(for error correction). Just for grins, the recognized morse code will drive a square wave powering an LED(for debugging) and a long antenna wire. For security, all transmissions will be encoded with symmetric key encryption(OTP).

A 3rd Raspberry Pi hooked up to an RTL-SDR dongle will decode the CW RF signal & then use piplcom to identify common aliases for the individual. From there, it's just a trivial problem of using a markov-chain based chatbot to write articles on domestic terrorism using viagra spam and posts from the venganza discussion forums as a seed with the known aliases listed as the author. The machine generated text will be submitted to Inspire Magazine via EFNet and the Tor network. Automatically generating fake "Publisher's Clearing House" spam will be sent to the target's home address using the USPS website in the hopes of harvesting a DNA sample(PCR machine culturing) from the stamp & fingerprints(Cyanoacrylate fume hood / pick & place machine) from the prize money form.

When the DOJ assassinates the target in accordance with the extrajudicial killing disposition matrix(using a botched DEA & BATFE joint-operation as cover), a craigslist ad is published requesting fans of the TV show "Person of Interest" contact the victim's bereaved family & ask "Do you like Mudkips?" & "Do you have Battletoads?". The coup de gras is accomplished when the DNA sample is used to moisten a new stamp, and the fingerprints are deposited in laser toner on a new envelope requesting admission to the University of Phoenix. Bonus points if the envelope has had cryptic references to zip codes, dates, and phone numbers to mosques randomly indented in the envelope using a pen with no ink.

Also: trigger words! "Suck it!"

Re:DIY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47020251)

Yeah, those thieves will be terrified when that email gets sent out...

It's a waste of time and money, spend the money on adequate insurance.

Re:DIY? - $15 (1)

rwa2 (4391) | about 4 months ago | (#47020409)

My setup:

"Gear Head" USB webcam $15 - $20, and includes LED lights to make sure people notice it.

"motion" for Linux
http://www.lavrsen.dk/foswiki/... [lavrsen.dk]

This grabs from a v4l device and does everything you'd need... periodic frame capture, capture when it detects motion past certain thresholds, swf video generation, upload to a remote server. Set it up to push your camera data to an AWS instance (you pay for data out, not data in), and it'll be there when you need it.

Protect your stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019315)

With a Smith & Wesson and a German dog.

Captcha: honest

Re:Protect your stuff (1)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 4 months ago | (#47019555)

Schnauzers are incredibly good guard (alarm) dogs. no one will be able to get within a 100 foot radius of your house without it barking furiously to notify you of your impending doom.

What good are alarms? (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 4 months ago | (#47019325)

A loud noise sounds! Your neighbours all ignore it - probably a false alarm - and the burgler goes about his business. Even if someone does call the police, plenty of time to grab the obvious valuables and load up his car to escape before the police could arrive. It can't hurt, but don't depend on it.

Some sort of camera system recording to a remote server (encrypted, of course) might help. It wouldn't deter any thieves, because they wouldn't know about it, but it would give you some tiny sliver of hope getting things back. Maybe you'll get lucky and the police will recognise someone with priors. Don't expect them to send out the forensics team and run prints against the database unless you are rich and/or famous, but it'd be better than nothing.

Also, offsite records of all serial numbers, and apply indelible security marks in visible places. Good for patrolling eBay to see if your stuff turns up, proving ownership and such. Plus you can report it to the manufacturers, who usually have a list of stolen serials - that way if the sucker who buys the stolen goods ever tries to get a warranty claim it'll be flagged.

Re:What good are alarms? (2)

benjfowler (239527) | about 4 months ago | (#47019465)

Set up a neighbourhood watch scheme, and have everyone buy webcams. But have the webcams pointing to somebody else's house. That way, a thief has to do much more work to get away without being caught on camera.

What good are alarms? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019543)

Kind of like dogs. Most bark and do little to protect your house. Large dogs have been proven to be easily bribed. The only thing a dog does is make it inconvenient for a burglar. That's exactly what an alarm does.

Re:What good are alarms? (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 4 months ago | (#47019693)

My dog might be easily bribed. But he won't stay bribed and eats fast.

The trick is to get a territorial breed.

Re:What good are alarms? (2)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 4 months ago | (#47019747)

The only thing a dog does is make it inconvenient for a burglar.

For the vast majority of buglers, that is enough. Unless they know you have an unusual amount of valuable property, anything that increases the risk above the mean is going to encourage them to move on to the next house.

Re:What good are alarms? (2)

rizole (666389) | about 4 months ago | (#47019823)

And precisely because that is enough, what you need is a motion sensor that sets off a recording of a dog. Job done for the majority of burglers.

who needs an alarm when you have a bugle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47022361)

I'm sure the vast majority of buglers will appreciate it if you too are a bugler..

Re:What good are alarms? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47023829)

Some burglars just steal directly from your wallet. Wives, girlfriends, kids... hell, even my boss is stealing from my wallet.

Re:What good are alarms? (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#47019891)

Large dogs have been proven to be easily bribed.

Thieves have been proven to prefer easier marks - most home invaders aren't going to risk getting mauled over a PS3 and/or whatever other small electronics they can get away with while that rottweiler scarfs down a steak, when the house next door, with no dogs, is a far easier target. The only way a burglar is going to bother with bribing a dog is if A) you have some seriously valuable stuff worth the risk, in which case the thief is probably someone you know, or B) they're fucking morons.

Re:What good are alarms? (1)

dargaud (518470) | about 4 months ago | (#47020663)

A loud noise sounds

This, if you have a very isolated house. A friend of mine set up an extremely loud battery powered horn, fixed to the ceiling, so hard to reach, in his mostly uninhabited country house. Several times he came back to find the main door fractured but nothing stolen inside. He said that the braying is so loud it makes you puke if you stay more than a few seconds inside the house. Can't use that method in an apt building though !

Backup the data, ignore the hardware (3, Informative)

gurps_npc (621217) | about 4 months ago | (#47019331)

Buy insurance for the cost of stuff and backup the data. Data can always be downloaded again Preferably from an off-site backup. Hardware can always be bought again.

But I guarantee you that any security system that actually prevents theft should cost you more money than reasonable insurance would cost. It should also cost more money than the thing you are protecting. You know those Storage Wars shows? When they find a safe, it it usually worth more than what is inside it.

If insurance costs more than the stuff is worth, than that means you live in a high crime area and should move someplace safer.

But in the USA or other stable country, under no circumstance should it ever be a cost effective to secure your home possessions. Insurance should always make more sense.

Re:Backup the data, ignore the hardware (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 4 months ago | (#47020007)

I do like using locks as a way to keep honest people honest. It isn't 100%, and a determined thief can still get the item in question, but it stops opportunists.

That way, if a thief does get past some basic security, then I have done my part legally, and can file a claim in good faith.

Insurance is a must, but it doesn't hurt having at least a little bit of security. One doesn't need to lock all their computers in metal cages, but a Kensington cable is a polite reminder to someone that the item in question doesn't belong to them.

Re:Backup the data, ignore the hardware (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | about 4 months ago | (#47020167)

That is what the lock on your home door is supposed to be. Anyone that enters illegally has already heard the message and ignored it.

Re:Backup the data, ignore the hardware (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 4 months ago | (#47020149)

LOL, you think insurance companies pay claims?

You'd be better off trusting the thieves.

Crapulence (4, Informative)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | about 4 months ago | (#47019343)

does not mean what you think it means. If you don't know what it means, don't use it.

Re:Crapulence (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 4 months ago | (#47019405)

Came here to post your comment. Thanks for saving me the time, although now I wasted it posting this comment. Easy come, easy go.

Re:Crapulence (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 4 months ago | (#47019539)

If you don't know what it means, don't use it.

Remember that old Barbara Stanwyck movie where she's a streetwise singer on the lam hiding out with a bunch of nerdy lexicographers who are just coincidentally trying to add modern slang to their encyclopedia?

I don't know why I just thought of that now. Oh well. Please carry on with the lesson.

Re:Crapulence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47021165)

> Remember that old Barbara Stanwyck movie where she's a streetwise singer on the lam hiding out with a
> bunch of nerdy lexicographers who are just coincidentally trying to add modern slang to their encyclopedia?

Ball of Fire
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0033373/

Re:Crapulence (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019585)

For all intensive purposes, crapulence is a mute point, and you should of known better than to wreck havoc on his choice of terms.

Re:Crapulence (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 4 months ago | (#47020101)

For all intensive purposes, crapulence is a mute point, and you should of known better than to wreck havoc on his choice of terms.

Your going to have, a tough road to tow. The kind of grammar scene on todays DVD's is enough to make you loose your cookies.

Re:Crapulence (1)

Dufflepod (3656815) | about 4 months ago | (#47024065)

Nevertheless- I am suitable chastened.

Re:Crapulence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019765)

Thank you.

Re:Crapulence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47020043)

does not mean what you think it means. If you don't know what it means, don't use it.

Yeah, unless getting burgled adds to your drunkenness it will have more of a craptacular effect on your life than a crapulent effect.

Re:Crapulence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47020699)

I'd drink myself sick too if all my sweet stuff was stolen.

Low Tech (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019357)

Adequate insurance and a mean looking dog....

Is it worth protecting? (3, Insightful)

guruevi (827432) | about 4 months ago | (#47019361)

First of all, you balk at the cost of some of these solutions - yes, they are expensive and yes, they'll be mostly for added assurance that IF someone breaks in and IF the alarm wasn't set and IF the thief is even interested in it and IF the thief then decides to take it (lot's of if's). If your setup is mobile (eg. you're a DJ or mobile contractor) then those solutions are useful. But for the rest, they are merely added insurance and typically useless.

I'd say, use an alarm system that you can connect to (some of the DIY systems do run Linux) and use some type of motion sensing timeout to set the alarm or use BT to check if someone is still in the house etc. etc.. There are a lot of cheap and creative solutions to this problem.

Most thieves won't break in if you have an alarm (sticker), there are other, lower hanging fruit. A thief won't break in when you have a dog (again with the fruit thing). A thief will only take what's small and valuable (what's easily sold, what's easily carried). Most thieves aren't smart nor tech savvy and doesn't know that little black box costs $5000 but they'll sure destroy it regardless of whether there is an alarm attached to it (especially if there is an alarm attached to it).

I'd say, stop worrying, take backups of your data off-site, get homeowners or renters insurance. The laptops/tablets/phones will disappear in any case, the UPS/PC/NAS most likely won't unless there is a group and they are actively clearing out the entire house (posing as movers to the neighbors). Thieves are also very destructive so regardless of what they take, they may destroy whatever you're trying to protect and a destroyed NAS is just as good as a stolen NAS. Theft recovery systems don't work because the police won't put in the legwork (see the recurring stories on MacBooks and iOS devices being located by the customer). The insurance will pay you back for the 'stuff', they can't recovery your data however and that is the case for fire, flood and other damage as well.

Re:Is it worth protecting? (2)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 4 months ago | (#47020515)

For shits and giggles, i removed the burglar bars in my high-crime area and installed laminate glass. It's tested up to Missile C specs (2.5 pound 4 foot 2x4 launched at 40fps, which means yes it will deflect bullets--in fact, it'll accept a 3 inch ballistic sphere at 100fps without the sphere creating a large enough hole to enter the house). This type of glass is a standard residential offering: tempered glass takes more abuse before cracking, while laminate glass cracks quickly but can resist explosives (piercing force works; blast force will usually blow the pane out of the frame rather than putting a hole in it).

In short: it's legitimately hard to bust through my windows with a sledgehammer. Faced with an unexpected puzzle box such as a locked, impenetrable glass window, most would-be criminals go somewhere else. This costs more than rude metal bars, since panes take damage on occasion (once or twice a year out to once every 5 years or so), but facilitates emergency egress (casement windows).

I got tired of living in a neighborhood that looked like a prison. I decided to change it.

Tell me where you live... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019377)

Dude... tell me where you live and I'll come over and advise you on how to secure your expensive equipment...

The usual (4, Informative)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 4 months ago | (#47019423)

Try to get the other occupants to set the alarm when you are away. Get an alarm that has the ability to set it via a cell phone. Keep your bushes and shrubs cut back and don't give would be thieves a place to hide. Also choose prickly bushes up close to the house. Good out door lighting. Motion detector activated lights are good as it won't piss off the neighbors as much and save electricity. Also make sure the lights are high enough that someone can't just unplug or disable them.

Don't put stickers on your house advertising you have guns, or what brand alarm you are using. Guns are a popular theft item. More so than your computers I would guess. Having an ADT sticker (or what ever brand alarm) simply tells a good thief what they need to do to circumvent your alarm. Most ADT alarms can be defeated by simply cutting the phone line. Almost none have a cellular card in them.

I don't know if you or your family are dog people, but dobermans are fantastic family dogs. I have one who is very well trained. He's very friendly to people when I tell him it's OK. But Allah, God, Buda, Eris, Xenu help you if you come in the house uninvited. I also have two other dobermans who are not as well trained as he is, but they follow his lead. When he doesn't like something, they don't either.

Guns (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47024545)

Had a friend some years back who was living in a "bad" neighborhood. First day there, some local gang members stopped by to talk with her. In the course of the conversation, they asked what she would do if someone broke into her home. Without blinking an eye she said she'd shoot them. They asked what stops someone from stealing her guns. She showed them her gun safe, an actual safe weighing over a ton, in her garage. She invited them to try to move it. They couldn't.

Over the next few years the neighbors on her left got robbed, the neighbors on her right got robbed, and her neighbors across the street got robbed. All multiple times.

Nobody ever robbed her.

We think the gang's slogan was "Friends don't let friends victimize NRA gun nuts."

One partial solution (3, Funny)

MiniMike (234881) | about 4 months ago | (#47019443)

the house is alarmed, but much to my annoyance it isn't always set when people go out for any length of time.

Shock therapy ought to solve this.

You just have to remember to shock them right after they fail to set the alarm, or they won't make the connection between the unwanted behavior and the punishment.

Re:One partial solution (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 4 months ago | (#47019767)

the house is alarmed

What startled it?

Re:One partial solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47022291)

I'm alarmed that someone has a house capable of being alarmed...

My solution (1)

benjfowler (239527) | about 4 months ago | (#47019445)

Have an idea of what you want to protect, and what lengths you're willing to go to protect it.

Don't have too much portable stuff lying around the house, that can be easily nicked.

And make sure that data (especially on the hardware that is portable) is encrypted and backed up. For me, I don't care that much about the hardware because I buy the minimum I need to do the job and it's mostly obsolete anyway; it's the stuff on the machines I care about.

If somebody stole my laptop tomorrow; I'd merely be very annoyed; but if they take my only copy of my wedding photos with it, I'd be nigh-homocidal.

All the data that I care about and can't easily replace is backed up to the cloud. Anything sensitive or financial is encrypted. Easily-replaceable things like DVD/music rips and MAME roms, I don't bother with.

Guns (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019469)

If you live in a Castle Doctrine state[1], it's perfectly legal to shoot intruders.

[1]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_doctrine#States_with_a_castle_law

Guns (1)

Fwipp (1473271) | about 4 months ago | (#47019623)

"I'm worried about somebody taking my stuff while I'm gone."
"SHOOT THEM."

Good job.

Re:Guns (1)

tlambert (566799) | about 4 months ago | (#47019831)

"I'm worried about somebody taking my stuff while I'm gone."
"SHOOT THEM."

Good job.

Don't be intentionally dense... you shoot them *before* you leave.

Re:Guns (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#47019907)

"I'm worried about somebody taking my stuff while I'm gone."
"SHOOT THEM."

Good job.

Hmm, that brings up a salient point - we know that booby-traps like automated turrets are illegal (in addition to being a really bad idea), but what about a firearm-based intrusion-mitigation system that's not automated, but remotely triggered?

I.e., the alarm sends an alert to your phone, you look at the video feed, determine the person in your house is an intruder, and deploy the system manually.

Re:Guns (1)

ProfFalcon (628305) | about 4 months ago | (#47046759)

Someone willing to take a life when their own life or another's life is not in danger is not the type of person who should own guns. Gun owners need to know when using lethal force is just. Saving your possessions is not a good reason to take a life.

Re:Guns (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#47047037)

Can't say I disagree; were I, personally, to implement a similar system, I'd much prefer one that incapacitates rather than kills. Partially because, broken as it is, I prefer to let the "justice" system do it's job, and partially because I really don't envy the idea of having to clean up remains after a long day at work.

Meh, I'll stick to guard dogs.

Re:Guns (2)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 4 months ago | (#47020187)

Actually, I see a plan forming here.

If you have a gun sticker in your window, the crooks won't bother with your electronics, but will head directly for the gun safe (it IS in a safe, right?)

Put a sign on the safe saying intruders will be shot (might as well warn them) and then rig it so that anyone opening the safe (which helpfully has the key taped to the top) will trigger the firearm aimed out the door.

Re:Guns (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019893)

Check your local castle laws for the specifics, even in my extremely conservative state there are a number of exemptions where castle does not protect you from prosecution. Do not believe it is some license to empty your clip into the shadows, but it is a teensy bit closer to that than having to wait till the shadow has a gun to your head and is threatening to pull the trigger.

makeup (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019477)

think as a thief: if you can see all your equipment from outside across a window then you are attracting thiefs- try to hide your geekness from outsiders, don't put your expensive hardware in plain view. if you have monitored alarm put some "thief candy" in key places (thief candy is old equipment that looks expensive and you won't cry if stolen) while your more valuable equipment is safe in other places of the house, like a basement or a room in your house without windows or easy access, or in the attic (i placed my NAS inside a hole in a wall, behind a mirror, no one would find it unleast he knows where to look). wneh the thief knows your house is monitored he doesn't have time to search it... he'll grab whatever he can in the small timeframe he has before the security personal comes to look.

Wrong Answer (2)

StikyPad (445176) | about 4 months ago | (#47019497)

Security systems might be worthwhile for your own safety, but not for protecting against burglary. Unless you're very lucky, response times pretty much guarantee anyone will be in and out before the police have even dispatched a unit.

What you need isn't security; it's insurance. It's cheaper than monitored security systems, more dependable, and doesn't suffer from the risks of technical failures or circumvention (though ignoring it is more likely than circumvention). In the event of a burglary, your things will be replaced. (Make sure your policy covers replacement cost, not depreciated market value). And keep your important data backed up!.

(Disclaimer: YMMV, and selecting a policy requires due diligence.)

Get good insurance (2)

dave562 (969951) | about 4 months ago | (#47019503)

I know it is not what you are asking, but the much more simple solution is to just get a decent renters / home owners insurance policy with a premium that you can afford and a level of coverage that will allow you to replace everything. The added benefit is that if you need to replace it, the odds are the old gear will no longer be available and you will get to purchase newer, better gear. FWIW, my renter's insurance policy with State Farm costs me something like $150 every six months, and has up $20,000 in coverage. That's more than enough to replace a couple of computers and some television sets.

If your concern is data loss, you are approaching this the wrong way. You protect against data loss with offsite replication.

Re:Get good insurance (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 4 months ago | (#47020189)

You don't know the insurance is good until you make a claim. Based on your choice of companies; I hope you never have to make a claim.

Re:Get good insurance (1)

dave562 (969951) | about 4 months ago | (#47020939)

I have been with State Farm for almost 20 years and have filed multiple claims. The reason I continue to pay their far above average premiums is because they never give me any flak about filing a claim.

I have made multiple automobile claims and two against the renters policy for damaged computer equipment. All of them have gone smoothly.

What's your beef with State Farm?

Re:Get good insurance (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 4 months ago | (#47027825)

State Farm has (or had) a corporate policy to deny any claims for less then the amount it would cost to hire a lawyer. Their insured was at fault, nobody denied it. But the car was only worth three grand, so no check, sue them. Small claims mostly fixed it (after they had threatened/bluffed to move to real court) but what a pain.

Re:Get good insurance (1)

dave562 (969951) | about 4 months ago | (#47033555)

Your car was only worth three grand, and State Farm made you fight to get the money?

That sucks.

For a perspective from the other side of the fence, I have been through more than a few accidents with them (all my fault). At one point they dropped me, but half a decade after that I talked them into taking me back once all of the points fell off of my record. I have not had an accident since.

In two of the accidents, my car was a total loss. I was able to buy the car back from them and fix it up with the difference between the total loss settlement, and the cost of the buy back. In an accident that I was not at fault for, they got me 20% more than blue book value for the car.

I think the moral of the story is that they make a good friend, and a terrible enemy.

Insurance (2)

nine-times (778537) | about 4 months ago | (#47019521)

I think it's important to keep in mind that there's a point at which "more security" stops making sense and "more insurance" becomes a better option. I've had clients get overly-obsessed with security, trying to buy software that can locate/control your lost/stolen items remotely, locking everything down for physical security, etc. Then when they look at the project to secure everything, I point out that it'd be easier to insure everything instead. Along with everything else, there's no perfect security. You could go through all the effort and expense of securing things, and it could still get stolen.

Aside from that, consider whether you can just reinforce security around a closet and lock everything in there. And then train people to arm the house alarm before leaving. Even the most secure door isn't going to keep your house secure if people keep propping it open.

Alarm partition/zone and automatic arming (1)

Nonesuch (90847) | about 4 months ago | (#47023001)

Aside from the cheapest alarm systems, there is usually an option to have partitions and zones such that you can set the server rack or closet to always be armed except when you are actually working there, so you don't have to rely on your housemates setting the whole-house alarm.

A good alarm system won't

  • prevent

burglary, but will ensure that the intruder spends the minimum amount of time looking for valuables.

Make it impossible for the burglar to stay (4, Informative)

NewtonsLaw (409638) | about 4 months ago | (#47019523)

Alarms simply tell you you've been robbed.

A far more effective strategy is to ensure that anyone entering your house uninvited will find it impossible to stay long enough to steal your stuff.

To do this, you want lots of *internal* sirens that run at 120dB+.

If the intruders ears start bleeding as soon as they enter the building, they will retreat at a very hasty pace.

That's how my alarms are configured. They ring me over the cellular network and generate an internal sould level that is intollerably loud (as I have discovered on the two occasions I forgot to disarm the system myself) :-)

If he's going to get your iPad he might as well take some life-long hearing damage with him :-)

Re:Make it impossible for the burglar to stay (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#47019979)

As much as I love that idea, it sure sounds like the kind of booby-trap that will get you sued, at least in some states.

Re:Make it impossible for the burglar to stay (1)

plover (150551) | about 4 months ago | (#47021733)

LRADs are non-lethal devices that make an area extremely unpleasant. They're meant to be used for crowd control, but in an enclosed space I'm sure they'd still be effective. They shouldn't violate the "booby trap" rule because they don't trap the bad guy, they just make him want to get away.

I think the pain-alarms are typically set to sound an alarm for the 30 seconds prior to the time the pissed-off burglar throws a lit match through your window.

Re:Make it impossible for the burglar to stay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47022823)

Not sure how that can possibly be the case. An unwelcome intruder has no legal rights in a domicile they do not own.

Further, if you're right, that would seem to increase the value of just killing an intruder on the spot; that way there's only one story to tell. But do we really want to live in a society like that?

Re:Make it impossible for the burglar to stay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47020025)

Poison gas. Or at least something that looks like it that comes gushing out a of a canister that says "poison gas" on it.

Re:Make it impossible for the burglar to stay (1)

lagomorpha2 (1376475) | about 4 months ago | (#47021241)

Military surplus smoke grenades could quickly make your home very uncomfortable for a burglar. You'd probably end up doing more damage to the carpet and walls than the burglar could steal though.

Yeah,that's great until.... (3, Funny)

King_TJ (85913) | about 4 months ago | (#47020583)

....your intruder is a deaf guy!

Re:Make it impossible for the burglar to stay (1)

antdude (79039) | about 4 months ago | (#47023325)

What happens if it is a false alarm like you did something stupid, it malfunctions, etc.?

Moat (1)

methano (519830) | about 4 months ago | (#47019525)

Build a moat. Oh yeah, get some boiling oil, too.

Re:Moat (2)

lagomorpha2 (1376475) | about 4 months ago | (#47019673)

Also sign that says, "beware of dragon"

Re:Moat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47021007)

Build a moat. Oh yeah, get some alligators or crocodiles, too. Although piranha might be more stealth for the unfortunate fool that falls into the moat while trying to jump it.

Re:Moat (1)

plover (150551) | about 4 months ago | (#47021779)

You may be jesting, but my wife recently watched a show on HGTV that said moats are actually making a comeback as an architectural feature around high-end homes. They put the intruders below the window level, making it hard for them to break in anywhere but the main doors. They can have a running water feature that makes nice calming splashing noises. And unlike bars or a fence, they're invisible from inside the house, so they don't spoil your million-dollar view.

For my thousand-dollar view, I look at a fence.

It's the little things (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019529)

I'd skip the fancy alarms. If a home alarm doesn't scare a burglar way, no silly little gadgets will, either. However, don't just give up either. Sometimes if something is just a bit too difficult to steal or pawn, a thief will pass on it. Just try to deter a thief as much as possible.

I'd do any combination of the following:
1. Make an inventory (with serial numbers) of all of the expensive stuff. Keep it somewhere in the clouds.
2. Most smaller devices will have some type of Kensington lock slot - use them to tie them down to something bulky and heavy to prevent smash and grabs.
3. For any PCs, Servers, etc, lock the bios with a password and add ownership information. Yes it's easy to reset, but maybe you'll get lucky and they'll just pawn it at the pawn shop, who will then see the ownership ID and call the cops. Who knows?
4. For really small items - flash drives, ipods, etc - just keep them out of sight. Most burglars don't take the time to go through every single item in every single drawer. They usually just want in and out as quickly as possible.

No one cares about loud noises (1)

lagomorpha2 (1376475) | about 4 months ago | (#47019531)

Weld together a stout metal rack mount enclosure with a big combination lock, either press bolts into the basement floor to anchor it or fill the bottom with a few hundred pounds of lead bars or sand. Odds are if your equipment requires more than 20 minutes with an angle grinder to steal they're probably going to just leave it.

Re:No one cares about loud noises (2)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 4 months ago | (#47019921)

Odds are if your equipment requires more than 20 minutes with an angle grinder to steal they're probably going to just leave it.

But just to be sure, don't store your angle grinder near it.

Re:No one cares about loud noises (1)

plover (150551) | about 4 months ago | (#47021813)

Truth. A neighbor has a small carpentry/remodeling business. His garage and house were broken into, and they used his cordless drill, hammer, screwdriver, and pry bar, and eventually opened his fire safe.

Of course he just had his corporate papers and backups in the fire safe to protect them from fire. No money, no guns, just boring business stuff. Cost him more to replace the damaged safe than anything.

Studs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019553)

Anchor your equipment to studs, desks, and other furniture. It's the reason iMac's have laptop-style locking available on them. Most random thieves won't break in with the equipment to break through those things. Drive something into a stud you can anchor to (an eye-hole or something) and then do so, so if they try to run off they can't get very far.

You have to keep them OUT (3, Informative)

petes_PoV (912422) | about 4 months ago | (#47019567)

There are two majors costs to any burglary, what's taken and the damage done. From people I know who have been robbed, the cost of repairing the damage outweighs the cost of a stolen laptop or camera that was taken.

So, once a burglary has got in to your house most of the problem has already occurred. Even if your insurance pays there is a major inconvenience in making the claim, fighting the assessment and getting the repairs performed to your satisfaction. Best to prevent the whole possibility of that happening.

How do you keep bad people out of your house? Alarms, cameras (oh joy! you can watch the video of your home being wrecked), trackers - all irrelevant and with little deterrent value. If you want to stop people even trying to get in to your home, get a dog. A big, noisy dog.

If you can't get a dog (here comes the geek bit), get a recording of a dog. Hook it up to a PIR and an Arduino and have it play when anyone approaches the property. If you can arrange a stereo playback, process the soundtrack to make it appear as if the dog is moving around the house. If you want to go for extra "realism", rig up a weight attached to a motor that thumps the front door - the higher up the door, the bigger the dog appears to be - as if the dog had its paws on the door. You need LOUD and you need LONG. A recording that stops after a few seconds won't convince anyone. Especially if it replays exactly the same track each time.

Finally, keep the pitch of the barking low. Nobody's scared of a squeaky little mutt. But if you slow it down, the animal sounds a lot larger and scarier.

Re:You have to keep them OUT (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 4 months ago | (#47020585)

Fighting the assessment?! I live in a state where the insurer can't take money back! Everyone I know who's had a fire or some other kind of damage falls into two categories: people who got an insurance claim, were told by their insurer that the damage was $40,000, did the work themselves for $17,000, and pocketed $23k; and people who filed an insurance claim, were told by their insurer that the damage was $40,000, hired a contractor for $30,000, and pocketed $10k.

Forget the DOG. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47021931)

Forget the DOG.

I want that CAT that chased the dog off that kid on the bike!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6FvHif8l0w

Re:You have to keep them OUT (1)

jwhitener (198343) | about 4 months ago | (#47041997)

Or instead of a big dog, get a medium sized dog bred specifically to make very loud sounds:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MB23r3XMRNU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WyjHRSeCuZw

NOT a good dog for apartments. Does need exercise daily (like all working class dogs: hounds: labs, pointers, etc.. people rarely give them what they need though).

Re:You have to keep them OUT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47104899)

I've done exactly this with a Raspberry Pi. I wrote a Python script which receives a network message from my home server (monitoring a front door camera) whenever motion is detected. The Pi has a dozen or so bark sounds taken from a single clip of a dog barking. It then plays them back in a pseudo random order for a period of time. The start and end of the bark sequence also plays a fade-in/out of a dog walking on tiled floor.

The Pi also has a few buttons to manually control the dog's barking (snooze, bark now, bark at random intervals).

As an aside, we were robbed three times last year. After the first burglary we always armed the house alarm. After the second, I installed security cameras. After the third I added the 'dog', security stickers, and SMS alerts when the alarm is triggered. As a result of the cameras, the police were able to catch the third burglar (who I suspect was involved in at least one of the other burglaries).

Thankfully insurance covered all three claims (save for the excess), and was new for old cover, so we got some nice new gear for the crappy old laptops and phones which were taken.

Make your house a prison (2)

cyberspittle (519754) | about 4 months ago | (#47019599)

Have steel-hardened doors, etc. If it looks like difficult access, they will go to neighbor. Just don't leave door open, garage-door open, etc. Build a safe room. Work from home, don't go on vacation, and only have food delivered. Screen all food with a paid food tester. I just make sure I have crappier stuff than neighbors.

Security Cameras (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019609)

They don't even have to be on, just visible. I've also heard, "These premises under video surveillance" signs work well, even without cameras.

Don't look like a target (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 4 months ago | (#47019639)

The first and best way to avoid being robbed.

Re:Don't look like a target (1)

lagomorpha2 (1376475) | about 4 months ago | (#47019657)

I thought it was "live in a quiet neighborhood"?

Re:Don't look like a target (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 4 months ago | (#47019853)

Nope, if you live in a quiet neighborhood and look like a target, on the rare occasion when that neighborhood is hit, it will be your house.

Re:Don't look like a target (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47020817)

Yup, don't be the prettiest house on the block.

Re:Don't look like a target (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 4 months ago | (#47023239)

How do you not look like a target?

You have something valuable that makes you a target. A really nice car is a target because of it's high trade value.
If you have something worthless that makes you a target. A old bomb of a car is a target because of lack of security, alarm systems, and the owner is less likely to go chasing it down.

Now how do I not look like a target in my house? I have a nice house, with nothing visible I probably look like a good target to snoop around in.
If on the other hand I put up security signs, CCTV cameras and a blinking light out the front, well suddenly I look like I have something valuable. I have now become a target for a different class of thief.

Re:Don't look like a target (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 4 months ago | (#47037261)

You don't want to have a house that looks unusually nice. If you have a nice car keep it inside a garage. Most old non-classics are safe from theft.

Now if you deck out your house with home security gear you're suggesting that you have something valuable to protect, but also that your house will be a hard and risky target, so that's a more complicated decision to make - generally I'd say it's worth it if you can follow the rest of the "don't be a target" rules.

If you have the nicest house on the block with an expensive car parked outside on the other hand, adding the security gear probably won't reduce your chances of being tied to a chair while some thug beats you up asking for the cartoon money bags and piles of jewels you surely have lying around (real thing that happens).

Defense in depth? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019653)

Posting AC to protect the innocent:

A person I used to work with spends time overseas in Europe for good chunks of the year. Because he has had break-in issues in the past, he went with a fairly thorough security system for his place (located in a semi-rural area.) Since the house was being built to his specs, it was designed with decent security in mind.

First, he got hurricane shutters for the windows. Those are intended for storms, but double as good defense against vandalism.

Second, he reinforced the door jambs (both internally and externally) and bought doors from Israel with multi-point locking that could stand real punishment.

Third, he had removable bollards sunk in so a pickup truck couldn't be driven into the house, but with a key, the bollard can be folded flush and the driveway used as normal.

Fourth, all rooms of the house had solid, multipoint locking doors and deadbolt locks. When he left for Europe, every room in his place was locked.

Fifth, his furniture was designed to be lockable. His computer desk was made out of heavy gauge steel and locked up tightly. He had the usual furniture, but in his bedroom, he had a walk-in vault in every bedroom (reinforced with cinderblock walls and an emergency exit tunnel) that was meant for everything he had in that room to be tossed in and locked before he left. His laptop went into a safe, and everything, even clothing and bedding went in as well. Anything not going to Europe got tossed in the vault room.

Sixth, he had an array of water faucet valves in a utility room, as well as switches for outdoor lighting and receptacles. That way, someone couldn't break a window and shove a hose inside, or camp in his driveway or front yard during a festival weekend.

Seventh, he imported a burglar alarm from England that has multiple fog machines and strobe lights. That way, a living room would obscured in a matter of 8-10 seconds. Each room was separate, so if the alarm was on, if an intruder kicked another room's door down, it would subsequently fill up with fog.

Add to this the usual security monitoring and a private guard doing occasional checks of the property.

The reason why every door in his place locked is that if there was a burglary or a home invasion [1], the bad guys would have to break down every door, one by one to get to anyone sleeping in there. To steal anything worth having would take breaking down multiple doors, while trying to stumble around with a 0 feet visibility and strobes going off.

Yes, for some, this is expensive overkill, but with him gone most of the year, it does keep peace of mind and just the fact that a truck or van can't park in the driveway, combined with metal doors that mean business, it does get the meth-heads to go elsewhere for their fix.

[1]: Home invasions are not uncommon where I live. Easier to tie up a homeowner and take one's time in grabbing valuables than to smash, grab and try to beat the clock. Less time in prison as well, the way the charges are set up, so even the dumb crooks realize it is easier to just break in when someone is at home with a Saturday Night Special to deal with the "armed" homeowners.

Defense in depth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47021109)

That is pretty awesome and I'll take eight!

Get A Dog (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019663)

Assuming you are willing to care for the mutt, get a dog. They are good at deterring burglars. Plus they are a lot more fun to hang around with than alarm systems.
http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1991-07-14/news/9101250909_1_burglars-palm-beach-county-pickings

Plus one for Dog (doug) (1)

Slim Boom (3600717) | about 4 months ago | (#47019665)

I'm going to second the dog idea. Sure, someone determined to steal your stuff might bring a steak, but most crimes are opportunistic. If a dog starts barking before they even enter the place, why bother. In Atlanta I remember reading thieves were chopping through the sides of homes rather than using the windows in order to avoid the sensors and motion alarms. Good luck combating that. And a dog will probably bring some perspective into your life, make you care a little less about all that stuff.

Re:Plus one for Dog (doug) (2)

lagomorpha2 (1376475) | about 4 months ago | (#47021257)

And a dog will probably bring some perspective into your life, make you care a little less about all that stuff.

So what you're saying is, after all your nice things have been either chewed up, knocked over, or peed on by your dog it won't bother you as much when they get stolen?

A safe , insurance policy, unbreakable windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019669)

I only really worry about a few things: jewelry, my late father in-law's air force watch, some paperwork, a small amount of cash, things that have data that is hard to replace. Those things go into the safe whenever the house will be unoccupied. I have a very high quality difficult to open safe that weighs over 500 pounds and is further bolted to the floor. It's also fireproof. Laptops and tablets go in there as well as my video and camera gear and my wife's jewelry.

But to first have the opportunity to try to crack my safe, a thief would have to first enter my house, which has hurricane windows and doors. The glass in my windows can withstand a 2x4 propelled at 120 mph or even a small caliber bullet. A thief who successfully penetrates my perimeter will have to destroy a window or door valued at over $1000. My homeowner's deductible is $1000. Anything they find lying around to steal at this point will be covered by insurance.

I've locked the really choice stuff in the safe, so there won't be that much interesting stuff for them just laying around. Thieves mostly want stuff that is small, light, valuable and easy to fence. They generally don't want to hang out in your house for hours sifting through everything--the vast majority are smash and grabs.

Two cases in point:

5 years ago someone tried to break in while my wife and I were both at work (she's a housewife now, so that's less of a problem now). They tried throwing a bowling ball sized rock through my french doors. They tried prying the doors open. They tried smashing the lock off with a sledgehammer. They left empty-handed.

A week ago, we heard noises outside and looked through the blinds to see the cops with a guy at gunpoint in our driveway. Long story short, he was a transient who they chased onto our property. He had just committed a couple of smash and grabs on my neighbors. They searched him and found his pockets full of jewelry.

You are over-thinking it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019671)

My places was robbed. Cleaned out. In my case all the BIG or HEAVY tech was left behind. All the small and light stuff was taken. Talk to your insurance agent. You have payout limits on item categories. Bump up the limits so all your stuff is covered. Then add bricks to everything.

Upgrade your locks (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 4 months ago | (#47019681)

Since you've already heard about getting alarms, insurance, making backups and inventorying your electronics, computers or priceless antique cans, you might want to think about upgrading your door locks - assuming you're not renting, of course. Did you get them re-keyed when you moved in? If you're like most people, you didn't get around to it. Why not have the locksmith come out and do that and install new locks at the same time. Maybe reinforce the door jam if necessary around the deadbolt, and see if he's got other advice.

Do your windows all lock? Go outside and pretend you lost your key. Try to figure out how to get back inside.

If you make your house a little harder to break into than your neighbors', it probably won't be you that gets robbed.

Re:Upgrade your locks (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#47020037)

If you make your house look a little harder to break into than your neighbors', it probably won't be you that gets robbed.

FTFY.

In my experience, most thieves are lazy opportunists (otherwise, they'd have, you know, jobs), so if your house looks like a fortress, but the house next door does not, they're not even going to bother setting foot on your property.

Re:Upgrade your locks (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 4 months ago | (#47020129)

This is the same philosophy as not being the fastest when chased by the bear... but being just faster than the slowest guy.

I do this often. Enough security to make it obvious that it is more secure than others, but not so much that it attracts attention. For example, a steering wheel Club is a joke... but given the choice, the would-be thief will go for the car right by, sans the steering wheel lock. Same with a trailer. The locking wheel chocks I use can be bypassed, but it is likely that a thief will find someone who just has a cheap padlock on the trailer tongue and grab that for their new portable meth lab.

Re:Upgrade your locks (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#47020449)

Exactly - it's security through obviousness (as opposed to obscurity), and it works 9 times out of 10.

The 10th time usually being an inside job.

Smoke/fog (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019703)

Best I seen to protect electronics is a fog machine hooked up to the alarm system.
They did an over kill of fag machine for the area and they would kick in as soon as the alarm went off. Took about 30 seconds to fill the whole building to a point where you could not see your hand in front of your face.
The robbers would not be able to see a thing, plus if they rushed inside to nab something they would most likely not be able to find their way out before the police showed up.
Worked great as the smoke also alerted other people too thinking it was a fire or something. Although it was white smoke.

Re:Smoke/fog (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 4 months ago | (#47020159)

There is a Canadian company called Flashfog that does exactly this, and they couple it with strobe lights to further disorient intruders.

Only downside to this is that people walking by might think a rave is going on, then get mad that they can't find the DJ.

Duct Tape (1)

rolfwind (528248) | about 4 months ago | (#47019711)

Cover the items you want to protect in duct tape. The shitty looking silver kind. Or a bunch of stupid stickers from a dollar store.

Obviously doesn't work for TVs but awesome for boxes where you only need to see a small portion of its face.

People are visual creatures and thieves operate fast. They're trying for low hanging fruit and aren't going to appraise every piece carefully.

Try an alarm company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019721)

A friend had a safe that he wanted secured within his house. He purchased an separate alarm just for this safe. (So his house was alarmed by ADT, IIRC, and a second alarm system was placed on the safe.) He could have easily secured a room or more items. ADT, Comcast sell more sophisticated systems now (video cams accessed over the web, etc. so that you can constantly monitor your "stuff").

This isn't an elegant, nerdy-geeky solution but it works well. There is an associated cost but the Security Company will call the cops for you. The Security Companies generally have contracts with the LEOs to ensure that a cop is sent when an actual alarm even occurs.

Re:Try an alarm company (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 4 months ago | (#47020323)

The current alarm I use has different zones that do different things when the sensors are tripped. For example, one zone requires to be armed/disarmed separately from everything else. This would be useful for a safe.

I like having no remotes for an alarm system. That way, I can use a duress code if need be. Plus, it is less for someone to hack.

As for remote monitoring, when the alarm goes off, the security company will call you, and if they can't reach you, then call the police. This can take 5-15 minutes, and in that time, a thief can grab a lot of pickings. However, in combination with Kensington locks on all computers, it will cause the thief to leave anything that is tethered, rather than take the time to cut the cables.

Re:Try an alarm company (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 4 months ago | (#47021037)

I like having no remotes for an alarm system. That way, I can use a duress code if need be.

"Remotes" ? Since when did real alarms have remotes?

Maybe you just have the remote turn off one zone, say the zone covering the garage with an alarm keypad. So you can then step in and turn off the entire system by entering the code.

On second thought..... require a button push on a remote to enable 'entry delay'; if no remote press, then instant alarm.

Re:Try an alarm company (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 4 months ago | (#47021269)

It seems that most alarm companies are trying to hawk their app and remotes now. However, a house isn't a car. Just as you stated -- it would be nice for a remote to change the instant alarm zone to a delayed alarm... or perhaps a silent/holdup alarm.

My server room is behind a false back in a closet. (1)

netsavior (627338) | about 4 months ago | (#47019739)

The reason isn't really security, it is mostly to hide the wire monster from my wife's delicate sensibilities and to further drown out the fan noise. One of my closets had an AC duct, which I basically enclosed in a little room to have a "consumer" grade server room (I close the duct in the winter, my temps are fine). The little room has a "crawlspace" panel in the plain old drywall wall, which is pretty low-key and not at all hard to crawl through for the rare times I need physical access. It cost me about 100 bucks at home depot to buy a handful of studs, a sheet of drywall, and a crawlspace panel. I added smoke alarms on either side, because I am completely aware that this isn't the most fireproof of solutions.

Honestly it all started with me putting a 16 port switch in the attic, then realizing it needed to be in the A/C, then moving it to the closet, then my very patient wife (bless her) casually suggesting that closet was becoming a cesspool of discarded hardware, wires that went to nowhere, and loud weird equipment..

A side-effect of this is that the average burglar would barely even be able to tell that I spend a small fortune in very geeky and completely unnecessary server hardware.

Re:My server room is behind a false back in a clos (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47020105)

Average burglar will be very excited to find your grow room and then very disappointed that it contains only electronics that they don't know the value of or how to fence.

Ask a locksmith... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019779)

I have a friend who is a locksmith. He can get into my house faster than I can pull out my keys to unlock the door. He's fond of saying: "locks keep honest people honest".

Many suggestions on here are excellent:
in accessible cameras
leave something for them to find
do not make it obvious you have shit worth stealing
and most importantly: slow them down.!!!!

Your gear does not have to be out in the open. I have a server room in the basement in an old root cellar room. It locks from the outside. It's got all the important stuff in there. And the door/frame/wall is reinforced with steal bar. With a good axe or sledge, it'd take you 30 min to smash through. It's just not worth the risk to them. Down the stairs, through two rooms, locked into a location with only one way out.

A Dog (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 4 months ago | (#47019807)

Ask any cop. The best home security is a Dog. Especially one of the crazy breeds like a Border Collie (I have one) or German Shepard. They're so wired they'll bark when someone is on the sidewalk across the street. Burglars avoid houses with dogs. It's just too much of a pain to deal with. They're trying to be quiet and dogs are anything but.

Re:A Dog (1)

plopez (54068) | about 4 months ago | (#47020367)

And it doesn't matter if it is the sweetest dog in the world, to a criminal it is an unknown quantity. They do not like unknowns. I grew up shepherds, they make good protectors for kids too.

Motion Detector+ (1)

rlp (11898) | about 4 months ago | (#47019839)

Motion detector triggering MP3 playback

(Loud cheery voice) "Intruder detected. Self-destruct sequence initiated ..."

Alarms (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019845)

I find that two large German Shepherds (named Sam and Max) work very well.
One look at the fence, and double-size dog house in my yard (and all the dog crap) and thieves go find another house.

Concrete (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019849)

Seriously the best answer I have ever seen is a computer case made out of concrete (actually set around the outside so you can still do maintenance). No one will lug +50kg for a second hand computer.

Protection (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019867)

So what happens if you're home and someone breaks in? I'm not a fan of guns. Been around them my entire life and I've seen them be the part of more accidents than they've help people. I live in a not so good neighborhood. I figure some day someone will try to come in. And if they do while we're home... we have a can of flying insect killer at every door, near the bed and a couple in random places.

Why you may ask?
1. it's legal to own
2. it has a 30 - 40ft range (yes I've tested them)
3. it's silent
4. a hit to the eyes will (at least) temporarily blind them and render them useless
5. a hit into an open mouth/lungs could very well kill them, it'll certainly stop them from doing anything else
6. no licensing to own/use
7. did I mention it's legal? No one can convict you of murder or manslaughter or anything for defending your home opportunistically with some bug spray.

Re:Protection (1)

plopez (54068) | about 4 months ago | (#47020355)

Pepper spray works as well.

Re:Protection (1)

technosaurus (1704630) | about 4 months ago | (#47022149)

does pepper spray also kill bugs?

Re:Protection (1)

plopez (54068) | about 4 months ago | (#47027937)

No, but its much safer than organo-phosates aka nerve gas which is in bug spray.

Re:Protection (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47026947)

Your forgot to mention that you will quite possibly go to prison for using wasp spray in that manner. If you've been around guns your entire life and witnessed that many accidents, then perhaps you ought to better pick the company you keep.

Are burglars interested in this ? (2)

GuB-42 (2483988) | about 4 months ago | (#47019911)

Burglars mostly look for easy to sell, small, valuable items : cash, jewelry, etc... They usually won't stay longer than a few minutes.
Do you really think a burglar will bother with a UPS or any of these big, heavy, boxes that only a few people want ?
They may however damage some of your stuff as they mess around your house searching for hiding places but anti-theft products won't help you with this.

As for the remaining cases : insiders and real professional burglars who know exactly what to take, unless you become completely paranoid, you won't stop them.

So : backup your data offsite, get a good insurance, do the minimum so that you are not the low hanging fruit (basically what is mandated by most insurance contract), keep calm and carry on.

Offsite data backup + insure your hardware (2)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | about 4 months ago | (#47019923)

Data. Use an offsite backup service or do like me and set up an offsite backup with rsync over ssh to a remote location under your control. All my drives or home folders are encrypted so even if the boxes do get stolen I won't have to worry as much. As long as my data is safe who cares about hardware that insurance will pay to replace?

This strategy also protects you from floods, fires, etc. Not just theft.

A few observations... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47020011)

Not too long ago, someone I know had his house burglarized. Here are a few observations from the account that was told to me.

First, only easily pawned things were stolen. There were very fancy servers and other electronics there. They were untouched. What was taken were flat-screen TVs and the cash lying about. Your PCs, UPSs, NASs, and routers etc are worthless to them because they cannot exchange them for as much cash, if any at all, as the TVs.

Second, the home alarm system they had did not prevent it. I'll not go into the details here, but the home was mere blocks away from the police station. Had they lived next door to the station, it still would not have helped. The TVs and cash would still be gone. It happened very quickly.

Advice on securing valuables:
- Bank Safe Deposit Box - if it is something you need to keep safe but not use often then keep it here. It's safer than you are!
- Home Safe - if you need to access it with regularity, get a modest sized one and have it bolted to the floor or hard-mounted into a wall or something. Thieves can still pop them open, but need to be prepared to do it right then if they cannot drag it with them. The robbers mentioned above never got their safe open and likely only checked to see if it was already unlocked as many people leave them open. The small fire safes can be popped open very quickly, so only use those for storing non-valuable documentation.
- Security Cable - if you are still nervous about your PCs and such most have a hard-point mount for a security cable where you can attach it to the wall or floor to discourage the thieves that don't have bolt cutters or power tools.
- Do not secure your TVs. Thieves are likely there for them specifically and will do what they have to do in the time they have to get them even if that means trashing a few walls and some furniture. They are easily replaceable and not worth the cost of drywall contractors or having to go furniture shopping again.

Advice on Deterrence
- Keep the outside well lit. Statistics seem to show that more light outside equals less crime. You may even want to get the motion sensing flood lights.
- Leave a TV on while gone. Some shifting light and noise may indicate someone is home. Thieves generally want no one home. They might pass on by.
- Get Deadbolts. While thieves can smash a window, they don't because broken glass is noisy and draws lots of unwanted attention. A single knob lock can be picked almost as fast as you can open it with a key, but they are exposed while doing this. The sight of a deadbolt on a door may cause the thieves to move on to another house without one to minimize their time exposed.

Advice on Security
- Get the large door-jamb kits at Lowes and install them. Thieves can kick in a door by breaking the wood around 2 screws in your door frame. The large plates have more screws and require more force. A lot more. Possibly more force than thieves are willing or able to use.
- Replace door chains with the solid metal fittings like you see in hotels. Bolt cutter resistant.

Re:A few observations... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47020659)

Also buy doors that are inherently more secure. My front door is a fiberglass door with a three point lock. Besides the usual lock near the handle, locking the door engages pins and the top and bottom of the door, greatly increasing its strength. My french doors are hurricane doors. They have FIVE point locking, laminated impact glass and no lock cylinder on the outside to pick. Windows also have the same glass.

why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47020063)

Maybe you live in a place where people steal a lot more stuff than I live? instead of spending $$$ to buy locks, get a better place to live

As for securing your stuff -- why bother? The most expensive thing will be your alarm system after a few years. All the other stuff can be replaced cheaper and better after a year or two. Also, get homeowners or renters insurance -- for your alarm system.

You gotta let go a bit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47020145)

Everyone else in the thread has plenty of good advice on helping secure your possesions.

I think you need to take a step back and not be so dependent on material things. If your electronics are stolen you'll still be alive and healthy (presumably). Get insurance if you need it.

get to know your neighbors (1)

j2.718ff (2441884) | about 4 months ago | (#47020193)

If they don't know you, they'll probably leave you alone, and generally ignore whatever happens are your house. But if you know them, then they'll think of you as a person. If something suspicious is happening at your house, they'll call your cell phone to let you know. (And hopefully, you'd do the same for them.) If you get an alarm, tell them, and ask them to call you (or the police) if it's ever going off.

Ask Slashdot: Anti-Theft Products For the Over-Equ (2)

danielpauldavis (1142767) | about 4 months ago | (#47020205)

Do like schools and get a steel case to bolt the equipment to the furniture. Steal the computer? Only if you're able to walk out with the entire desk.

Where do (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47020225)

you live, and when are you not at home? I am planning on stopping by and want to make sure I don't disturb you :)

Get a dog (1)

plopez (54068) | about 4 months ago | (#47020343)

Or some geese. Backup critical information, e.g. router configurations, off site and increase your home owners insurance. Problem solved.

You don't own your stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47020389)

It owns you.

(I hope I never own so much valuable stuff that it brings me more worry than pleasure, and I say this as a person who has earned six figures for a long time...)

I'll mail you a solution. What's your address? (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 4 months ago | (#47020441)

Lots of expensive, easily stolen electronics, eh? I have the perfect solution I can mail to you. What is your address?

Re:I'll mail you a solution. What's your address? (1)

Dufflepod (3656815) | about 4 months ago | (#47024689)

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC. Pop round anytime & let yourself in.

Problem (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 4 months ago | (#47020755)

The house is alarmed, but much to my annoyance it isn't always set when people go out for any length of time.

You aren't using the security you got efficiently.

Before you think about using more technology -- solve the problem with your existing security tech being underutilized. Make it a strong habit to arm the system 100% of the time, when there are not people about.

The next step is to install highly visible surveillance and bolt down/physically secure fixed valuable items.

For items that are highly mobile.... put them in a safe or security trunk, and get that bolted down. Also; conceal the locations of your high-tech item vaults, and leave unappealing older tech visible.

Next... get some dogs that are large and bark very loudly. Put a high fence to completely enclose a buffer zone around your building; the zone should be covered with cameras, and there should be cameras visible from outside the fence. Keep secondary gates locked at all times, using a boltcutter-resistant / crowbar-resistant locking mechanism.

Install an automatic driveway gate to manage vehicle ingress/egress.

Store a copy of surveillance footage offsite -- make sure you have backup communication links and backup power that automatically engages.

Off site backup + Insurance (1)

dietsip (723998) | about 4 months ago | (#47020791)

The real answer is have reasonable physical security for the whole house, back up the important data off site, and talk with your insurance agent about getting everything covered.

What do theives actually want? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47021087)

Burglars aren't interested in bulky hardware boxes with a bunch of cables hooked to them. They want things with high resale value, that can be sold or traded quickly, and that can be grabbed and transported easily. Cash, drugs, guns, jewelery, cellphones, personal documents, passports, credit cards, etc. All of these can be reasonably protected by keeping quiet about having them in your possession and by a storing them in a properly bolted, quality safe.

Old Advice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47021093)

Get a dog.

Easy deterrent as any. At least SOMEONE will be happy to see you when you get home from work.

ubnt.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47021111)

check url, cheap gear, works, alarm whatever you want with the door sensor.

Depends where you live... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47021315)

In Texas, you can get an AR15 for $600 at you local pawn shop.

But you'd have to be home 24/7

Simple and Inexpensive Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47021325)

1. Use whole disk encryption. If someone does manage to steal the hardware the date is encrypted and you don't have to worry about who may be accessing the data or where it ends up. Additional plus is if a tornado or other sever storm destroys your home and all of your belongs are tossed across the countryside you don't have to worry about who will see what is on your hardware.
2. Record serial numbers. Serial numbers help prove ownership to the police, insurance company, and manufacture. An offsite backup of this is a good idea.
3. Engrave your name and address into the equipment. Much like serial numbers this can help prove ownership and also deters thieves because permanently marked items are hard to sell and is a good sign of stolen merchandise.
4. Time for the longest part. My guess is you have this equipment on some type of workbench or table. If not you should for this to work. Go to your local hardware store and pick up the following items:

                                  a.One small box of dry wall screws or equivalent.

                                  b. Pick up one roll of metal straps. Like the ones used to hang air ducts in attics.

                                  c. One pair of tin snips or other tool to cut the roll of metal straps to length.

                                  d. Use the above material to strap down each device you are worried about being stolen to the table or workbench. You could even use the floor.
5. If you want to spend a few bucks more instead of screws use small bolts with locking nuts. Locking nuts require the use of a wrench to put them on and take them off. They don't back off and can't be removed with just your fingers. I would recommend buying those from an auto parts store over the hardware store because they will be less expensive there.
6. Remember the longer a thief is in your home the greater the chance they will be caught. They want the quick easy score and don't want work hard for it. That is why they are stealing in the first place.
7. A simple Brinks sign (other alarm company sign) in your yard or window will deter most thieves in the first place.

try motion tomography (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47021373)

If you like the coolest gadgets, get a security system which can't be beat.

http://www.xandem.com/

Depends (1)

fightermagethief (3645291) | about 4 months ago | (#47021571)

When man creates a better mousetrap, nature creates a better mouse. Thieves today steal copper out of cell-towers, so someone's house or car might as well have a big target painted on it. How much crime happens where you live or park or use your laptop while sipping coffee? Do something appropriate to that level or you will just drive yourself crazy trying to cover every remote situation.

For Starters... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47021753)

Don't advertise that you have "various PCs, UPS, NAS box, test equipment, and some of the sundry other gadgets & gizmos" on places like slashdot.

But since it's a little late for that... One or more large dogs tend to be as good of a deterent as anything else.

Obligatory bear joke... (1)

linuxwrangler (582055) | about 4 months ago | (#47021901)

Having worked in the past in law enforcement and in security systems I would sometimes tell people this joke:

Two guys are camping when they hear a bear outside the tent. As one guy starts putting on and lacing up his shoes, the other says, "don't be silly, you can't outrun a bear."

The other guy responds, "I don't have to outrun the bear. I just have to outrun you."

Each little bit of security makes you just a tad "faster" then your tentmate. Lock your doors. Lock your windows. Get a dog. Get an alarm.

But realize the time delay with an alarm. Someone kicks for a while at your door [youtube.com] and finally breaks it in at which point the alarm activates. They dash in and ransack the place and split - usually in a minute or two - sometimes less. Meanwhile the alarm system calls the alarm company who calls the police dispatch and gives them the info. You have probably passed 60 seconds already. Then the call goes out to the officers - assuming they are available and there aren't higher priority calls on the board. Car accidents, robberies, and many other events take precedence over alarm calls which are typically 95+% false. Unless the officer just happens to be right around the corner, it is another couple minutes till they arrive. And these are best-case numbers. The burglar is usually long-gone when the officers arrive.

Don't forget that the bad-guys don't respect life or property. They rip earrings out of ears. They smash windows and wreck dashboards to get a $150 stereo they can fence for $10 (if that). Or, in the case of a good friend who had upgraded his alarm, added security locks on the windows, installed lights and more, they simply backed their pickup across his front lawn and through the french-doors and proceeded to throw whatever they could get in 30-seconds (hundreds of CDs, stereo, TV and other easy to move stuff) into the truck and sped away.

In that vein, a safe may protect your goods but put you at risk for a home invasion (http://xkcd.com/538/).

As others have said, insure, encrypt and archive (off-site).

BTW, good neighbors are great. I ended up following two of the four burglars that hit my neighbor's house. Cops surrounded the block they ran into and eventually let the dog bring one out when he refused to come out on his own. Recovered all the property as well. When our friend's car down the block was damaged in a hit-and-run it was a neighbor who provided the plate and description. We are organizing a neighborhood watch and working to catalog the available security cameras on the block at which point we will probably get the city to put up a "video monitoring in force" sign at the ends of the block.

BFR or a BFD (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 4 months ago | (#47021945)

Big Fucking Rottweiler or a Big Fucking Doberman. They work cheap and love chewing up the occasional squirrel that happens to come into the yard.

Alarm Sensor attached to the server (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47022093)

A Magentic/reed window switch or a PIR sensor (if the server is a closet or server rack) if you dont have a rack just a magnetic reed switch that is attached to the equipment. If the server is moved the reed switch should trip and trip your alarm. You might need to install a secondary alarm system that is kept armed at all times, except when you need to work on the hardware.

start the board-a-geek program (1)

technosaurus (1704630) | about 4 months ago | (#47022135)

Provide a fellow geek free room, board, wifi and mentorship for X-months to develop their great idea in exchange for a share of the result.  The house is never empty and it may even pay off.  Rinse-repeat.

The problem may not be protecting what you own (1)

Gramie2 (411713) | about 4 months ago | (#47022591)

I have to say that my first instinct is to ask where you see your quality of life. If you have so much expensive stuff that you spend significant time and energy protecting it, then maybe having that stuff is the problem.

I haven't locked my house for at least a couple of month, and when I look around to see what might be stolen, the computer — and, more specifically, the hard drive in my desktop — is the only thing that I would really miss, that would be hard to replace. The laptops, TV, Playstation and other gadgets can easily be replaced. You know what? It's liberating not to have to be afraid of losing things.

Buy a decent safe. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47023031)

Everyone should have one you need a forklift to move if you know what I mean.
Most home theft is not going to spend a lot of time to open a safe.

And most are your neighbor on foot x room mate knows your hours of work what have you.
Own family taking stuff lock it all up.

Listen good here and understand what I am about to lay on you.
You can only be clipped until you are weened.

Crave less (1)

raind (174356) | about 4 months ago | (#47023237)

it's part of the Second Noble Truth. Problem solved.

Car alarms (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about 4 months ago | (#47023419)

Put those bad puppies in every desktop and server you own. You'll have mad case-mod cred with your friends when they see you lock your screen then "whoop wheep" turn on the alarm with your key ring fob. Bonus points for a remote start or spinners. Hydraulics seem like a great idea, but only if you're totally solid state. Even then, your heat sink needs to be on the smallish side.

You can make a vault (1)

mrmeval (662166) | about 4 months ago | (#47024069)

You can make a room or closet a vault or just build a wall with a door to make an enclosed space in a room. You then alarm that with it's own zone. It's trivial to do. If you're very paranoid you can lace the walls. It does not have to be reinforced but you want to make it difficult which is fairly inexpensive.

I'm self protected (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47025243)

I have a time delayed thermite charge in my systems. I'd like to see the looks on the thieves faces when it goes off!

Better yet: don't have so much shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47025955)

The reality is there is only a finite number of hours per day to allocate your attention. On top of that gadgets all require some non-zero amount of attention. Today most people have more gadgets than they really have time to dedicate to them. This pushes most people into the "Paradox of Choice" regime (and a symptom is paranoia about theft). Better to reduce how much crap is in your life instead and economize on your own time so you'll actually have enough to dedicate value to the fewer things that actually matter.

Try a dog... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47025973)

Try a dog. Not one of those little ankle biters that make yippy noises; but a real DOG with a serious bark and some impressive teeth.

Backup and Insurance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47026527)

The hardware can be replaced. Insurance will make it less of a hassle. Replacing the data is the real headache, so off site backup is the key. This is true whether the loss is due to theft or some other disaster, like fire, flood, tornado, or earthquake.

Ignorant Proof it (1)

rjbradlow (1683712) | about 4 months ago | (#47026557)

Nothing as we know is guarenteed to be fool or bullet proof but every little bit if armor helps. So here's some thoughs about upgrading your geekdom...

If houshold members are leaving without setting the alarm then you can opt for auto arming via RFID proximity wearables (Keychain tags) that sense and log when someone enters and exits the home --or-- keeping with the same principle with much less expense; It seems as though everyone today is carrying some sort of smart phone and many auto-connect to their WiFi LAN when home to achieve faster speeds and cut down on data rates because 'Unlimited' is not really unlimited data.

So... Since most people do not leave home without their phones you could set up your network to monitor all registered mac addresses and when the last one disconnects from being out of range it could trigger an event to set the alarm. Also when one of the macs arrives it will only allow disarming via the keypad as usual thus training your cohabs to use the damn thing.

CONS: Of course the phone route would require that participating phones do not turn off the WiFi radio in a energy saving mode and they must be kept charged.

How to implement any of this will be another mind numbing journey through the internet of things. My keyword tips are: Open Source, Linux, & eBay (Crestron & Security Systems)

The real problem (1)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 4 months ago | (#47027279)

Sorry, but if you already have an alarmed house, and you want to personally alrm the equipment in it, consider counseling.

Because you are in the grips of fear spiral. In the end, that becomes a phobia.

It brings to mind people who live in gated neighborhoods, have an alarm system in their house, cameras and perimeter control, and a "safe room".

And they still don't feel safe, because the problem is not with the world, it is with them. I've seen plenty of it, and the security companies are only too happy to make you more fearful, just like fast food places love you more, the fatter you are.

And fear that intense is no way to go through life.

Crapulence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47027975)

A burglar could cause you to suddenly be overly full-bellied & very drunk??

Ultimate system (1)

Christopher_T. (1857830) | about 4 months ago | (#47028815)

Buy a dog.

I went a different direction, home automation (1)

Darkroom (90294) | about 4 months ago | (#47029215)

I had issues with people not using the alarm system, I just tied my security system into my home automation system (Control4). Anytime the door is opened and the security system not armed the home automation system automatically arms the system and locks the door if not locked, being tied together also lets the systems send me status messages if anything happens that I may need to look into.

With Control4, you could just start with one of their inexpensive small controllers and check with a dealer to see if your security panel is directly supported, most major brands are.

copied content (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47029749)

this post is copied on this site

--------------> http://sattamatka.org

secure enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47032617)

I protect my home gear the same way I protect my clients gear. Physically secure the expensive stuff with window bars and decent locks. Device locks for what can't be in a secure area, good backups stored off site, and insurance on anything of real value.

If someone can get past the locks, and cut the lock cables, and get out, then the building security is the real problem. Dont worry about impossible to steal, go with too time consuming to risk stealing.

some semi-random thoughts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47033635)

1. if you are burgled, the burglars like to come back a month or a few weeks later and steal the new TV you bought to replace the old one they stole. This happened at a place I worked--they got several brand new typewriters the second round (this was in the 1980's), and some friends, the second time they a nice expensive wide screen TV. The police were very helpful. After my friends were robbed the second time the reporting officer muttered, yeah, they do that sometimes (come back for a second bite).

2. Another friend in the last 6 months has bought several properties for rentals. Both for insurance purposes and to prevent vandalism he installed a brand name do-it-yourself system in one place. As opposed to companies you pay a monthly subscription to. He bailed on it. He said: the local police are hostile to these because of the high rate of false alarms, local governments love to add on fees, fines, etc. for having one or if the police come out (although to him any hint of a tax or government fee starts him on Tea Party rant). He said either the do-it-yourself system, that will call the company, or the BIG companies, have hiddens fees that jack up the price. He also said, and he's tech savvy, that setting up his own system was confusing and difficult and a PIA.

So, can a hobby electronics person put some DIY alarm on a door or window, yes. Finding parts, hard. Dealing with the police when they come out for an alarm--your call.

Touch alarms (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47035237)

A screeching alarm that goes off when anyone touches a window frame or door frame is effective. The alarm should only go off for as long as the metal is touched.

24/7 coverage (1)

speedlaw (878924) | about 4 months ago | (#47035557)

dog - also happy to see you come home

Home and Commercial Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47050923)

Protection1 is the largest, full service security company in the U.S., has over 70 local branches nationwide, and maintains an A+ BBB and Customer Satisfaction Rating. From glass breaks, motion detectors and sensors to wireless monitoring, video surveillance and home automation, Protection1 has something to meet every home and business security need.

1-866-754-5831

Beware the mad scientist! (1)

spiritplumber (1944222) | about 4 months ago | (#47075871)

1) Build a Jacob's Ladder. The easiest way is to recycle a small CRT television or monitor, but there are instructables.

2) Place it in a window in view of the door, or where you suspect people may want to break in and enter.

3) Add a high voltage sign near it, possibly on the door itself.

Check for New Comments