Although 2017 was full of terrifying headlines and it would be hard to say which was the most alarming, one point remains clear: We need to be ready for anything. This past year brought us the Equifax data breach that compromised the personal information of almost half the U.S. population, hurricanes that devastated parts of the U.S. (leaving Puerto Rico without power seven months later), wildfires in southern California that led to deadly mudslides, and nuclear threats from North Korea, to name only a few of the biggest news events. Consider all of these events together, and I think we can agree that we are vulnerable in more ways than one…which always brings us back to safety and security.
Adding to last year’s list of safety habits
A year ago, we wrote about developing nine safety habits for a new year—habits that would become exactly that, meaning actions that you did without thinking. Among them, we included locking doors and windows, changing passwords, deterring burglars, being smarter about social media use, staying, and protecting yourself from identity theft among others.
We still recommend you review this list and stick with each of these until they do become habits. But now that it’s 2018, after the tumultuous year we’ve endured, we’d like to add to last year’s list, taking the total from nine to 13 with these safety habit additions…
Safety habit 10: Start now with the wee ones
Start teaching your kids safety habits as soon as you can. You’ll find a list of age-appropriate ideas here, but what you teach them matters less than teaching them to think safety first, with good habits from the start.
Safety habit 11: Take even more steps to protect yourself from data breaches
After the Equifax data breach—which admittedly was only one of many but was probably the most far-reaching—we want to re-emphasize the importance of protecting your identity and information online. Although you can take steps after a data breach, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so minimizing your risk is critical—especially since you can’t do away with that risk completely in the world we live in today. Find ways to minimize your risk here, and make each of these a habit too.
Safety habit 12: Beef up your home information security
Make home information security as high a priority as your physical home security, by reviewing this advice with your whole family, and adhering to it.
Safety habit 13: Stay healthy
Protect yourself from illness. We’ve heard rumors that this flu season will be particularly bad. Whether it’s you or your kids (or your whole household), you don’t want anyone sick, in part because there are financial implications with missed workdays and in part because the flu can escalate and even be deadly. So definitely make good hygiene and healthy living into habits for 2018! You’ll find advice for avoiding illness here.
If all that sounds like a lot of work—adding four more safety habits to the nine we assigned to you last year—here’s an easy way to boost your safety and security in 2018: Upgrade your home security system. The past year has exposed more of our vulnerabilities, but—at the same time—technology has enhanced our ability to keep our homes and families safe, from burglars yes, but also from floods, fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Today’s home security systems can be controlled remotely and offer video doorbells. They will work even if the power goes out. And they can become a home automation system that lets you control heat and lighting automatically or from afar as well.
Not that the 13 safety habits we’re recommending shouldn’t also be part of your new year! Because they should! After all, your home security system can only go so far in keeping you safe!