Celebrity Security: Billie Eilish and Ariana Grande Granted Restraining Orders, How Can You Protect Yourself?
Celebrities such as Ariana Grande and Billie Eilish recently had to get restraining orders against fans who kept showing up at their homes. These unwelcome visits likely left them fearful and determined to beef up security. What can you do to keep yourself safe from potentially dangerous visitors?
Showbiz Cheat Sheet chatted with Elena Mauer, consumer safety editor at SecurityNerd. She gave us her opinion on Billie Eilish and Ariana Grande’s situation, and tips on how we can all stay safe.
Showbiz Cheat Sheet: Recently Billie Eilish and Ariana Grande requested restraining orders because of fans who kept trying to visit them at home. What advice would you give them for additional ways they can keep their homes safe?
Elena Mauer: In both Billie and Ariana’s situations, trespassers came onto their properties repeatedly. Outdoor cameras with motion detection can help you keep an eye on your property and can alert you any time there’s movement. Some security cameras even have smart detection that can tell the difference between a person, a car and an animal and send you custom alerts based on what they’ve detected.
I also recommend having professional monitoring on a home security system. That way, a team of trained professionals is on hand to call the authorities if needed.
CS: What can regular folks learn from celebrities and their security mishaps?
EM: Remember several years ago, when Kim Kardashian had a large amount of jewelry stolen in Paris? Thieves saw photos of the jewels on social media and knew exactly where Kim was staying because of paparazzi photos. They also knew when she was out and about, and that’s when they stole the items. After that, Kim became much more careful about what and when she was posting on social media.
While we don’t have paparazzi following us, there’s a lesson we can learn from Kim’s burglary. Never make it obvious that you’re not home. It might be tempting to post photos of your vacation or your night out, but resist the urge to share them right away and instead do it later. You can even use a scheduling app to schedule it for a different date and time. Always be aware of who can see your posts and whether they’re public or private, and only visible to people you trust.
You also don’t want to make it obvious when you’re away from home in the more traditional ways, like stopping your mail when you go on vacation and asking a neighbor to pick up any packages that get delivered. You can use an old-fashioned timer to turn on your lights periodically, so it looks like someone’s home. Today, there are also options to have smart bulbs and smart plugs, so you can control your lights remotely from your phone.
CS: What are the signs of a good home security system?
EM: One important choice people need to make when choosing a home security system is having a wired system vs. a wireless system. Both have pros and cons. Wireless security systems are easy to DIY install and are usually more affordable than wired systems, but they do pose more of a hacking risk. But there are some measures you can take to prevent hacking.
Signs of a good home security system are good reviews, high quality customer service, the option to have professional monitoring, and the ability to set up extra security measures, like two factor authentication and multiple user accounts.
CS: How can people ensure their digital security (computers, phones, etc.)?
EM: Digital security is important for safety. If you don’t secure your devices and computers, then you leave yourself more vulnerable to hackers. Hackers can use the information they find to disable the security system or to see a security camera’s footage, or just to steal passwords to try to use them to access your other accounts. You can make things harder for hackers and keep your information safe in a few ways:
- Change all default passwords on your devices, including the security system, cameras and wireless routers, since default passwords may be easy to guess. When you can, use passwords that are at least 8 to 10 characters with symbols and punctuation marks. They shouldn’t be obvious things like your birthday or address. Change the passwords often, and don’t share them with anyone.
- To make sure your home’s routers are secured, use WPA2 security, which requires each new device to submit a password to connect. You might have to make this option active on your router settings.
- Don’t access any important accounts or your home security system when using public Wifi networks.
- Keep devices’ firmware and apps updated, so all security updates are made.
- Security cameras and apps or websites with personal information (like your bank account) should have two-factor authentication. That way, when you log in, it sends you an email or text with a passcode to log on. If you’re buying security cameras, look for ones that offer this feature.
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