Nothing is more important than making sure you and your loved ones are safe, which is why 63 million Americans have an active alarm system in their homes. But even a high-tech alarm system is only as good as the security code used to disarm it. For example, burglars can easily crack these weak alarm codes:
- Sequential numbers like “1234” or “5678”
- Your birthday or anniversary
- Repeated pairs like “4040“
- Same number repeated, such as “2222”
If you have alarm codes like these, then you need to change them to something more secure. Here are 6 ways to set an alarm code that the bad guys won’t be able to crack.
1) Use a completely random set of numbers
Your best bet when picking an alarm code is to use numbers that have no significance to you. Choosing four different numbers in a random order makes it tough for anyone else to guess your code, because they can’t use any information about you to guess it.
2) Pick a code based on letters or words
Using the letters that correspond to the numbers on your alarm system keypad, choose a code that spells a four letter word or the first letter of each word in a sentence. You can also choose a word or sentence using the first letters of the numbers themselves: o for one, t for two and three, f for four, etc. If you spell a four letter word with your code, avoid names of people and pets.
3) Use the last four digits of a random phone number
If there’s a phone number you know by heart besides your own, use the first or last four digits for your code. This could be a friend or family member’s phone number, the number of your favorite pizza delivery business, the phone number on a business card you keep in your wallet, etc. If you already have the number memorized, you won’t have to worry about remembering the code, but it will be difficult for anyone to guess it.
4) Use an exact birth time, in military time
Whether it’s your birth time, your partner’s birth time, or your child’s birth time, this can be an excellent choice because while personal enough for you to remember, very few other people will be able to guess or find out your exact birth time or that of anyone close to you. Using military time means anyone born after noon will have a birth time with an hour between 12 and 00, which is more difficult to guess. An example would be someone born at 4:23 pm would have a military birth time of 16:23.
5) Change your code regularly
Keeping the same security code for a prolonged period of time could lead to the buttons on your alarm system keypad wearing down, giving away the code to anyone who looks at the buttons.
Just like your online passwords and cell phone passcode, it’s a good idea to change your alarm system code periodically. Doing so will ensure that only people you give the updated codes to are the ones who can access your home.
6) Use multiple codes
If your system allows you to program more than one access code, using multiple codes is a good idea, especially if you live with other people. Giving every resident of your home a unique security code helps you keep track of who enters the home and when and allows you to delete a specific code when the person using it no longer needs it, while keeping the other codes active.
Using multiple codes simultaneously can also serve as an alternative to changing your security code every six months if you live alone, as long as you use a different code every time you enter and leave home