GPS is changing the world. Thanks to the wonders of global positioning, we can explore the country by car without a map, hike through the mountains without getting lost, and even enjoy safer and more precise airline travel. But did you know that GPS also makes an excellent home security tool? GPS computer software and pocket-sized GPS devices are making it easier than ever to track stolen items just about anywhere in the world. If you haven’t already made GPS a part of your personal loss prevention plan, you may want to consider some of the benefits.
GPS is Everywhere
Parcel services use GPS to track their freight; hobbyists use it for geocaching; even farmers are using it for their agriculture. We’re even seeing it more and more in pop culture. In Dan Brown’s bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code, French authorities use a discreet GPS device to track the movements of the novel’s protagonist, Robert Langdon. In the hit AMC series Breaking Bad, DEA agent Hank Schrader uses GPS to keep tabs on the ruthless drug lord Gustavo Fring. But what does any of this have to do with home security? The operative word here is tracking.
One Night in Arizona…
These kinds of micro GPS devices aren’t just useful for tracking dangerous drug lords and adventurous symbologists. They’re great for tracking valuable household items: computer equipment, mobile devices, safes, jewelry boxes and even cars. About a month ago, there was a case in Arizona involving a unique home invasion robbery. The crook made it out undetected, but police were able to locate and arrest him at his home a short time later thanks to the GPS device discreetly located inside his laptop case.
Using GPS Devices
You don’t need CIA connections to get your hands on small GPS tracking devices, and you don’t need to spend a lot of money. For instance, devices like the Tracking Key Micro GPS Tracking System and the Tracking Key Pro Micro GPS Tracking System are affordable, accurate and extremely discreet. You can’t always prevent theft from happening, but when it does go down, it’s nice to have a little technological contingency plan tucked away in your laptop case or concealed beneath your driver’s seat.
Using GPS Software
Of course, with some equipment, you don’t even need a physical tracking device. For instance, your smartphone and tablet are already GPS ready, and with the right app installation, you can turn the tablet itself into a tracking device. You can also find GPS software for PCs, but be very careful when choosing a program. Because PC software isn’t filtered and approved like App Store apps, you can’t always be sure that you’re getting what you bargained for. Check out reviews and get personal recommendations from knowledgeable friends and experts, and ensure that you’re not inadvertently downloading spyware or malware onto your computer.
The Legality of GPS
Considering their clandestine role in so many espionage stories, it’s understandable that you might be concerned about the legality of GPS tracking devices. Tracking laws vary from state to state, but in general, it’s perfectly legal to keep a tracking device on your own property. This isn’t like using GPS to spy on a loved one without their knowledge or consent. If someone steals your backpack which contains a GPS unit, you’re not violating their privacy by tracking your property.
Additional Ways to Protect Yourself
Of course, GPS is only one arrow in a very large home security quiver. The best strategy is to prevent theft in the first place, so start with a solid home security system, and ornament your home with a few burglary deterrents like yard signs, window stickers and motion-sensored lights. Surveillance kits can also be hugely helpful. The more steps you take to maximize your home security, the less likely you’ll become a victim.
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