Why You Should Blur Your Home On Google Maps
It is common practice for Google Maps street view to blur out members of the public's faces and registration plates, but not their homes. The security experts at ADT have commented on the importance of asking Google to blur your home.
Michele Bennett, General Manager at ADT UK&I Subscriber, says “Potential thieves are known to use social media to determine when homeowners are away, as well as learning the layout of victims' homes and gardens. Thieves may also use Google Street View to learn the layouts of victims' homes, allowing them to plan potential break-ins.
“Depending on the photo used in Google Street View, having an unblurred house can also alert thieves of the contents of your home and garden. If expensive items are visible in your house, you are more likely to become a victim of a robbery.
“It is highly recommended that you contact Google and request that your house is blurred to protect the privacy of you and your family.”
The experts also offered advice on how to deter potential thieves:
1. Make it look like someone is home
Empty homes are more likely to be targeted by thieves, so it’s a good idea to make your home look like it’s occupied while you’re out. By turning on and off the lights or TV linked to Smart Plugs, you can trick opportunistic robbers into thinking you are home even when you are not. You can also control your smart plugs and ADT home security system while you are away using your smartphone.
With ADT Smart Home you can take it one step further and connect your smart plugs to numerous smart cameras and your video doorbell at your home, so once movement is detected your lights automatically switch on, or have your outdoor cameras emit a deterrent noise to warn off potential thieves.
2. See who’s at the door
Even when you're not at home, a smart video doorbell allows you to see, hear, and speak to visitors. In addition to letting the delivery person know where to leave a package when you’re not home, they let you know who is at your door, even if they don’t ring the doorbell. The ability to receive notifications on your phone when motion is detected allows you to check on what's going on outside your front door.
3. Lock your sheds and outbuildings
An outdoor building is often an easy target, so protect yours with secure windows and strong locks. It is also worth investing in outdoor lighting, as the light can blow the cover of darkness for a would-be thief. The most effective option is motion-activated security lights that you can programme to your needs and wants. Your ADT home security system can also be extended to protect garages, sheds and outbuildings, so in the event of a break-in, you and your keyholders will be notified.
4. Get an alarm installed
The box on the front of your house will act as a visible deterrent. ADT has been providing home security for nearly 150 years and many burglars are aware of the fact that all home security systems are monitored by a 24/7 alarm receiving centre, ensuring no alarm is ever ignored. All ADT home security systems are professionally installed by a trained engineer and the system itself comes equipped with a touchscreen control panel and is linked to the clever ADT Smart Services mobile app with numerous smart features allowing for complete connectivity of your home alarm system from your phone. Your alarm is also professionally monitored 24/7, so you, your keyholders or even the police are informed if your alarm is triggered. It is also advised that you set the alarm for when you’re away or even sleeping upstairs.
5. Lock windows and doors
It takes no more than two minutes to lock your windows and doors before you go out or before you go to bed. This is a precautionary measure, but heading into the winter months when it gets darker much earlier, it is important to ensure your windows and doors are locked. Also, check your home to ensure all locks are in good working order. This will deter any opportunists looking for a quick win.
How to contact Google to blur your property:
If you would like your property to be blurred, simply find the 360 photo of your home (to do this search your address on Google Maps) and click ‘report a problem’.
This will then provide homeowners with a form to fill in. Once submitted, Google may contact you for more information but it should only take a few days for your home to be blurred.