Summer is a great time to get away, but empty homes can be a magnet for thieves and trouble. Studies show that burglaries happen more often in the summer than in the winter, a number that makes sense considering windows or doors often left open to let in the warm breezes and fresh air and homes left empty for days or weeks as homeowners enjoy their vacations.

New technologies that only require the use of devices with internet access in the home that communicate with smart phones are making a big difference, though, by alerting homeowners to potential problems as they occur or even stopping them before damage is done.

Check out these ideas you can integrate into your own home.

Indoor security cameras are small, discreet and have amazing capabilities such as facial recognition to know who is coming or going and alerting homeowners if doors or windows have been opened and closed. These cameras a set up with an internet connection that allows them to send messages to a smartphone as well as sound alarms and warning messages.

Outdoor security cameras are small devices that can be positioned to monitor out-of-the-way places that are susceptible to break-ins or other issues. Wire-free, small, and easily hidden out of sight, these are great for monitoring back doors, side windows, storage units, farm equipment sheds, barns, etc.

Smart deadbolts and locks: These can be used like normal with a key or by punching in a combination on a keypad, but what’s really neat about these is that you can also use your smartphone to lock or unlock a door – or monitor when that door has been opened and closed. This is great for security, to keep track of when kids arrive home from school, for rental properties, and more.

Padlocks have come a long way since we used them on our high school gym lockers. Now there are Bluetooth versions that can be locked or unlocked using a smartphone app, as well as send alerts when someone tries to tamper with them. These are perfect for securing and monitoring homes, sheds, storage units, expensive farm equipment, livestock pens, property gates, and other items you want to monitor and protect outdoors.

Video doorbells like the popular one from Ring are also a great way to use technology to protect your home while away. When someone pushes the Ring video doorbell, an image opens immediately on your smartphone, so you can see and speak to whoever is there, giving potential intruders the impression you’re home even if you’re halfway around the world. Ring features built-in motion sensors that detect movement, trigger instant mobile alerts and initiate video recording.

Smoke, fire and toxic gas are also dangers that can happen while you’re away and smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors such as Nest Protect can send alerts to your smart phone if there’s trouble.

Remote light controls can also be programmed or controlled remotely to turn lights on and off throughout home on your command using your smart phone. Some can also be linked to doorbells, triggering lights to come on when bells are rung, making it seem like someone is home.

Smart garage controls can be installed for garage doors and lights that allow people to enter and leave using a keypad or smart phone app, monitor when exactly doors were opened or closed, and for how long.

If you’re ready to install smart systems in your home, stable internet connectivity is a must. Here at Softcom, we provide high-speed internet access to communities throughout Sacramento and San Joaquin Counties that can support the use of smart technology like we’ve discussed here. For questions or to see if your services can support the technology you’ve got your eye on, give our customer service team a call at (800) 982-7675. We’re here to help.