In my line of work, I have the opportunity to talk to a lot of people – young, old, middle age, parents with small children, even children. In fact, it is the children that I talk to which can create a bit of concern for your home security.
While it’s true that kids can say the darndest things, this youthful exuberance might be leading to potential trouble if the information were to land in the hands of the wrong person. I don’t mean to rag on this one youngster, but one story that I was told recently has stuck with me. Obviously, I’m not going to say where these folks are, or use any of their names, but if you’re a parent and you allow your kids to answer the phone, it’s important to tell them what not to say on the phone.
When I called this house, the phone was answered by a kid, I don’t know how old they were, but not old enough to stay home alone. However, what I was told that the kid’s parents weren’t home, as it was their date night, and that this person was at home alone with their babysitter. Naturally, my reaction was to, after hanging up, have a laugh and share what happened with my neighbors in the cubes. However, thinking about it, there is an important lesson to be learnt there.
If you have children (or plan to), it’s important that, if you go away for the night, you tell them the rules for answering the phone. Hopefully, you’re able to have Caller ID on there, so that you can say to them, only answer phone calls from these numbers. Otherwise, let it ring until it stops. To someone calling, getting a voicemail or messagebank is just a sign that a person is likely too busy to get the phone, or else they’re monitoring their calls.
By having a child answer the phone, and then go on to tell a complete stranger that they were home alone (well, at least with a babysitter), is a major security flaw.
Unlike talkback radio hosts who will go on for hours complaining about the situation, and not really giving any solutions, here’s my simple solution – if you’re planning on leaving the kids answer the phone, and they wind up talking to a stranger who asks where a parent is – have them say that they’re not available. That way, if it is (and the chances of this happening are quite small) someone who has bad intentions, they think that the parents are around, just not able to get to the phone at the moment. In lieu of that, simply have the babysitter answer the phone. 🙂
They say that parenting doesn’t come with a manual; just think of this as one of the pages, heh 😉