BLOCK YOUR HOME FROM GOOGLE

Home Defender - - Contents - PHO­TOS AND TEXT BY D. MUKAI

Did you know Google has snap­shots of the front of you home? We show you how to blur it out in less than 5 min­utes!

We show you how to blur out your home on Google’s

Street View, and why you should do it now!

Iyou are not al­ready aware, Google Maps of­fers a func­tion called “Street View” by which any­one with ac­cess to a com­puter or smart­phone can view the front of your home – not to men­tion the rest of your block.

While this free ser­vice may seem like a fun and en­ter­tain­ing ap­proach to be­ing nosey, it also has the po­ten­tial to pose a threat when it comes to home se­cu­rity. Some have ar­gued that this was merely my own para­noia that en­cour­aged me to write this. But to be hon­est, I don’t think so.

Giv­ing an in­truder a way to stake out your home is never a good thing, and the “Street View” op­tion of­fers thieves and would-be as­sailants a chance to map out your home. By zoom­ing into a photo of the front of your home, one can pretty much de­ter­mine if your front door has a dead bolt, see place­ment of ex­posed surveil­lance cam­eras and give the prospec­tive in­truder ideas of the lay­out of your home as well as places to hide in your land­scape.

In ad­di­tion, it lends a ba­sic lay­out of your prop­erty and, if cou­pled with an aerial view, the bad guy ba­si­cally has a blueprint for dis­as­ter. Pho­tos let him study how tall your side fences are, and in some cases it also gives him a chance to case the neigh­bor­hood while show­cas­ing what’s in your back­yard.

So now the ar­gu­ment could be that any crim­i­nal could eas­ily drive by your neigh­bor­hood and snap pic­tures, so why worry? Well, that is true, but that would be like say­ing, “Why lock your doors when a crim­i­nal can just break your win­dow?” While the com­par­i­son may be off a tan­gent, you get the point. The bot­tom line is that I’m a firm be­liever that hard­en­ing your tar­get pre­vents or dis­cour­ages thieves from hav­ing a field day with your house.

And while pun­dits may say that this is merely a fear mon­ger­ing cam­paign, then think about this: A re­port from the firm Credit Se­same did an in­ter­view with 50 ex-bur­glars and dis­cov­ered that 80 per­cent of the rob­bers used Face­book, Twit­ter, Google Street View and Foursquare to case po­ten­tial vic­tims.

Yes… you read that right, 80 per­cent. To add to that, the re­port also in­di­cates that 74 per­cent of those rob­bers used Google Street View to case the prop­erty, thus elim­i­nat­ing the need for a phys­i­cal drive by. With facts like that, why you wouldn’t want to pro­tect your pri­vacy? Do­ing so is ab­so­lutely free of charge, so here’s how to do it.

Us­ing the Google search bar, type in the ad­dress of your home fol­lowed by the city, state and zip code. Hit en­ter.

The first thing that should pop up is a map of your home and there will also be a small thumb­nail pic­ture on the lower left of the page, that says “Street View” – click on that.

Once you click, you should have a frontal view of your home.

On the lower right hand side of the page, you will see “Re­port a prob­lem” – click on that.

A new page will open up with a street view of your home. From there, you want to re­po­si­tion your home by drag­ging on the ar­rows to align the ma­jor­ity of your home in­side the frame the “red box”. You can also use the “+” and “– ” signs on the page to zoom in or out.

Once you’re done with that step, go ahead and click on “My Home” which is found un­der the sub­ject, “Re­quest blur­ring:”

The “My home” tab will drop down and from there you will find a box to in­put text. Fol­low the di­rec­tions com­plete the rest of the form and hit sub­mit.

Once done, the process can take any­where between a few hours (as was the case here) or a day at most. Please note that once you do this, it CAN­NOT be un­done. HD

Google’s “Street View” al­lows would-be in­trud­ers to case your home and prop­erty.

“Giv­ing an in­truder a way to stake out your home is never a good thing, and the ‘Street View’ op­tion of­fers thieves and would-be as­sailants a chance to map out your home.”

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