Since the dawn of time, humans have been stealing from one another. There are always some sections of society who would prefer to remove items from another, rather than obtain them through their own talents.
For much of our time as the dominant species on the planet, preventing burglary was about sheer manpower. It was the policeman wandering the neighborhood, informing on anyone who looked suspicious, being quick to act if they spotted someone in the act of stealing. There have always been community-led initiatives to lower burglaries, but their success has been patchy.
Developments began to be made a few decades ago. No longer were human eyes the ones who needed to be watching at all times; we began to outsource the work to robots, to cameras, to home security systems. A house without an alarm became rarer than a house that did have an alarm, but nevertheless, the problem of burglary persisted.
Now, times have changed. Humans may have finally moved to a point where we don’t need to live under constant threat of our items being taken from us against our will. While we might not be quite at the point where home security is something we can largely forget about, we’re getting closer all the time– and it’s all thanks to technological developments. Here’s why the future of burglaries is looking very unsafe indeed.
No One Is Naive Anymore
Technology has meant that news and information can spread faster than ever before. No longer are we solely reliant on the people within our own community for news. Now, something can change in Japan, and we can all know about it seconds later thanks to social media updates.
As a result, we’re a much savvier society than we used to be. There was a time when people genuinely would leave their homes unlocked, sure that their possessions would be there when they returned. Some of you reading this might remember a childhood where you were a latchkey kid. These behaviors are unheard of nowadays, because we all know the risk far better. In fact, it’s impossible for us not to know the risks.
The scare stories proliferate the media, our timelines; we can’t avoid them. While this is important generally, it’s especially useful in the midst of a crime spree. Now, an entire neighborhood can be warned that they are at an elevated risk of burglaries due to nearby incidents; the message can spread like wildfire, putting everyone on their guard.
The fact that we’ve all become savvier has made life more difficult for burglars. This trend will continue into the future. The faster news and information is able to spread, the harder life gets for burglars.
Technology Is Becoming Harder To Detect
The early home security systems were something of an eye sore. Huge white boxes on the front of houses; detectors inside each room that you could see the moment you stepped inside. These early tech pioneers did their job, for the most part, but any savvy burglar would have instantly known that they were there. That gave them the opportunity to either target a house that didn’t have those oh-so-conspicuous signs of an alarm system, or take preventative measures to circumvent the security that they had identified as having been in place.
It’s ironic that the best way of defeating the burglary threat is the same thing burglars rely on to do their “work”: stealth. The stealthier anti-burglar security becomes, the better it is for everyone, whether you have an alarm system or not. As tech evolves, we will reach a point where a burglar will never know if a house has an alarm system or not.
With the help of micromachining techniques, home security systems are becoming smaller and smaller. No longer will any house with an alarm system effectively advertise they have an alarm system; the presences of cameras and motion detectors will be nigh-on impossible to spot. As a result, burglars will conclude that there are no “safe” houses to burgle anymore; they will never be entirely sure whether a house is protected or not. It’ll be safer for them to assume that all houses are protected– which means they may, ultimately, decide that the risk isn’t worth the reward.
Cyber Crime Is More Lucrative
Now, for the bad news – well, to an extent.
One of the major reasons why household burglaries will become less common in the future is because it’s nowhere near as profitable as cybercrime. A burglar can empty someone’s house with a conventional burglary, but they then have to sell items on, as well as worry about being caught in the act. Strange as it is to say it, conventional burglaries are not exactly convenient for the burglar.
Cybercrime, on the other hand, is a walk in the park. There’s no risk of the homeowners returning and catching a burglar in the act. When you steal money directly, there’s no need to then worry about having to sell stolen goods on. Finally — and perhaps more crucially — the scope for the size of the theft is far greater than just the items someone has in their house. Modern burglars who transition into the cyber sphere are able to empty someone’s entire bank account and steal their assets.
This is why crime rates from a variety of different countries have seen a change in pattern. Standard, conventional crimes such as burglaries are far less common; but cybercrime rates have increased to take their place. While this isn’t good news for your cybersecurity, it is good news in terms of protecting your home from invasion and theft.
Thankfully, there is some good news on cybercrime: for every bad person wanting to steal money or identities online, there’s a good person who’s helping to prevent it through innovating the software and systems we all rely on to keep our online identity safe. So while cybercrime may be a threat for the moment, perhaps in time, it will go the same way as conventional burglary is set to– consigned to the annals of history.