Being away from family is difficult. This goes double when you’re serving your country and potentially putting yourself in harm’s way every day. And, half the time, you’re more worried about them than they are about you. How can you know they’re safe when you’ve deployed thousands of miles away?
This is why it pays to be proactive. By putting a bit of effort into security before you go, it will be a lot easier for you all to sleep a little better at night — no matter where you are in the world.
In the military, security typically falls into one main context. But in addition to physical protection, there are a few more safeguards that are necessary on the home front. If you start by prioritizing the following three areas, any military member will able to maintain some peace of mind that his or her family is always taken care of.
- Home Security
Physical security is important, and it’s the first thing that you can do to ease your mind. For those who serve, this should come somewhat naturally and line up with how you see the world. But you don’t need to do anything drastic here. Your house doesn’t need to become an Army base. These days, there are a lot of tech solutions that do most of the work for you.
Smart locks are a simple solution and can be integrated into a wider smart home setup that helps your family control many items in the house. This kills two birds with one stone, making some chores easier around the house for the parent who is left to do everything alone. Security cameras are also easier and cheaper to install than ever before. Just setting one up will allow you and your family to relax more.
2. Financial Protection
While home security is great, these days, your family may be more vulnerable to financial disruption than burglars. Even the best budgets can be disrupted by unforeseen hurdles and emergencies. One big accident or health scare can leave your bank account reeling.
Having a full emergency fund is the first line of defense. This will keep you above water for at least a few months in the worst circumstances. Credit cards are also helpful as a backstop. Then comes insurance — an ultimate layer of protection to manage risk. You should make sure you have each of the three big areas fully covered: health insurance, auto insurance, and life insurance. Home insurance and others may be worthwhile as well, and military members are fortunate to have specialty providers like USAA available to offer various lines at great rates.
Last comes one of our largest modern battlegrounds: the digital realm. Cybersecurity is usually discussed more as a worry for companies — or even governments. Surely, anyone serving in the military is aware of the Pentagon’s fight to protect the nation’s data, servers, communications, infrastructure, and more from hackers.
Similar concepts apply at a personal level. Fates like identity theft can be devastating, crushing your finances and leaving you will years of recovery ahead. So you must instill digital security best practices into your whole family. Strong passwords, 2FA, data backups, and general digital hygiene are all important. Be sure to stress this to everyone, especially teens who tend to be less guarded online.
Protecting Your Loved Ones at Home
Staying safe comes before almost everything. Only oxygen, water, food, and shelter can be considered more important. Most people in the military don’t worry that much about themselves. They signed up for this and have the best training possible. But they still have constant concerns about their loved ones back home.
The best way to deal with it is head-on. Install some home security devices before you leave. Try to shore up the family finances to deal with any difficult times. And teach everyone how to stay safe online.
Honestly, you’ll still probably worry sometimes. But, this way, you’ll at least know that there are real protections in place. A little bit of preparation goes a long way.