Watching your home from thousands of miles away

COLUMBIA (WACH/WSYX) - A smart phone can now control your "smart home".

However, a phone can also be vulnerable to hackers.

That's why experts say there are precautions you need to take.

These days you don't need to physically be there


to be there.

"(I) had an instance where I had a vehicle broken into and some personal information stolen so I wanted to make sure my home was safe." says Marty Lukasiewicz, who now owns a complex home security system.

Marty is away on business trips constantly.

He wanted to be able to keep watch on his home, even from halfway across the country.

"Even though I don't have cameras, I can still see if doors were opened or if anything was going on." Marty explains.

He does it all through an app on his phone.

"I can see that all my doors and windows are closed." Marty says.

Ryan Boder is president of "SuretyCam" and his company installed the home security system in Marty's home.

"So let's just say I just left home for work and forgot to close my garage door on my way out. Well what would happen is it would notify me and say hey, your garage door has been open for more than 5 minutes." explains Boder.

A customer can then log into the app and send a signal to close it.

"It's becoming standard practice that most people don't get just a plain old home security alarm anymore, they get a home security alarm automation system." says Boder.

However, experts say you better make sure you dot your I's and cross your T's if you use these types of systems.

"So when you're talking about privacy concerns, in a lot of cases the mobile devices are far worse than what you have in respect to a computer." says Matt Curtin, a renowned computer forensics and security expert with "Interhack"

"The amount of information someone is able to collect from somebody by virtue of using that phone is astronomical." says Curtin.

So Curtin recommends several simple steps to help protect yourself.

First, password protect your phone.

Sure it may get tedious, but if you lose your phone or it's stolen, the bad guy will run into a wall trying to get access.

Also, don't use the same password for everything.

Curtin says in his experience that happens too often.

So if a hacker grabs one of your passwords, they may be able to easily hack into your home security log in.

Finally, make sure encryption is turned on.

That way if someone removes brain of the phone - the information inside it will be scrambled.

Finally, Boder recommends you create a password with app as a final wall of security.

That way even if someone hacks your phone - you're protected.

"We're succeptible to security breaches with everything." Marty concludes.

Marty says he's added those layers of protection to his home security system.

He feels confident his home's safe, even if he's thousands of miles away.

The mobile home security systems can also be helpful if you forget to lock your doors.

A surprising 30% of burglars have been reported as entering homes through an unlocked door, window, or other opening without resorting to force.