THESE AREN’T THE DAYS of the “boodang,” folks. So when you go out, lock your doors and keep a light on.

I have some friends who are “No Lock People.” They feel safe and comfortable enough, at least during the day, to head to work or wherever their schedule takes them and not secure their home.

I know one mature woman who told me she runs errands and walks the dog for an extended time and never locks up.

Granted, Nashua is still considered a safer city than most across the country, but with a population of more than 88,000, bad things can and will occur. It doesn’t matter how many “safe city” lists our community is lauded for, crime happens in all places, both big and small.

Back in the day, folks around here left their doors unlocked and never feared that a burglary could result or an assault could await them. Those were different times. Older Nashua natives recall the blare of the boodang, or the massive air horn perched atop the old Central Fire Station years ago at 14 Court St. It was used to communicate to residents when there was a general-alarm fire or when school was canceled because of snow.

It was also a reminder to folks that it was 8 p.m. when it rang out at night during summers. I even recall hearing the boodang marking the noon hour across the community.

Many of us miss the boodang, but it became obsolete, in part, due to the speedy high technology we all use today. Now there are messages sent to firefighters’ smartphones when multiple-alarm emergencies come in.

Life is not so carefree in 2019, and modern-day thieves can also use modern-day equipment to get into your vehicle without busting a car window or forcing open a door. Sophisticated devices with radio transmitters purchased online can quickly determine a vehicle’s unique key fob and unlock its doors.

Once the bad apple gets into your vehicle and gets hold of valuables like a wallet or laptop, your problems have just begun. Your identity can be compromised as credit card and banking information is stolen. Even having a GPS navigation device in your vehicle can lead thieves to all kinds of personal data.

I have a friend who had the habit of keeping her wallet on her SUV’s dashboard. She never locked her vehicle in the driveway, and one day, she was stunned to discover her wallet was gone. She’s an intelligent woman who’s more street-savvy than most and often travels across the country on business, and yet, she’s extremely naive in that regard.

I have had to change one of my credit cards twice this year because someone somehow found access to my account. The thief had attempted to spend $1,400 online at Costco with my Visa card.

Really? What a nerve, especially since I am not a Costco member.

The Insurance Information Institute shared this nugget: “According to ‘2018 Identity Fraud: Fraud Enters a New Era of Complexity’ from Javelin Strategy & Research, in 2017, there were 16.7 million victims of identity fraud, a record high that followed a previous record the year before.”

I’m a “Lock Person.” How about you?

Ms. Stylianos is a Nashua native. Her column is published weekly. She can be reached at