One of the most important changes has been the advent of smartphone technology, allowing property owners to monitor and control their security systems when they are at work, running errands or out of town. It turns out that smart phones have all the electronics used in major security systems -- both on the sensor side and the monitoring side. Systems can be armed and disabled via mobile phone, which could come in handy if you're in a hurry and forget to arm the system before heading out. Systems can also be programmed to either email or send a text message to the owner whenever it detects an opening, closing, extreme change in temperature or broken windows. This can be extremely useful if you want to be notified when your children have returned home while you're at work. You can even program your system to record video when it detects a break-in.