Though it would be nice to think that you can fix something if you make a mistake, there are some where there is just no going back. And in some cases, these mistakes can be tragic. Here are some of the biggest mistakes that people make with their home security:
- Leaving Doors Unlocked – It only takes two seconds to lock your door. It should be a habit. It doesn’t matter if you are just gardening in the backyard or running to the store for 5 minutes in the middle of the afternoon, lock the door. Often, a burglar rings the doorbell. If there is no answer, they jiggle the knob. If the door opens, he lets himself in and starts ransacking the place. They can do the same thing with windows.
- Not Setting Alarms – You shouldn’t assume that a break in only occurs when you are gone. A guy high on crack won’t care if you are home or not. So, keep your alarm on when you are home, and only disable it when you have to go out momentarily.
- Being Too Cheap – Don’t settle for a cheap lock. Locks can be easily picked by using what’s called a “bump key”. Remember, you get what you pay for. So, spend the cash on a good lock. There is a dramatic difference between a lock that costs $20 and one that costs $60.
- Keeping a Ladder in the Yard – Keeping a ladder in your yard is almost the exact same thing as leaving your door right open with a “Welcome Burglar” sign on your home. A bad guy can easily use that ladder to get into your home. At least lock up the ladder.
- Hiding Keys – Even the dumbest criminals know that people hide house keys under fake rocks, flower pots, and welcome mats. Instead, make the small investment into a keyless lock. Or buy a lock box.
- Putting Your Valuables on Display – Use caution when you display expensive items. This is especially the case if you can see them from the window. If you can’t move these items, make sure to keep the shades down.
- Keeping Your Garage Unlocked – Don’t just leave your garage open or unlocked. There is a lot of valuable stuff in there, and a burglar might even gain access to your house via the garage.
- Not Using Lights at Night – A dark yard or home is a sign that no one is home. In other words, the perfect time for a thief to get into your house. So, set up timed and motion sensitive lighting on the exterior and interior of the home. Also, leave a radio or television on when you are gone.
- Leaving Deliveries Out or Not Cleaning the Yard – A sure sign that you are gone, and your home is open for burglars, is a pile of mail or newspapers. It’s also a sign if your lawn is overgrown. So, ask someone to grab your mail, park in your driveway and mow your lawn when you are on vacation.
- Displaying Their Good Trash – If you see a neighbor place a large Sony box with a television printed on it or a Dell cardboard box on the curb, you can easily deduce that they just got high end electronics. Robbers know this, and they know that something very valuable is in the home they can sell for drugs.
Bonus…#11…Putting their Life on Social Media – Do not post on social media when you are on a trip. Save it for when you are home. Why? Because burglars are looking for those posts, too.
Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of Identity Theft Privacy: Security Protection and Fraud Prevention: Your Guide to Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft and Computer Fraud. See him knock’em dead in this Security Awareness Training video.