10 Huge Home Security Mistakes

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

Tips for Keeping Your Home Safe This Summer When You are Away

We all love our summer vacations, but while you are at the beach or the amusement park, burglars are planning an assault on your home. The fact is this: burglaries rise in the summer months because people are home less often than they are at other times of the year. Here are some tips to keep your home safe while you are enjoying the warmth and sunshine:

Put Thought into Your Home Security

Make sure you are being thoughtful about your home. Go outside, lock the door, and pretend that you are trying to break in. What do you see? Do you see any tools or items like ladders that would make it easy to get to the second floor? Could you use anything to pry open a window or door? If you see anything like this, put it away.

Take a look at your yard, too. Is there anywhere a burglar could hide, such as behind an overgrown shrub? Are there any trees that a burglar could climb to gain access to second floor windows? If ‘yes,’ make sure you trim these down.

Burglar-Proof Your Home

You also want to make sure that your home is as burglar-proof as you can get it. Think smart. For instance, on a warm spring or summer day, you might leave a window open to bring in some fresh air, and then go out for a bit. This is just an open invitation to a burglar to come right in. So, make it a habit to check all windows and doors before you leave.

Burglar-Proof Your Doors

Also, make sure that your doors are burglar-proof. The best doors are solid, not hollow. Hollow doors are easy to kick in. Then walk up to your front door and with all your might try to kick it in. I’M KIDDING! Seriously, do not kick in your door! But, I’ll bet you could if you tried. Know why? Because the door frame and molding is made of one half inch thin pine wood. Check out this video on how easy it is to kick in a door. The actual “kicking” starts right at the 10:00 minute mark where it shows the Door Devil door reinforcement kit doing its job then at 12:00 minutes without the kit and with a swift “donkey” kick, the door smashes right in.

Also, make sure you have a good lock on the doors…and always use them.

Don’t Let Burglars Know You are Away

Burglars can usually tell which homes have people in them and which don’t. Some of the signs that the owners are gone include empty driveways, mail or newspapers piling up, or grass that is in need of mowing. So, before going on vacation, put a hold on your mail and newspaper and talk to a neighbor, friend, or family member about mowing your lawn while you are gone.

Finally, try to resist posting about your vacation on social media until you get home. You don’t want to publically announce to everyone that you are gone and that your home is sitting empty. Save your photos and posts until you get home.

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.

15 Tips to Ensure the Safety and Security of Your Home

When is the last time you thought about the safety and security of your home? How about thinking about it right now? Do you do the following? If not, start, today:

  1. Do you have propane tanks for a gas grill? Or gasoline cans with gas in them? They aren’t supposed to be stored inside. Put them is a safe secure place where kids can’t access them.
  2. Do you have both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors? When is the last time you inspected them? Check the batteries and make sure they are not collecting lint and dust. If you can, integrate them, too. This way, if one goes off in the kitchen, the detectors throughout the house will also get triggered. Set a note in your calendar to replace the battery’s every 6 months.
  3. Does your mailbox lock? If not, consider upgrading to one that does. This way, mail that contains sensitive information won’t just sit out there for the taking.
  4. If you are using an extension cord outside, make sure that it is made for outdoor appliances. Others can cause fires or trip causing other issues.
  5. Don’t leave any notes on your door claiming that you will be home later. This is the case even if you are expecting a package.
  6. Understand that if there is a power outage, your food in the freezer should last for up to 48 hours. Use a generator or stock up on non-perishable food.
  7. When you use an oily rag, put it outside to dry. Then, store it in a metal can with a secure lid. Even if it looks dry, an oily rag is still flammable even if it isn’t in contact with flames.
  8. Don’t try to charge a non-rechargeable battery. This could make it explode.
  9. To dissuade burglars from getting into windows, plant thorny shrubs and bushes around them.
  10. If you have a home security system, make sure everyone knows. Place the company’s decals and signs around your home and yard. If you don’t have one, buy and place signs up anyway. It will still dissuade burglars.
  11. When it snows, shovel the driveway and create a path to your home. This shows the bad guys that someone is home. And various town and city ordinances require this or you’ll get fined.
  12. Before you leave on vacation, set your home phone’s ringer on mute. This way, if a burglar is staking out your home, your phone won’t be a dead giveaway.
  13. Before you leave town, put a hold on your mail and newspaper. Don’t let it pile up.
  14. Also, ask a friend or neighbor to park their car in your driveway if you are away. This way, a burglar will always think someone is home.

While away on vacation, don’t post about it on social media. Burglars often search social media sites to see who in the neighborhood is away.

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.

Don’t Overlook Basement Security

If you are like most of us, you probably don’t think much about the security of your basement. However, you might want to start doing that. Why? Because burglars love to get into homes by crawling into the basement. They know that most people don’t put a lot of security there, so it gives them easy access. Here are some tips to ensure your basement is locked up tight: 

  • If you have a door leading to the basement, make sure there is a good lock on it. Also, get a good, solid door. If the door is hollow, it’s very easy to kick in. Try to install the door so that it opens outwards. This way, it’s very difficult to kick in.
  • Speaking of kicking in, if your door opens inward as most do, you need to reinforce that door and the door frame. Check out the Door Devil door reinforcement kit. It makes kicking in a door extremely difficult.
  • Make sure all windows to the basement are visible from the outside. Windows hidden by shrubbery are perfect windows for burglars to get into since you can’t see them. A dark night paired with dark clothing with the covering of a shrub makes a burglar almost invisible.
  • Speaking of the windows, you should also consider placing bars across basement windows. There are different types of bars on the market, and some are quite beautiful. So, you can improve the look of your home while also securing it.
  • If bars aren’t your thing, you can also install security film onto the windows. This way, if a burglar tries to break the window, the glass will remain in place. You can install this film yourself quite easily.
  • If you have a security system or motion sensors, which you should, make sure that the basement windows and doors are covered by them. Make sure that your basement windows are also monitored for glass breaking, too. Also, consider putting a sticker on those windows to let burglars know that your home has a security system in place.
  • Secure your home from the inside by keeping things like chairs or ladders away from windows. Even if a burglar gets through the glass, they might think twice about jumping several feet down onto the basement floor.
  • Keep valuables out of site. Don’t showcase all of your belongings to just anyone who looks in the window. Burglars often target homes when they can see the valuables inside. If they can’t see anything of value, it’s often not worth the risk. So, put valuables away or move them to an area of the basement where they can’t be seen. Also, consider putting up curtains or frosted glass sheets so burglars can’t see inside.
  • If your basement is the equivalent of a man cave/sports bar equipped with neon lights, know you will be a target. So do everything above.

These are just a few tips to help keep your basement, and ultimately, your home, as safe as possible by simply utilizing the practices above, you can greatly decrease the chances that a burglar could get into your home through the basement.

Robert Siciliano is a home and personal security expert to DoorDevil.com discussing Anti-Kick door reinforcement on YouTube. Disclosures.

45 Home Security Tips That Help to Keep Burglars Away

If you have a home, you should be worried about burglars. Here are 44 home security tips that you can use to keep the burglars away:

  1. Keep your doors locked all of the time.
  2. Use a deadbolt on every door.
  3. Don’t leave ladders outside.
  4. Teach young kids NOT to answer the door.
  5. Make sure there are no valuables sitting out that someone could see from the window.
  6. Keep curtains and shades drawn tight at night.
  7. Install a peephole.
  8. Don’t answer the door unless you expect someone.
  9. Cover all windows with an anti-penetration film known as shatter proof window film.
  10. Put a “beware of dog” sign in the front and back of your property.
  11. If you don’t have a dog, make it look like you do. Drape a large leash over your outdoor furniture, place a large food bowl with water outside, and even throw some dog toys in the yard.
  12. Don’t leave the garage door open or unlocked, ever.
  13. Put your valuables in a sock and hide them under your bathroom vanity. Burglars don’t often check bathrooms.
  14. Even better, put it in a fireproof safe.
  15. Make sure all of your window locks work, and make sure to lock all windows at night.
  16. Don’t allow bushes to grow too high near the home. These offer hiding places for burglars.
  17. Plant thorny bushes around the windows and doors.
  18. Teach your family about fire escape, and then conduct “home invasion drills”
  19. If there are no men in the house, create the illusion of one. Place old, worn men’s work boots by the door along with a tool box.
  20. Make sure all of your window screens are in excellent condition, not torn.
  21. Use stoppers or Charlie bars in all window tracks.
  22. Get a new security system, and make sure it includes motion sensors and cameras.
  23. Place a video surveillance camera, or even a fake one, above the front and back door where it is always visible.
  24. If you are planning a vacation, talk to a neighbor about parking their car in your driveway. Also, ask someone to mow your lawn.
  25. When away, put a hold on your newspaper and mail delivery.
  26. Set up a system that turns on lights inside and out when you are home or away. This way, it looks like you are home.
  27. Don’t post about your vacation on social media until you get home. Burglars look for those posts.
  28. Put decals from a security company on your windows and front door.
  29. Put a security system sign in both the front and the back yard.
  30. Don’t talk about your travel plans with preachers, service people, survey takers, or salespeople. They may not have bad intentions, but people talk too much.
  31. Install a lockbox for spare keys.
  32. Consider building a “safe room.”
  33. Make sure your home’s address is large and very visible from the street.
  34. Put your name inside opposed to outside the mailbox. No need to broadcast it to buglers
  35. Don’t say “We aren’t home right now” on your voice mail recording.
  36. Check all windows after you have a service person in your home. Sometimes, they leave windows open so that they can get in later.
  37. Consider keyless smart locks.
  38. Get a protection dog.
  39. Take a self defense course.
  40. Don’t leave any packages sitting outside of your house. Instead, schedule packages when you can sign for them or use a sign-for service.
  41. Have a phone on your night stand.
  42. Install a good door reinforcement system. Door Devil is a good one.
  43. If you leave the house, turn off the ringer of your home phone. This way, burglars won’t hear it ring without anyone picking it up.
  44. Give a key to your home to a trusted neighbor. Don’t ever leave it under a plastic rock, welcome mat, or a flower pot.
  45. Assume that the guy who knocks at the door representing your alarm company who just shows up wants to rob you.

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.

40 Practical Tips to Keep Your Home Safe and Secure

You have undoubtedly seen tips for protecting your home, but you might not have seen them all. In no particular order, here are 40 tips that you can use today to keep professional burglars from targeting your home and keep safe from hazards: 

  1. Install a peephole.
  2. Keep your doors locked all of the time.
  3. If you do not have a large dog, set it up so that it looks like you do. Get a worn leash and drape it over a chair outside or place an old dog bowl with water out on your deck.
  4. Speaking of dogs, place a “beware of dog” sign on your property, specifically the back.
  5. Do not leave ladders outside. At least lock them up.
  6. Never leave the garage door open unless you are watching it at all times.
  7. If there is no man living in the home, leave an old pair of men’s work boots out near the front door.
  8. Place fake…or even real…video cameras outdoors near the front door.
  9. Install a security system that includes lights with motion detectors at all points of entry.
  10. Use deadbolts on all doors.
  11. Stash your valuables in socks inside of your child’s room, such as in the closet up high. Burglars rarely check a child’s room.
  12. You should also store valuables in a locked, fireproof safe.
  13. Don’t conceal your windows with shrubbery. Instead, plant thorny bushes by all of your windows.
  14. Cover windows with penetration-proof film. Keep shades down and all curtains drawn during the night.
  15. Make sure there are no valuables that potential burglars can see through the windows.
  16. Consider building a “secret room” in your home, like a panic room.
  17. If travelling, put a hold on your mail and newspaper delivery. Also, make sure you have someone mow your lawn and talk to a neighbor about parking their car in your driveway.
  18. When away at night, set up a timed lighting system.
  19. Do not post any vacation or evening plans on social media…they are watching.
  20. Check all of your windows and make sure the locks work. Keep your windows locked at night.
  21. Put a home security sign in both the front and back yard of the home.
  22. Put security company decals on your windows.
  23. Don’t answer the door unless you have a visitor that you are expecting.
  24. Clean up brush or dried leaves from the yard. These are excellent hiding places for thieves.
  25. Make sure your voice mail recording doesn’t tell callers that you are not home.
  26. Make sure the address numbers on your home are large and easy to see for police responding to an alarm.
  27. When getting service in your home (technicians, installers, cleaners etc), check windows after they leave. They might unlock windows for burglars.
  28. When working with salespeople, service people, survey takers, cabbies, or anyone else, do not reveal any travel plans.
  29. Keep all flammables away from your home.
  30. If you smoke, rinse all butts with water. Only then should you throw them away.
  31. Do not leave the home if you have a candle or fireplace burning.
  32. Unplug all countertop appliances when not in use.
  33. Give your spare key to a neighbor that you trust. Do not leave it under flower pots, welcome mats, or plastic rocks.
  34. Your front and back door can easily be kicked in. Install high-grade door reinforcement kits, such as Door Devil Door Reinforcement. Google it. I have 2, and I love it!
  35. Do not leave hot things plugged in, such as irons or hair straighteners, unless you are using them at the moment.
  36. Always have a phone near your bed for emergencies.
  37. If a man shows up representing an alarm company, assume that he is a bad guy. Don’t let him in. Don’t even open the door.
  38. Do not allow delivered packages to sit outside the door. Only accept packages that you can sign for.
  39. Before leaving your home, turn your home phone’s ringer off. This way, burglars will not hear unanswered rings.
  40. Buy a lifesize card board cut out of a sports figure or superhero that can be displayed in any window in your home. This gives the impression someone’s always home.

Robert Siciliano is a home and personal security expert to DoorDevil.com discussing Anti-Kick door reinforcement on YouTube. Disclosures.

Security is Layered – There is NO Home Security Magic Bullet

Is your home secure? You might believe it is, but if you aren’t using layered security, it’s probably not as secure as you think. What’s layered security? It means that you aren’t putting all of your eggs in one security basket. Instead, you are using multiple methods to ensure that you are as safe as possible. The reality is there is NO home security magic bullet. Home security requires a mix of layers Here are some ways to layer your home security:

Protection Dogs

Our furry friends, whether big or small, as long as they are territorial, can offer deterrence and defense. Barking dogs bring attention to the situation and also make burglars think twice. A dog that bites is enough to scare any burglar away.

Windows, Doors, and Locks

Have you changed your locks recently? If you are like most of us, probably not. However, locks are essential to keep the bad guys out. Change those locks to quality locks that cant be easily picked or “bumped” and make sure that you are locking your doors and windows at all times…especially when you leave or at night.

The Yard

Taking care of your yard is another important part of layering security. First, a yard that is neat and tidy shows a burglar that you are around. However, a burglar can also use your yard to their advantage. How? Trees, fences, and tall hedges make great hiding places, which allow burglars to move around unnoticed. So, make sure you keep your hedges and trees trimmed, and think about how any fencing you have can help a bugler hide.

Talk to Your Neighbors

Do you have a Neighborhood Watch? These organizations can also help to keep your home safe. The more people watching your house, the better. Plus, Neighborhood Watch signs are a good deterrent to keep burglars away.

Security Cameras

A security system with cameras is also an excellent way to deter criminals. There are different types on the market, and they are made for both indoors and outdoors. Many times, even a fake security camera can keep the bad guys away.

A Home Security System

Choosing a full-blown home security system is also important when layering security. This system should ideally include entry and motion sensors. You can also get glass break sensors. When you set up your security system, also make sure that you choose a good PIN. It should be one that you remember, but one that is not easy to guess, like an anniversary or birthdate. Ask for a panic button, too, as you never know when you might need it.

Reinforced Doors

You should consider door reinforcement. There are a number of devices on the market including door bar jammers, frame reinforcements, door braces, and deadbolt and door knob wraps. Commercial door reinforcement kits like Door Devil also work well. Made of strong, heavy steel, these devices fit over the jamb of the door, and then is screwed into the door frame.

These are just a few of the things that you can do to layer security for your home. This way, if one method stops working, you have several backups to keep those burglars at bay.

Robert Siciliano is a home and personal security expert to DoorDevil.com. Disclosures.

15 Tips to Keep Your Home Safe During the Holidays

You and your family aren’t the only ones who love the holidays; burglars love them, too. Not only do they know that it gets dark earlier after the time change in November, they also know that you have a lot of newly purchased gifts in your home. It is the perfect storm.

Most homeowners take extra steps around the holiday season to protect their homes. For instance, they often take precautions with Christmas lights or candles as to not start a fire. However, most don’t take any extra security measures to prevent a home robbery. Yes, fire protection is very important, but your home is much more likely to be robbed than to go up in flames. So, here are 15 tips that you can use during this upcoming holiday season:

  1. Always keep your doors locked. This is true even in the daylight and even when you are home.
  2. Always keep your windows locked, even those that are on the second floor. Burglars can and do climb.
  3. Use high quality locks and door reinforcements.
  4. Keep all of your blinds and curtains closed. This keeps your valuables away from prying eyes.
  5. Install security film on all of your windows. These help to strengthen them and help them to hold up to things like crow bars, rocks and baseball bats.
  6. Try to make your home look “lived-in” even if you aren’t home. One way to do this is with home automation technology. These systems do things like turn on/off lights automatically, so that it looks like someone is there.
  7. Bring in your mail and newspaper as soon as they are delivered.
  8. Put a large dog bowl outside near your door. Try to make it look as realistic as possible with water inside it. Also, place a thick leash and chewed up dog toys around.
  9. Take a pair of worn men’s work boots and place them by the door. This makes it less likely that a burglar will enter because they don’t want to confront a man they can’t overpower.
  10. Clear out shrubbery around entry points. These are good hiding places for burglars.
  11. Do a Google news search with the name of your city, state, and the phrase “door kicked in.” What do you see? Likely several cases of the door getting kicked into people in your area. Use door reinforcement products.
  12. If you have a garage, use it to pack and unpack gifts into your car. If you do it outdoors, a burglar might be watching.
  13. Don’t advertise your gift purchases on your social media pages. Thieves are notorious for using social media to find victims.
  14. Invest in a security system for your home. Choose one that offers a view of what is happening in your home. You can access this via computer, tablet, or smart phone.
  15. If you park your car outside, place a pair of large men’s gloves in it. Most burglars won’t go into a house if they believe a large man lives there.

Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video.

Securing Your Home’s Door: Secrets Your Locksmith Won’t Tell You

Are you making a big home security mistake? If you are leaving your doors unlocked, or if you are using low quality lock systems, you are putting yourself…and your home…at risk.

However, just because your door is locked, it doesn’t mean that a burglar can’t kick the door down. But, having the door locked can make it more difficult. This is only one secret that your local locksmith won’t tell you, but there are several more. Here are a few:

Securing Your Doors

  • Reinforce the door frame around the hinge and lock. Consider door reinforcement kits, such as Door Devil.
  • Install a peephole.
  • Don’t answer the door unless you are expecting a visitor. Tell the same to your kids.
  • Install hardened steel deadbolts. These are highly encouraged. Make sure they have a five-pin tumbler, too.
  • Consider multi-lock deadbolts or vertical deadbolts.

Accessories for Your Door to Make it More Secure

  • Consider a door brace. These will help to prevent a burglar from opening the door.
  • A wedge or door stop will likely not totally stop a burglar, but if you choose one with an alarm, anyone in the home will definitely hear it.
  • A door chain will not protect you. It doesn’t take a lot of pressure to break them.

Additional Tips for Door Security

  • Replace your hollow wood door with a metal or solid wood door.
  • Choose a door that does NOT have a window. An intruder can easily break a window and access the lock.
  • If you have a current door that DOES have a window, install attractive metal bars over the glass.
  • Make sure the hinges of the door are not visible on the outside of the door.
  • Consider installing a cross bar. This is a heavy steel bar that you can place across the inside of the door.
  • Inspect deadbolts. Any deadbolt that is low quality should be replaced. If you want to have even more security, install a second deadbolt.
  • Use door braces when you can. Take one of these braces and stick it under the knob of the door. The other end will remain on the floor at an angle to the doorknob. These are great devices, but too many people forget to put the brace up before they go to bed or leave the home. It is useless if it is just leaning against the wall, and it only takes a couple of seconds to put into place.
  • For the best door security, think about installing some type of door reinforcement kit. Imagine how secure your door would be with 1/16-inch of heavy steel. No one could kick through that! Also, imagine a four-foot metal bar that you install right over the strike plates and screw directly into the frame of the door. This will give you one tough security system on your door, and it’s exactly what the door jamb security kit from Door Devil offers. See here on YouTube.

Robert Siciliano is a home and personal security expert to DoorDevil.com. Disclosures.

7 Ways to Prevent Getting Locked Out of Your Home

Be honest. Do you have a key to your house under your doormat or a flowerpot? If you do, you might as well put a sign out that says “Come rob me.” This isn’t to say you shouldn’t have a key somewhere, though. After all, you might need it one of these days. However, there are better places to hide your house key:

  • In a Lockbox – A key lockbox is a good idea. These have a combination that you will need to get into it, but, of course, you have to remember that combination.
  • In Your Car – You also might consider leaving an extra house key in your car. The glove compartment or under a floor mat are good options. Even if someone breaks in, they aren’t going to be looking for a house key.
  • In a Fake Rock – You can also use a fake tock to hide your house key, as long as it looks like a real rock, and as long as it blends in. If the fake rock stands out like a sore thumb, it’s not one that you should use.
  • Under the Siding – Hiding the house key under your siding is another method to consider. Tie thin wire or strong string to the key, and then push the key under the siding so that only the string hangs out. When you need it, simply pull the string.
  • At Another Home – Do you have neighbors that you trust? If so, consider hiding the key at their house, and then offer to allow them to hide their key at yours. Even if their key is discovered, it won’t work in your locks.
  • Upgrade to an Automatic Garage Door – If you can access your home through the garage door, consider a keypad for the garage. Then, you can simply use a code to open it. Just be cautious that you aren’t sharing the code with anyone and everyone.
  • Ditch Your House Key – Finally, consider upgrading your locks to a key-coded lock. These programs can be programed at anytime and anywhere, and they aren’t super expensive. The simplest locks are about $35, and go up to a couple of hundred, depending on the features. This will definitely solve all of your house key problems.

Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video.