Blog Contributor: Monitronics
At Monitronics, we like to provide our readers with hints and tips on how to protect their homes from intruders – the most obvious piece of advice being to install a monitored security alarm. However, what about the things you do that give a would-be burglar the information he or she needs to target your home? Here are five security “don’ts”:
1. Don’t give burglars a calling card
Burglars like to target homes they know contain expensive and valuable items, and they can find out if you have anything worth stealing by rummaging through your garbage. Putting boxes outside that contain valuable items such as a laptop or flat screen several days before garbage collection day gives intruders the calling card they need to break into your home. Rather than leave boxes outside, try keeping them in the garage, or even in the home, until garbage day.
2. Don’t tell the world your whereabouts online
We all like to use social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare these days. Criminals are no exception, but they tend to use them for a different purpose than the rest of us. Social networks allow us to “check-in” to various places and tell friends and followers about our upcoming vacation plans, but by doing this, you may be inadvertently telling a burglar the best time to target your home. Keep statuses and tweets private except for real friends and accepted followers.
3. Don’t leave hidden keys outside your home
It’s common practice for homeowners to hide a spare key under a welcome mat or plant pot, and burglars know this. However clever your hiding place may seem, a burglar that’s able to find it will have an easy entry to your home. Always leave your spare key with trusted friends or neighbors.
4. Don’t put your name on your mailbox
Having your name emblazoned across your mailbox may be helpful to the mailman, but it also gives thieves all the information they need to find your phone number online and call to see if anybody is home. A mailbox only needs to show your house number.
5. Don’t let strangers into your home
Burglars these days tend not to sneak around in masks and dark clothing. They are often much more clever than this and use ruses to gain entry to your home. Always ask for identification when service employees and sales representatives knock at the door and don’t allow in anyone asking to use the phone; instead tell them that you will make the call on their behalf.
Following these home security “don’ts” will make your home much less of a target to potential intruders. By combining them with a monitored home alarm system from Monitronics, you can help ensure that your property and family never becomes a victim of theft.