1. Pay Attention to Your Surroundings
The best thing you can do is to be aware of your surroundings. When walking outside and close to your home, not only should you be looking up from your phone, but make sure to look to your sides and behind you every so often. When you’re more aware of your neighborhood you’re more likely to notice if something is out of place or appears suspicious. Look around as you enter and exit your home. Pay attention to little details, and listen to your gut if something ever seems off.
2. Lock Your Doors
This tip sounds funny, but it's so common for people to forget to lock their doors nowadays. A tip that we recommend is to put a small note on the inside of your door, about your shoulder's height, that says something like "lock door". It's a great reminder and will help alleviate potential future problems. If your locks just aren't that strong, consider upgrading to better locks for exterior doors.
3. Protect Personal Information
Don’t list your full name on mailboxes or buzzers. Use only your last name and first initial, or something similar. Don’t toss junk mail in the trash, particularly if it’s a pre-approved credit offer. Take the time to shred anything that has your name, address or other personal information on it. Leave your Social Security card in a lockbox rather than carrying it in your wallet, and be extremely cautious when you must share this type of information.
4. Keep Valuables Out of Sight
Thieves are looking for easy targets. They're more likely to target a home or person if valuable items are exposed in plain sight. Expensive power tools sitting in plain sight in an open garage are very tempting. A new computer system within view of a window may make your home a priority for criminals. If walking on the street, cover expensive jewelry with your shirt or coat, and if indoors, put valuables in a safe or at least hidden in a closet.
5. Have Someone Watch Your Back
Perhaps the best way to protect yourself is to have someone watching your back. While you may not have other people in the home to call for help if needed, you can have an entire team of people monitoring the home remotely. With a monitored alarm system, someone can call for help if your home is broken into or there’s a fire.
If you're walking outside late at night, ask someone you know to either escort you home or watch you from a distance.
Follow these tips to protect yourself from intruders. Taking these steps will provide you with peace of mind knowing that you’re less of a target and help is only a phone call away. Follow these rules and you might even find that you sleep better at night.