- Close and lock all exterior doors--whether you are home or not.
- Locate computers, stereos and other "high dollar" items out of direct sight of
- When you buy something new for your computer, shred the box if you throw it away. Don't
let your trash be an ad for what's in your house.
- Don't give out personal (i.e., how many live in your home) or schedule (e.g., "I
travel a lot") information to telemarketers.
- Invest in a good set of deadbolt locks, and have a professional install them.
- Hide cash, jewelry, and guns somewhere other than your bedroom--this is the first place
- Install a lock on your mailbox. Better yet, don't receive
mail at your home address.
More about mailboxes: These days, almost nothing important
comes via USPS so it's not necessary to check the mailbox unless you are
actually expecting something. With electronic banking, auto bill pay, etc., most
people don't even need a mailbox. Mostly what USPS delivers is junk mail, which
you subsequently have to shred and/or toss in the trash. If you don't want the
expense of a PO Box, you can just eliminate having mail sent to you for any of
your accounts by going paperless. Make it all e-delivery.
- Do routine maintenance, to avoid breakdowns (keep tires inflated, check your hoses,
belts, and fluids 1x/month)
- Always lock your car when you are in it. Do so when you leave your car, and take your
keys with you.
- Keep your interior uncluttered.
- Keep an emergency tool kit and emergency road kit in the trunk.
- Do not leave packages, CD cases, cell-phones, purses, or briefcases on the seat.
- Do not leave your radar detector mounted on your window--take it down when you leave
your car unattended.
When in public (shopping, strolling, jogging, at the airport, etc.):
- Display confidence. Don't walk in a daze, but with purpose.
- Don't carry large amounts of cash.
- Carry your purse or briefcase close to your body and, preferably, in front of you.
- Don't put your wallet in your back pocket (doing so is also bad for your back).
- Have your keys in your hand when walking to your car.
- Look into your car before getting into your car.
- Don't put receipts with your purchased goods--a thief can use those
receipts to cash in
what you just bought!
We highly recommend this book by Wayne LaPierre (yes, THAT Wayne LaPierre):
SAFE: How to Protect Yourself, Your Family, and Your Home.|
About home security systems
Home security systems (as they are called) seem like a good idea. The
typical owner pays about $400 a year to let the police know
there's been a $400 robbery. Hmm. Do you see what's wrong with this
That isn't how it has to be. You can set up an alarm system
that notifies you when a break-in is in progress. This is called an
"unmonitored" system because you're not paying the monitoring fee. And
because the system calls you, security actually improves.
The false alarm rate with monitored systems is so high that police
treat these calls as low priority. You can set up your own system to call
you and to call an inexpensive monitoring service. For example, Alarm Relay charges less than $10 a month.
You can find security systems, easily enough. You could go out and
buy one, or you could locate a local security system installer who will
make a recommendation and get you one probably a little cheaper. Plan on
spending about $300 to $400 to get the system and get it properly
installed. Or, you can save money by installing one of the new wireless
Video monitoring is also very cool. In our last issue, we featured
some security cameras. We have since added to
our line of security products, including such items as DVRs
disguised as books and DVRs inside functioning computer speakers.