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Crime Prevention and Personal Security

All Personal Growth Articles

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Your  home:

  • 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 windows.
  • 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 thieves look.
  • 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.

Your car:

  • 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 picture?

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 ones, yourself.

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.

 

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