Make friends with those who live around you, or at least a passing acquaintance, as watchful neighbours can be your best allies in home defence, Paulsen says. You don’t want to tell everyone when you’re headed out of town (especially not on the internet) but you do want to tell your plans to your neighbours and your neighbourhood watch program, if you have one, so they can keep an eye out for strange behaviour or people they don’t recognise.
Your front yard
Having an unkempt front yard, littered with door ads, old newspapers and weeds, is a blaring sign that no one is home and one that criminals look for, Paulsen says. If you’re out of town, ask a neighbour to pick up any papers, turn lights on and off, and basically make your house look lived in, he advises. Or, even better, hire a house sitter.
Your holiday pics
One in four people admits posting pics and check-ins on social media while out of town, according to the Nationwide survey. And while putting your holiday pictures online might get you a lot of likes, it also notifies your friends and acquaintances that you’re now far from home, making your house a prime target for anyone with ill intentions or just an opportunistic streak. Instead, make sure your social media profiles aren’t public, set your privacy settings to max, and wait to post your beautiful beach selfies until you get home, Paulsen says.