We don't want to deal with all of your kid toys
Africa-Studio/ShutterstockHere's a helpful hint: I almost never go into kids' rooms. But if you own any of these cars, it's pretty likely to get stolen.
Bolt down your safe
You're right: I won’t have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it's not bolted down, I'll take it with me.
We don't like TVs
A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system. If you’re reluctant to leave your TV on while you’re out of town, you can buy a $35 device that works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of a real television. (Find it at faketv.com.) Criminals aren't just in your home, though–they're also online. Here's how you can protect yourself while surfing the web.
I won't look like a burglar
Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and carry a rake. I do my best to never, ever look like a crook.
It pays to have a dog
The two things I hate most: Loud dogs and nosy neighbors. (By the way, if you're ever out at a restaurant or bar, here's how to practically theft-proof your purse.)
I'm not afraid to break a window
karamysh/ShutterstockI’ll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If your neighbor hears one loud sound, he’ll stop what he’s doing and wait to hear it again. If he doesn’t hear it again, he’ll just go back to what he was doing. It’s human nature.
Always set your alarm
ben-bryant/ShutterstockYour alarm only works if it's on. I’m not complaining, but why would you pay all that money for a fancy alarm system and leave your house without setting it? (Your phone is an easy gateway for criminals to access your personal information, too. Here's how to keep your phone and private information safe.)
Close your blinds
I love looking in your windows. I’m looking for signs that you’re home, and for flat screen TVs or gaming systems I’d like. I’ll drive or walk through your neighborhood at night, before you close the blinds, just to pick my targets.
Don't give updates on social media
sergey-causelove/ShutterstockAvoid announcing your vacation on your Facebook page (and stay away from these posts, too, while you're at it). It’s easier than you think to look up your address.
Close your windows when you're not home
Lock your windows. To you, leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a way to let in a little fresh air. To me, it’s an invitation.