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Protecting Personal Information During A Home Theft

While you may be taking all the necessary precautions to safeguard your personal information when surfing on the Internet or when out in public, what do you do if your home is broken into and your personal documents are stolen? How can you protect yourself from identity theft in your own home? Should you even be afraid to have personal papers and information stored in your home, and if so, then where, if anywhere, is safe? How can you protect yourself from identity theft in your own home?

Preventing Break-ins

The best way to protect your personal identity and to keep your home-stored personal documents secure is by preventing a break-in. It is estimated that almost 9-10 home break-ins could be prevented if the homeowner just followed a few simple precautions to deter thieves from targeting their home.

*One method to protect your home from burglary is to make sure that your windows and doors are always locked whenever you are away from the house or asleep. You nightly checklist before turning in should consist of checking all doors and windows in your home and making sure they are properly locked and secure. You should also consider investing in a strong door that cannot be easily knocked down.

*You should also consider purchasing deadbolts for your doors and windows in addition to the conventional locks for added security and to make it more difficult and time consuming for a thief to break-in to your home. Don't let the thief's entry be an easy one.

*If you have sliding glass doors in your home then you should also invest in a secure lock for them. In addition, you should put a metal or wood dowel in the door track whenever the door is not in use to prevent the door from opening even if the lock is broken.

*Purchase an alarm system from a reputable company. Almost 90% of all home burglars say they would avoid homes with a similar home security system.

*Invest in exterior lighting that reaches out into your yard and also lights up the actual house. Motion sensor lights are also a good investment and could deter thieves from attempting to burglar your home. Keep the entrances to your home lit at all times. Remember, your thief doesn't want to be seen and will not target a home where he cannot disappear into the shadows.

*Don't keep valuables in the windows or anywhere visible to someone outside your home. No need to invite temptation. You also may want to stow away valuables when workmen or any strangers are in the house so that your home's contents are unknown.

*A good tip to know is that most thieves head straight for the bedroom once entering your home. Try storing your personal information in a less obvious place and consider investing in a personal safe.

*Make copies of your personal documents and store them in another location, like in a relative's home, in case your papers are stolen.

*If you store personal information on your home computer then make sure you have strong passwords protecting this information in the event your computer is stolen.

*Invest in a paper shredder and destroy any papers with personal information. This even includes envelops with your name and address.

*Trim any shrubbery around your home especially near your windows and doors. Tall or bushy plants could become a protective hiding place for potential thieves.

While You Are Away

If you plan on being away from your home, especially for a lengthy period of time, then there are many precautions you should take to protect your home from a break-in.

*Stop the delivery of your mail during your absence or ask a trusted friend or neighbor to collect your mail daily. If packages and letters accumulate it is a sure sign to passersby that you are not at home.

*Ask neighbors to keep an eye on your house while you are away. If they are aware of your absence they can watch for any suspicious movement coming from inside or outside your home.

*Don't leave computer or voice messages announcing that you are away. You never know who might be trying to contact you and then hear this information.

*Don't announce to people you don't know that you will be away. The less people who know your house is empty, the better.

*Don't put your home address on your luggage tags. Try putting an alternative address, like your work address, instead. That way no one who handles your luggage will know where you live and that you are now away.

By following these few and simple precautions, you can help protect your personal information and prevent a home break-in. Thieves don't want to make too much effort to rob your home so by making your home just a little more secure and by making it just a bit riskier and time consuming to break into your home, many thieves will opt to find another location to target. Remember, prevention is the best tool at your disposable in the fight against identity theft.

 

article written by: Nicole Sivan

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