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Protect Your Home with a House Sitter over the Holidays

Posted November 4, 2010

Keeping yourself and your home safe during the holidays

The holidays are a busy time of year for everyone. The hustle and bustle of the season makes it the perfect time for criminals to target homes, belongings, and personal information. It's important to be vigilant during the holidays, as homes and cars are often filled with gifts and gadgets, making them tempting targets.

There are some important steps you can take to protect yourself, home, and family during this holiday season.

Protect your home:

  • Consider installing a home-security system. While many companies offer monitored home security services, even a simple alarm when a door or window is opened can be enough to scare away a potential burglar. A home without a security system is two to three times more likely to be burglarized, according to a recent study. Consider posting a sticker in the window with a security company's name to alert potential burglars of the security system.

  • It's important to make your home look occupied while you're away. You can do this by using a timer to program both the inside and outside lights.

  • Put a stop on mail and newspaper delivery while you're away. It's usually as easy as an online form with the post office or newspaper.

  • Arrange for a trusted friend, family member, or house-sitter to remove any flyers that have been left on your door. Also consider making arrangements for snow removal in case of snowfall while you're away.

  • If you plan on being away from home for several days or weeks, you may consider hiring a professional house-sitter to care for your home while you are away. This can provide you the peace of mind you desire during the holidays.

Protect yourself from physical and identity theft

  • Always place valuables in the trunk of your car. Never leave purses, shopping bags, wrapped gifts or other valuables visible.

  • Reduce the number of credit cards and forms of identification you carry to a minimum. Never carry your social security card with you.

  • Memorize PIN numbers and cover the keypad with your free hand to prevent others from looking over your shoulder.

  • Keep your credit card in sight when it's being charged.

  • Consider enrolling in an identity theft protection service that can alert you if your personal information is ever used incorrectly.

  • Save and match credit card receipts with monthly statements. Check online accounts daily

  • Deposit mail in U.S. Postal Service collection boxes, rather than your own mailbox if you are located in an area where others can access your mailbox.

  • Don't leave mail in your mailbox overnight or on weekends.

  • Don't leave receipts behind at ATMs, on counters, at financial institutions, trash receptacles, or at gasoline pumps.

Following these important steps can help to protect you and your loved ones during this busy time of year!

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