Anyone who's ever seen the great American classic 'Home Alone' knows that the holiday season is prime time for burglars. With that in mind, the NYPD has offered up some security tips.
1. Think like a burglar.
What are the most vulnerable areas of your home? Be careful of dog doors, outdoor ladders, even trees that offer access to windows.
2. Lock doors and windows.
Fairly straightforward, but pay careful attention to ground floor doors, and use dead bolts whenever possible.
3. Don't advertise that you're away.
Don't let mail or newspapers pile up on your doorstep. Cancel or suspend deliveries, or have a friend come pick up your mail.
4. Be mindful of information you share on social media.
While you might be itching to make sure everyone in your 900-person-strong social circle knows you're kicking it in the Latin American sun, there's no such thing as privacy in the internet age, regardless of whatever settings you think you've got. Wait and share your vacation photos when you're back.
5. Look out for identity theft.
Unfortunately, fake charities come out of the woodwork for the holiday season, so use caution when donating. Don't ever share sensitive information like your social security number.
6. Be neighborly.
Now is a great time to bring your neighbors some of those not-too-burnt Christmas cookies! It's always good to have someone nearby who can check in on your house for you while you're away.
Get 'em out in full force — outdoor lights, motion sensor lights, go all out.
8. Manage keys and keychains.
Now is a good time to take stock of all the myriad friends you've handed out keys too — good idea to check all those keys can be accounted for.
9. Make sure you've got all the bells and whistles, literally, that your alarm system company offers.
The NYPD noted that some alarm systems have integrated fire, smoke, carbon monoxide, and flood monitoring. Call your alarm company and make sure your house is fitted out with the works.
10. Turn your alarm system on.
Apparently, not everyone does this.