Your home is a place where you should feel safe and protected from the outside world. Unfortunately, criminals are out there that threaten that safe feeling as they hope to burglarize homes and make a profit off their findings. While you can’t stop someone with the intent of gaining access to your home from trying, you can stop opportunistic burglars from targeting your house.

Keep reading to learn how you can prevent your home from being targeted by burglars.

Lock Your Doors and Windows
This may sound obvious, but many burglars gain access to homes through unlocked doors and windows.  While you may not feel the need to if you're in a friendly neighborhood, a small town, or if nobody else seems to do it, it's imperative to lock your doors and windows to keep intruders out. Be sure to double-check entries at night to ensure they've been locked after everyone is home. This includes entrances to the garage. Garage doors can be opened from the outside fairly easily – be sure to install a deadbolt on the door that leads to the garage from the house and lock this door when not in use.

Automatic Lights
Program lights to go on automatically.  This will help keep the home well lit and can trick would-be burglars into thinking somebody is home, even if you haven’t arrived yet. Additionally, set up outside lights to have motion sensors. this could provide an extra level of security.

Don’t leave ladders outside
Leaving ladders outside makes it easy for an opportunistic burglar to sneak into an open window on the second floor. It’s best to keep ladders locked up in a shed if possible.

Install a home security system
A home security system is a great way to secure your home from intruders. If someone tries to sneak into your home and sets the alarm off, this will likely scare them away from the scene. Additionally, having a small window sticker by your front door saying a home security system protects your home can make you seem like a risky target for a would-be burglar, and they may move on.

When you go away on vacation, here are some extra tips that you can do to not become a target while you’re away.

Put a hold on mail
When you’re away on vacation, put a hold on your mail or ask a trusted friend to pick up your mail and bring it inside each day.

Get a house sitter
Have someone stay at your house for the length of your trip, so there's always somebody around to take care of the mail, trash, and other household needs.

Stay away from posting on social media
Although going on vacation is always fun – be wary about posting about the fact that your home will be unoccupied for a while. Posting on social media when you're away from your home is telling would-be burglars that there's nobody there to catch them in the act. Instead, post photos after your vacation is over.