Keeping your home safe

Follow your local news and police reports vigorously. You should be able to get a feel for the types of crime happening in your area, and can figure out a game plan based on that. Personally, my area is high-crime, but it’s all smash-and-grab type thefts. While my vehicle has been robbed 3x in the past year, I have zero concern whatsoever that I will be the victim of an armed home invasion. It’s just not the style for the area.

If you have a choice, try to live in a moderately populated area, near a police station. Living at the end of an isolated cul-de-sac is going to be a lot easier for a thief to get into without being noticed, than a townhome in a 100-unit property. Be friendly with your neighbors, to the point where they will recognize any sketchy activity.

Keep your nose clean, and don’t associate yourself with sketchy characters. Crime begets crime. It’s callous for me to say, but really, 90%+ of the victims of crime that I know – had it coming. Keep receipts for anything you paid more than $250 for, and keep them in a fireproof safe. If you do end up having to file an insurance claim, they are going to fuck you over hardcore without documentation. Be aware that for high ticket items, they are required to be scheduled on your policy ahead of time. If you have a $15k home theater system, or $20k in collectible MagicTG cards, your insurance company needs to know about that ahead of time.

Keep serial numbers (and photos, if possible) of anything you care about. If your laptop gets stolen, and you see it the next day in the pawn shop down the street, it won’t mean shit unless you have that serial number already on file somewhere. Register all of your products with the manufacturer whenever possible.

You will have a hell of a time dealing with an automotive theft claim is the thief used your car keys. Keep those safe. Make copies of all your important documents, including copies of all your credit cards. It will be 100x easier to cancel all of them if a thief gets them. Shred any important documents you are throwing out. I could write endlessly about identity theft. I’ll save that for another day.Regularly backup your computer to some cloud-based service. Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. If someone steals your laptop, it shouldn’t fuck up your life. Install some sort of tracking app on your computer and phone RIGHT NOW if you haven’t already.

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