Last month, Jeffrey Gundlach, CEO of Barron’s, reported over $10 million in stolen possessions, including a Porsche, expensive jewelry, wine, and millions of dollars worth of art. Gundlach discovered the missing property after returning from a trip.
Though several of the pieces have been recovered, the fact that a heist of such magnitude was even able to take place is unnerving. Most of us probably don’t have quite as much to lose, but the obvious question remains: How can we protect our homes, collected artwork, and other valuable possessions when we’re away?
First, don’t broadcast the fact that you’re leaving. Instead, tell just a few important people. There’s no reason why every single Facebook friend should be notified, or why voicemail and e-mail announcements should go out. Have a neighbor, friend, or family member make sure your mail gets picked up on a daily basis to avoid having packages stolen or developing stockpiles of newspapers on your door.
Keep your social media secure. Make sure your personal information is private and only those you trust have access to it. You can take one step further even and make customized lists to control which of your friends sees your activity.
Have a way to keep the burglars out. This includes basics like locking all doors and windows and setting a home alarm if available. Use a safety deposit box for any valuables you want to keep extra safe—and then keep it hidden somewhere secure. Burglars usually won’t break in if they think you are home, so try setting up a timer for indoor and outdoor lights, and set up a motion activated floodlight outside.
Finally, if you can, try setting up a personal security camera so that you can check up on your home remotely whenever you want. If you have a friend or family member that can, ask them to house sit or check up on things while you’re out. Then your house won’t be empty and vulnerable to break-ins and you’ll find your art safely in its frame upon your arrival home.
Home security is important, but so is enjoying your vacation—so give yourself one less thing to worry about by staying prepared.