We’ve all heard of people getting their homes broken into while they were away on holiday. It’s as if thieves know there’s nobody at home, and use that to their advantage in order to get inside your home and grab everything they can. Is that a coincidence?

Unfortunately, in most situations, it’s not. Most homeowners, consciously or not, will basically tell thieves that for a set period of time, they won’t be at home. This makes the home an easy target. But how do you not do this? How do you keep your home protected even during the holiday season when there’s nobody at home?

There are a few things that you could be doing, and fortunately, they’re all very easy, and either free or really cheap. Without further ado, let’s see how you can protect your home during the holidays.

Keep your home locked all around

No, not just the first floor – keep everything locked. The front door is obvious, and so are the ground-level windows. However, you won’t be surprised to know that burglars do in fact have climbing skills, so you should lock the windows on the upper floors, too.

If you don’t have window locks, now is as good a time as any to invest – they’re a crucial part of home security. Make sure you get quality ones and don’t skimp on them. Oh, while we’re discussing the windows, you’ll want to keep the blinds and curtains closed when you aren’t around.

Don’t let people know you’re on a vacation

We all want to post pictures of our vacation. Whether it’s a picture at the airport and you’re announcing that you’re waiting for a flight to take you to Hawaii for a week, or a picture of you in Bali, sipping cocktails, this is something you should wait a bit for. If a thief does see this on your social media, they know you aren’t at home.

Instead, take all the pictures you want, but save the posting for when you’re at home, after the vacation. This can make all the difference in the world, and you aren’t missing out on anything – people will still know you went on a vacation.

Another major giveaway here is your mailbox. If you’re at home, you’d be collecting your mail on a daily basis, right? Well, that’s a bit hard to do when you’re on vacation, and a thief casing your place will easily notice that there’s a massive pileup of mail and newspapers, whether it’s in your mailbox, or on your porch.

How do you solve this? Well, you could have a friend or neighbor you trust pick up the mail for you. They can have it for safekeeping until you get back, and they will get it out of sight pretty quickly.

Re-route your expected package deliveries

In a world where we constantly order things online, there’s a pretty big chance of a package arriving at your door while you aren’t at home. Now, someone can easily grab it from your porch, and with the reputation of most delivery companies, you’ll have a hard time proving that someone wasn’t you. To add to that, a package sitting outside for a few days is another easy giveaway that you aren’t there.

You have two main options here. One would be to call the delivery service that you expect to make the delivery. You can let them know that you won’t be at home, and see whether they can delay the delivery for a few days until you get home. This is a hit or miss, as some companies will be more than happy to accommodate, and you’ll come across issues with others.

The second option is to rent out a package locker, or a PO box. Amazon Prime members have access to package lockers for free, which might come in handy in such a situation. In any case, your package won’t be delivered to your porch, and instead will be in a safe location until you get home.