Lax Home Security

Wendy Camerik never used to lock her door. That changed after there were seven house break-ins in her neighborhood on the same day.

Wendy says, "My routine when I leave the house has completely turned upside-down because I have to remember to turn on the alarm and lock the doors before I leave."

Plenty of people aren't taking the same precautions. 19% of U.S. homeowners don't always lock their doors, according to a Consumer Reports' National Research Center survey.
26% sometimes don't lock their windows, and 43% don't always turn on their home alarm when they're away.

Those are just some of the many security mistakes Consumer Reports uncovered when it took a look at 25 things cops and crooks say you're doing wrong.

Dan DiClerico with Consumer Reports says, "They told us that letting bushes and shrubs get overgrown and having poor exterior lighting make it easier for a burglar to hide and then break into your home."

Leaving your garage door open is another no-no.

Dan warns, "Not only can everything in your garage be stolen, but a burglar can break down the door leading into your house, which usually isn't as strong."

People are lax with their cars, too. 11% of those polled said they sometimes leave their car keys in the ignition. And hiding a spare key is another dumb move.

Dan adds, "That just makes it easier for thieves. It's better to keep a spare in your wallet or purse."

And when you're away from home, don't let newspapers and mail pile up. And leaving some inexpensive kids' toys on the lawn can help deter thieves who think you're home.

Consumer Reports says people aren't just lax with security for their home and car. Apparently plenty of people are making it easy for crooks to access their bank accounts. In fact nearly one in ten keep their PIN code with their debit card, according to ACI Worldwide, a payment-systems company.

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