<p> Protecting your home isn&#39;t rocket science. Even without an expensive alarm system, there are a number of little things you can do to bump up your home&#39;s security. Some cost nothing more than a little time and effort.</p> <p> Here are 10 tips that will keep your house safer.</p> <p> [<a href="">How to Set Up a Budget Home Security System</a>]</p>

Have a life change? Change the locks.

<p> The easiest way to break into a home is to have a door key or the <a href="">passcode</a> for a keypad lock.</p> <p> When purchasing a new home, most of us simply accept the keys at the closing and don&#39;t think twice about the number of people who may also have copies of those keys.</p> <p> Or perhaps you just ended a relationship, and you worry that your ex still has a key to your front door. Changing the locks or the passcode allows you to control who has access to your home.</p> <p> Also change the locks if you lose your keys.</p> <p> [<a href="" target="_blank">10 Best Home Security Monitoring Services</a>]</p>

Hide your spare key on your four-legged friend.

<p> Do you have outside dogs? Or do you have a dog that can come outside via a pet door?</p> <p> &quot;There&#39;s your hide-a-key location,&quot; said Paul Purcell, an Atlanta-based security consultant and author of &quot;Disaster Prep 101&quot; (InfoQuest, 2004). &quot;Tape a key securely to your dog&#39;s collar where it can&#39;t readily be seen. And if you have more than one dog, put the key on the dog least likely to be friendly to strangers.&quot;</p> <p> [<a href="">Make an Old Computer Your Home Security System</a>]</p>

Trim the bushes.

<p> Burglars like hiding places, and the best hiding places are between your house and the yard or garden.</p> <p> The rhododendron bushes along the side of your house might look beautiful, but they also provide cover for someone who wants to break in.</p> <p> Instead, consider having an open space that runs all the way up to the building, especially near windows.</p> <p> [<a href="">Future &#39;Smart Homes&#39; Will Watch and Remember Your Needs</a>]</p>

Avoid a room with a view. A view from the outside, that is.

<p> Stand outside your house and take notice of what you can see through the windows.</p> <p> Is your <a href="">62-inch television</a> in plain sight from the sidewalk? Can you see your computer or other valuable electronics from the doorway?</p> <p> If you can see them, so can thieves. If possible, move valuables out of sight of the street. If you can&#39;t, then make sure the windows are always covered.</p> <p> [<a href="">How to Secure Your Home, Auto and Smartphone</a>]</p>

Hide the external wiring.

<p> Savvy thieves are always on the lookout for copper because it can be sold for a lot of money. Copper is often found in wiring, especially in air-conditioning units.</p> <p> Burglars also look for external wiring to cut off electricity, <a href="">alarm systems</a>, phones, etc., before breaking in.</p> <p> Make sure external wiring is well-protected and difficult to get to, if it can&rsquo;t be removed outright.</p> <p> [<a href="">How to Secure Your Home Wireless Network</a>]</p>

Know your neighbors, especially the neighborhood gossip.

<p> &quot;We all need to watch out for each other more, and in too many cases we spend more time at work or online and we don&#39;t know the people around us that we should help or who could help us in an emergency,&quot; Purcell said.</p> <p> Why befriend the neighborhood gossip? Because he or she is the person who knows everything happening on the street. He or she will let you know if there is some stranger lurking around, or if someone is snooping about your house when you aren&#39;t there.</p> <p> [<a href="" target="_blank">5 Best Home Security Systems</a>]</p>

Clean out the garage.

<p> Yet many homeowners fill their garage with so much old furniture and so many boxes of old stuff that they end up parking their cars in the driveway or the street.</p> <p> By cleaning out the garage and parking your vehicle inside, you can protect yourself in two ways.</p> <p> First, you prevent your car from being stolen, broken into or otherwise vandalized.</p> <p> Second, if your car is regularly parked inside, it&#39;s harder for a potential thief to track your comings and goings.</p> <p> Don&#39;t forget to shut the garage door whenever you don&#39;t need access to it.</p> <p> [<a href="">Best Security Cameras to Protect Your Home</a>]</p>

Light up the night.

<p> If you live on a dark street or the entrances to your home are in dark areas, use motion-sensor lights that turn on automatically if there is activity close to the house.</p> <p> The lights don&#39;t have to be spotlights, but should be bright enough to deter someone from trying to enter your home.</p> <p> If you&#39;re going to be away from home for any length of time, use timers on lights inside the house so the place looks occupied. Make sure the timers are used in multiple rooms and are used naturally.</p> <p> [<a href="">Vacation Home Safety: Don&#39;t Tip Off Thieves When You&#39;re Out of Town</a>]</p>

Hide stuff in the walls.

<p> There are lots of unused spaces in the walls between the studs, and they make perfect places to hide jewelry, guns and other valuables, said DeAnna Radaj of the Bante Design Management Team in Charlotte, N.C.</p> <p> &quot;To gain access, use a plate that was previously used for a landline or electrical outlet, or install a fake one,&quot; Radaj said.&nbsp;</p> <p> [<a href="">5 Tech Mistakes Travelers Make on Vacation</a>]</p>

Lock the doors and windows.

<p> These are the simplest, seemingly most obvious actions to take, but it is surprising how many people don&#39;t bother to lock the doors or windows.</p> <p> Some people think they live in a safe neighborhood and don&#39;t lock doors or windows. Other people just forget.</p> <p> The majority of thieves are looking for the easiest way in, and in many cases, that&#39;s through an unlocked door or an opened ground-floor window.</p> <p> Even if you are home alone during the day, the doors (including screen doors and patio doors) should be kept locked to keep intruders from just walking in.</p> <p> [<a href="">Pick the Home Alarm System That&#39;s Right for You</a>]</p>

10 Home Security Tips You Haven't Thought Of