<p> When it comes to being noticed by burglars, not all homes are created equal. The house at the end of a lonely road is more of a target than one on a busy street.</p> <p> Burglars are selective, and there are a number of ways you can make your home less appealing to them and less likely to be robbed.</p> <p> &quot;It all boils down to making your home stand out as the one you don&#39;t want burglars to target,&quot; said Boston-based security expert Robert Siciliano.</p> <p> Here are 12 tips to keep the bad guys at bay.</p> <p>[<a href="">How to Secure Your Home, Auto and Smartphone</a>]</p>

Keep the shades drawn.

<p> Don&#39;t let people peer through your windows. If they do, they can figure out just how vulnerable your home is, said James Cook, a sales manager at American Alarm &amp; Communications in Arlington, Mass. Draw the curtains when you leave the house and when you go to bed.</p> <p> [<a href="">How to Set Up a Budget Home Security System</a>]</p>

Leave the lights on when you go out.

<p> It may be a hit on the electric bill, but avoid the &quot;off&quot; switch when you step out at night. If you&#39;re going on vacation or a business trip, install automatic timers to turn the lights on at night, and off in the daytime. And leave a television set or radio on to let the bad guys think someone&#39;s home.</p> <p> [<a href="">Best Home Security Systems to Protect Your Home</a>]</p>

When away, have your mail held at your local post office.

<p> There&#39;s no surer sign of no one home than an overstuffed mailbox. The post office will be glad to hold your mail until you get back from your trip.</p> <p> Alternatively, you could ask a friend or neighbor to pick up your mail for you, said Cook. As for newspapers, suspend delivery while you&#39;re away, or have someone take them in.</p> <p> [<a href="">Vacation Home Safety: Don't Tip Off Thieves When You're Out of Town</a>]</p>

Don&#39;t leave empty trash barrels out.

<p> If the trash barrels stay on the curb long after a garbage pickup, burglars may think there&#39;s no one at home.</p> <p> [<a href="">Social Media Status Updates Tip Off Burglars, Study Shows</a>]</p>

Tell the world you&#39;ve got an alarm system.

<p> Criminals are much more likely to avoid homes that they know have working alarm systems, Cook said. Display window decals and lawn signs that let the world know your home is protected.</p> <p> [<a href="">Best Security Cameras to Protect Your Home</a>]</p>

Install exterior floodlights with motion sensors.

<p> The bad guys will most likely take off if they find they&#39;re in the spotlight, especially if they can be seen from the street.</p> <p> [<a href="">Make an Old Computer Your Home Security System</a>]</p>

Trim the trees and shrubbery.

<p> &quot;Landscaping around the house can create risks,&quot; Cook said. &quot;People should make sure there are no bushes or trees covering low-level windows that would shield a burglar&#39;s attempt to enter, or have tall branches that would give burglars the ability to climb up to a second story window, which tend to be left unlocked.&quot;</p> <p> [<a href="">How to Handle a Home Invasion</a>]</p>

If do you need shrubbery, make it hurt.

<p> Burglars aren&#39;t as willing to climb through something thorny to get to a window.</p> <p> &quot;You want large, defensive shrubbery to hurt the burglars. A rosebush is a kind of defensive shrubbery,&quot; Siciliano said, &quot;depending on whether they're legal in your state.&nbsp; All the bushes at my house are barely legal.</p> <p> &quot;But you will get more bang for your buck from the things with red berries,&quot; he added, referring to pyracantha or firethorn bushes. &quot;They hurt, but they are illegal in some states.&quot;</p> <p> Homeowners don&#39;t plant them because they&#39;re pretty, Siciliano said, they plant them &quot;because they&#39;re painful.&quot;</p> <p> [<a href="">10 Best Home Security Monitoring Services</a>]</p>

Install sensors to detect vehicles.

<p> People whose home is in a remote area, or is set far back from the street on a large lot, can put in sensors to notify them of vehicles entering their driveway or access road.</p> <p> &quot;These sensors can also turn on additional exterior lighting to scare the bad guy away,&quot; Cook said.</p> <p> [<a href="">Future 'Smart Homes' Will Watch and Remember Your Needs</a>]</p>

Lock your garage doors.

<p> Garage doors are a favorite target of burglars because they are often left unlocked, Cook said. So don&#39;t make it easy for intruders.</p> <p> &quot;Burglars enter the garage, then close the door behind them, so no one can see as they break into the home itself,&quot; Cook said. &quot;So be sure to lock garage doors, and if you have a security system, make sure the garage is covered.&quot;</p> <p> [<a href="">How to Secure Your Home Wireless Network</a>]</p>

Put out a &#39;Beware of Dog&#39; sign.

<p> You don&#39;t even need a dog to do this. If the bad guy sees a sign, and maybe a huge dog bowl just inside the front door, he&#39;s going to think you have a really big dog and he won&#39;t stick around, Siciliano said.</p> <p> [<a href="">10 Best Home Security Systems</a>]</p>

Put a National Rifle Association sticker in your window.

<p> &quot;The burglar will think there&#39;s [someone] in there ready to shoot his head off,&quot; Siciliano said. &quot;That will make your home a tougher target.&quot;</p> <p> [<a href="">10 Home Security Tips You Haven't Thought Of</a>]</p>

12 Ways to Make Burglars Avoid Your House