Summer is prime vacation season, but nothing ruins a fun time faster than a break-in at your home while you are away. Criminals often look for signs that homeowners are on vacation. Avoid trouble with these tips.

Have your house look like it’s being lived in.

If you have a friend or family member who is willing, it’s a great idea to have someone live at your house while you are away. Hiring someone is also an option, and if you have pets, this may be worth it if you normally pay a boarding fee for them. At the very least, have a neighbor stop in to get your mail and newspaper, water the plants, mow the lawn and take out the trash. Use a timer to have lights go on and off at a regular time.

Make it hard to break in.

Lock all of your doors and windows. Unplug your garage door opener so that a universal remote won’t work on it. Remove any hidden keys, as burglars often know where to look for them. If you don’t already have one, consider installing a home security system.

Be careful with technology

As tempting as it might be to brag about where you are and how much fun you’re having, don’t post about your vacation on social media while you’re still enjoying it. Security settings on your profile may change or a friend may accidentally share your whereabouts with an untrustworthy person. Even a vague post of a photo from your smart phone might give away your location if your location settings are turned on. Also, if you leave your car at the airport, don’t leave your GPS in it. A tech-savvy criminal will easily find directions to your unoccupied home.

With some careful planning, you can enjoy your trip without worrying too much about your home. Make sure to save all of those photos to post when you get back!