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  • Writer's pictureBurton Kelso, Tech Expert

Your Trash Can Tip off Holiday Thieves: 6 Tips to Keep You Safe

Another Christmas has ended and all of your packages have been unwrapped. Now, it’s time to throw all the wrapping paper and boxes out. Before you leave that empty box your electronic goodies came in on the curb, keep in mind that you might be making a thief's job easier. That Nintendo Switch you got for your kids, the Amazon Echo that Santa brought you, even the awesome smartTV you bought for Dad — they're all items that are attractive to thieves. So what can you can you do to prevent your home from being a target? Follow these easy steps.

If you're like most people, your garbage is the last thing you think about when you think of the security of your home. For burglars, it's one of the first things they will look at. Growing up in a high crime neighborhood, my mother always taught me to be mindful of what things were thrown in the garbage. Boxes from new, expensive tech toys let criminals know that there are big-ticket items inside. Even worse, mail with sensitive information can provide criminals with your personal information they can use to steal your identity. Because there are at least 2,000,000 home burglaries per year in the United States, and identity theft is the fastest-growing crime in this country, take extra steps to secure your garbage.

1. Don’t leave boxes from expensive items in your personal trash. Instead, drop these boxes off at a recycling center. If you don't want to take your expensive items to a recycling center, break them down completely and place them at the bottom of your trash can, or recycling bin. Never leave them sitting outside of your trash can.

2. Don't put yourself at risk in January when you try to sell some of your old tech to pay your holiday bills. If you're selling it, thieves know you have it. Keep as much personal information off your online marketplace accounts and keep your personal schedule private so criminals won't know when and how to steal your stuff.

3. Shred anything with your personal information on it before throwing it away that includes your junk mail.

4. Don't share pictures of your gadgets on social media networks.

5. If you're headed away for the Holidays, wait until you return home to share your vacation pictures, instead of broadcasting your not-at-home status.

6. Consider spreading out throwing the empty boxes for your electronic gizmos over the course of several weeks.

Remember that a safe mindset is very important around the holidays, when criminals target your home. What steps do you follow to keep safe around the holidays? .

Thank you for reading. Please share this information with everyone.

Check in with Integral on social media at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin , YouTube and Google+ for more tips on helping you get the most out of the technology you use in your home or office.

I'm Burton Kelso and I'm a Kansas City based Tech Expert and the Chief Technology Expert at Integral, providing on-site and remote support for computers, tablets, smartphones, routers, printers, and any device that connects to the internet. I regularly appear as a guest tech correspondent on ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS on shows such as Kansas City Live, Better Kansas City, FOX 4 Morning Show, offering viewers easy tips on technology, Internet lifestyle, Internet security and gadgets. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn , and Twitter and watch great tech tip videos on my YouTube channel. I can be reached at 888-256-0829 or email at

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