Secrets Your Burglar Doesn’t Want You to Know

Burglars — like other thieves, thugs and bad guys — don’t like getting caught. So they are always on the lookout for dwellings that they can get in and out of easily and quickly. There are things that some homeowners and apartment dwellers do that make a burglar’s job so much easier. These are things that burglars like to keep secret so that you’ll continue to do them. Well… too bad. We’re sharing some of them here.

Where to Hide Valuables

Think your valuables are safe in your sock drawer, or in a zip-lock bag in your freezer? I used to think that, too. But, they aren’t. Your burglar will most likely check your dresser drawers, your bedside table, your freezer and your medicine cabinet. He rarely goes into kids’ rooms. Also, since he won’t have enough time to break into the safe where you keep your valuables, he’ll take it with him, unless it’s bolted down.

Be creative when hiding your valuables:

If you have book shelves, buy a used book (that matches the type and style of books on your shelves) and hollow it out. There are ready-made book safes available for purchase, but don’t buy one unless it looks like a real book and matches the style of your other books. Otherwise, it’ll stick out like a sore thumb.

You can buy diversion safes that look like electrical outlets, soup cans, household cleaners, etc. But only use these if they look realistic and not out of place. Put valuables that you don’t use/need very often in a safety deposit box. Purchase a good safe that can be bolted down, or is too heavy to carry.

Light Up Your World

Your burglar does not want to be seen, so he hates light. When he sees a home that has lights blazing near the doors/windows and in the yard, he’ll likely pass it up for a different target. Motion lights scare him. Not only do they shine a light on him, they also alert you that he is there. Yah… he hates that. He loves homes that are dark at night. He can do his job without anyone knowing.

Put lights up outside your home. Illuminate areas around doors, windows, and blind spots. Install the lights high up on the exterior walls so they can’t be easily disabled. Be sure motion-sensor lights are in the right position so they will pop on when you want them to. Also, light up the yard, not just your home.

Unoccupied Homes

Your burglar likes breaking into homes that are unoccupied. It gives him more time to steal your stuff. If he can tell that there’s no one home — and it’s pretty easy for him to tell — he may put your home on his job list.

Make it looks like someone is home, even if you will only be gone a few hours:

Tune your radio to a weather or all-talk station and leave it on. Use a volume level that can just barely be heard from outside of your home. It will provide the illusion of muffled voices and will sound like people are inside.

Leave the TV on. Or use a TV Simulator Light which uses random patterns of flickering lights to resemble that of a TV. (Available online and not very expensive.) Just make sure your drapes are closed so your burglar can’t see that it’s just a light.

If you’ll be gone for several days, remember to stop the newspaper and mail delivery. Have a friend/neighbor shovel your driveway in winter, mow your grass in summer, remove flyers from your door and/or bring your garbage cans up away from the curb. Your burglar will notice those things! (In fact, your burglar might put a flyer on your door himself. If it’s still there a few days later, he’ll figure no one’s home and that it’s safe to break in.)

Put lights on timers in various rooms in the house. Don’t just use one light on one timer. It’s a dead giveaway that no one is home. Use several lights, in several rooms, set at different times, to mimic lighting in an occupied home.

Hiding House Keys

Remember that awesome “6 Places to Hide Your House Key” video that you saw online? Yah… your burglar saw it, too. He knows all of the “special” hiding places for keys.

Don’t hide keys outside your home. If you really need to have a spare key around, leave it with a neighbor or friend.

These are just a few of the secrets that your burglar wants to keep to himself. But don’t worry. We’ll be posting more articles about things your burglar doesn’t want you to know.

Cascading Style Sheets and Email Display

Designing the HTML version of your email message can be difficult since there are so many different email client and operating system combinations out there – and they have their own way of rendering HTML. And there really is no way to be positively sure which client your readers will be using to view your messages.

If your reader has a Hotmail address, it’s generally safe to assume that he will be reading your message through the Hotmail web client. But what about your readers with private email addresses? Will they be using Microsoft Outlook? Will it be Outlook 2000, Outlook 2003 or Outlook 2007? Or maybe he’s using Lotus Notes? What if he had his TLD email forwarded to a Yahoo account? And is he using a Mac or a PC?

Since you don’t really know the answers to any of these questions, when designing your email campaigns it’s important that you always design for the most accessibility.

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) offers the ability to make your email messages extremely graphic and enticing. Unfortunately, there is still limited support of r CSS with many email clients and across various platforms. One of the biggest CSS-offenders is Outlook 2007; and since studies show that up to 75% of email readers use Outlook, you just can’t ignore its rendering flaws.

Unfortunately, Outlook 2007 has no support for floating elements, which is widely used in CSS for positioning objects. So it’s based to use a table-based layout when designing your email campaigns. Think web design circa the year 2000. If you’re a new designer and have never dealt with tables before, you can get tons of how-to information from the W3C.

While Outlook 2007 does support the property, I don’t recommend that you use it to attach your style sheet. At least 50% of your readers will have their images turned off, which means any linked elements will not be linked – and this includes your external style sheet. Besides, Gmail, Live Mail and Hotmail don’t support linked elements, so it’s a good idea not to use them anyway. Instead, define all of your styles within your message and never rely on an external style sheet for your email messages.

Where, within the message, you should define your styles is another story altogether. Live Mail looks for the style sheet with the , Hotmail looks for the style sheet right below the tag. Outlook 2003, Outlook 2007, AOL, Yahoo, Entourage and Thunderbird will accept either placement, but Gmail doesn’t accept any of them.

The best option is to use in-line style tags. In-line style simply means that the style for each element must be defined individually. Instead of defining your style sheet within your head like this:

<link rel="STYLESHEET" type="text/css" href="http://www.mysite.com/style.css">

or even something like this:

</p> <style type="text/css" media="screen"> <p><!-- p {"urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />georgia, serif; font-size: x-small;} hr {color: #ff9900; height: 1px } a:hover {color: #ff0000; text-decoration: none} --></p> </style> <p>

you would define each element individually, like this:

</p> <p x-small color:> <p>This is your paragraph text.</p> <p>

When you’re defining those elements, keep in mind that not all CSS properties are supported across the board on all email clients. If you want to present a consistent message to all of your readers no matter how they are reading your mail, limit yourself to these CSS properties:

. background-color

. border

. color

. font-size

. font-style

. font-variant

. font-weight

. letter-spacing

. line-height

. padding

. table-layout

. text-align

. text-decoration

. text-indent

. text-transform

Those properties are supported on both Macs and PCs in:

. AOL

. Entourage

. Gmail

. Live Mail

. Outlook 2003

. Outlook 2007

. Thunderbird

. Yahoo

Properties to avoid include:

. background-image

. background-position

. background-repeat

. border-collapse

. border-spacing

. bottom

. caption-side

. clear

. clip

. cursor

. direction

. display

. empty-cells

. float

. font-family

. height

. left

. list-style-image

. list-style-position

. list-style-type

. margin

. opacity

. overflow

. position

. right

. top

. vertical-align

. visibility

. white-space

. width

. word-spacing

. z-index

And now for even more bad news: Lotus Notes and Eudora have terrible CSS support and even many of the widely-accepted CSS properties may not render properly. And since more and more readers are now accessing email on PDAs and other handheld devices, you can never be 100% certain how or where your message will be read. So I suggest you always use Multipart-Mime messaging, and always include a link to your text version within the html version of your message.

*** Want to keep these tips handy?