Home Security

How To Catch Someone Sneaking Around Your House

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Shadow of a person in a front yard taking a photo of a house.
This person is taking a photo of this house. Just a casual admirer or someone up to no good?

“Home is a safe haven from the worries of the world.” Is this true for you? 

Sadly, too many people have been affected by crime or are deeply anxious about the security of their homes. Are you most worried about waking up to an intruder or coming home to find that your personal space has been violated?

We’ll show you how to catch someone snooping around your house without starting a confrontation.

How to Catch Someone Sneaking Around Your House

If you ever feel that you’re overreacting or are being too cautious when it comes to your home safety – don’t! It doesn’t take a whole lot of work to create an environment that deters potential intruders.

According to a study by JSU, most burglaries occur between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., likely because people are not expected to be at home then.

Make Use of Cameras

A white security camera mounted on a large outdoor brick wall covered in vines.
Is this security camera pointed in the right direction to capture someone snooping around your property?

Well-positioned home security cameras are the best way to surveil your home both while you’re at home and when you’re not. Most security cameras will allow you to set “modes” for being either “home” or “away,” which means cameras will turn on or off and detect motion depending on whether you’re home or not. Both internal and external cameras are beneficial and are not costly to set up.

Depending on the size and layout of your home, you may need several devices that cover common entry points, such as the front door. Additionally, a central camera that monitors equipment or appliances that are likely targets for intruders is a smart move. 

Thankfully, several products are available either as stand-alone devices or as a comprehensive security solution. Once your cameras are positioned and connected to your phone or computer, you have a simple way of tracking movement within your home. 

Internal security cameras are ideal for monitoring your house while you’re at work or away on vacation but are also perfect for finding out the source of that suspicious noise without leaving your room. Choose from an always-on setting that streams to your preferred device, or consider motion-triggered devices that alert you when something’s going on.

Low Tech Detective Work

What if you need to know how to catch someone creeping around your house that you’re reasonably certain isn’t a thief? Perhaps your nosey neighbor has a penchant for snooping around in your home, or a jilted ex is poking around your private papers. Maybe your housemate is helping themselves to your stuff while you’re at work. 

If this is the case, then cameras are certainly your number one solution. However, you can consider a few other clever concepts if this isn’t an option.

Mark Entrances

It’s a simple thing to place a bit of clear adhesive tape between the door and the door frame when you go out. Chances are, the intruder won’t even notice it, but you’ll be able to tell immediately whether the door has been opened in your absence. Alternatively, place a matchstick in the door jamb so it will drop out silently when it is opened. 

Make a Noise

Some enterprising people have opted to place tin cans or other items that will make a noise if disturbed. You will not be caught off guard when you are at home with this option.

Get a Dog

German shepherd looking left in front of a blurry background of a street with a tree and some snow.
This German Shepherd would let you know the instant someone tried snooping around your property.

Not only are our furry friends great companions, but they are also pretty decent alarm systems. Their acute hearing can pick up sounds we can’t, and their barking will wake you up and likely scare off unwanted visitors. Of course, your pup is a valued member of your family and household, so be sure to keep them safe in the event of actual danger.

Prevention is Best 

It makes sense to do what you can to prevent unwanted intruders from entering your property in the first place, that way you can avoid a confrontation. So, while cameras and other methods mentioned above can tell us when someone is already in our home, let’s work hard to keep them on the other side of the door. 

Secure Doors and Windows

Criminals can be surprisingly brazen at times. Therefore, make it as difficult as possible to get into your home by installing burglar guards and security gates on all opening windows and doors. Door jammers, too, are an incredibly effective method of keeping trespassers out and offer another layer of security. 

Home Alarms and Lighting

You may not be able to avoid a burglary entirely, but you can make your home one of the most difficult targets on the street. Clear signage showing that you have an alarm system in place and that you are linked to an active security company may be enough of a deterrent on its own. 

Additionally, well-positioned outdoor lighting eliminates potential hiding places, as does removing shrubbery around the doors and windows. 

Lastly, maintain a light schedule that makes it look like you’re home at all times, or random enough so a potential intruder can’t easily ascertain times when you won’t be home. For example, you don’t want to only have lights on when you’re home, and turn them all off when you’re at work or on vacation. Similarly, you won’t want to turn all your lights on only when you’re gone either.

Smart lights with schedules that can be easily programmed are the way to go here. Most home security systems also include the ability to automate your existing lights with a smart switch.

Keep Your Movements Private

It may seem hard to believe, but your social media accounts can alert potential late-night shoppers to the fact that your home is empty while you’re vacationing in Florida. Keep your comings and goings private, and be careful what information you allow on social channels. 

When we go on holiday, we prefer to avoid posting anything on social networks until we’ve returned. I know it’s tempting to rub in everyone’s face that you’re having a great time, but it could prove wiser to resist the urge until you’re back.

Get Smart

If you’re considering upgrading your home security system, it’s definitely worth exploring smart systems. For example, a smart lock offers the ability to lock and unlock your doors via your smartphone and integrates seamlessly with home cameras and alarm systems. 

Research and Review the Best Products

If you really want to know how to catch someone sneaking around your house, then we encourage you to do your homework. An amazing array of products and systems are available to catch those sneaky pests and give you peace of mind. 

Please feel free to scan through our site, where we offer essential information on the critical element of security and can point you in the right direction. And every article on our site has a comments section (including this one) where we are happy to answer any questions that arise.

Alex Schenker

Alex holds BS degrees in Management Science from the University of California at San Diego, and Computer Science from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He is honored to share his nearly two decades of experience in home security and automation, cybersecurity and identity theft protection with our readers. He realized it was time for a home security system when his neighbor’s house got broken into. He has tried to stay ahead of the curve by proactively applying security technologies and software that protect not only his home and family but his personal identity, sensitive information and finances. In his spare time, Alex enjoys playing tennis, going on hikes with his wife and dogs and surfing.

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