When you move into a new place, it’s probably a given that you change the locks first. For added protection, you might also activate a new home security service. You can never be too careful.

Criminals are crafty and some have no problem with kicking in doors during daylight or nighttime hours. While advancements in technology have enabled us to secure our homes with smartphones and special electronics, that system alone still has flaws.

It comes down to your hardware. Though no house is 100-percent burglar-proof, there is something you can do to make your entry door sturdier. Some time ago, Facebook user and real estate agent Mariana Harrison shared a tip she learned from her father when she moved into her first place.

You know those strike plates that are screwed into the door frame? Typically, shorter, 1-inch length screws are the standard size that contractors use to install the plates. Mariana’s father helped her replace those with 4-inch screws to ensure the strike plate isn’t easily damaged by kicking thieves.

Repeated hard kicks or other forms of high impact can displace the strike plate (and your lock), leaving you open to a break-in. Using screws at least 3 inches long can help to reinforce your plate by adhering it through to the studs of your door. That’s great backup for your deadbolt too!

To get it done, you can either hack it with a screwdriver or drill. For an even stronger form of protection, you can install a strike box. More than just a covering for the hole in your wooden door frame, the box is made of metal and is attached to the plate.

It is tightly anchored into the frame and when you lock the deadbolt, it strengthens the lock’s overall effectiveness. Place them in your front or back door for added safety. All of these options cost less than $10!

There are a few other ways to deter robbers from entering your home, including security cameras, motion activated lights, and small dogs who like to bark a lot. Unfortunately, there are some things that make your home look like an easier target for bad guys.

They like to scope out houses that are located on main streets versus ones located in cul-de-sacs or dead ends. Homes located close to the woods or playgrounds are also targets because the surrounding areas provide hiding spots.

That’s why at the very least your door and window locks should be on point. If you’re in the market for a new deadbolt, try to get a Grade 1 (best), or Grade 2. And make sure the door itself isn’t flimsy. Whatever you can do to minimize having vulnerable points of entry into your home, do it. Sadly, if a criminal wants something, he’ll always find a way to get it.

But at least you can sleep a little sounder by making this small addition to your door’s strike plate. Switch yours out now!

What do you think of Ms. Harrison’s tip? Have you made beneficial changes to your door’s lockset like this?