Yes, holidays. The holidays are a time for family celebrations, gift-giving…and getting burglarized.

Evidently so.

According to the FBI, almost 400,000 burglaries are committed in the U.S. each year between November and December. This should not be surprising considering the beards. “Duck Dynasty’s”Faces of male stars: These are months when many of us are away from home, on vacation, getting together with loved ones, or busy collecting shiny new gifts.

“Burglars are opportunists looking for a score, and the holidays are a perfect time for it,”Robert Siciliano, security expert whose work has earned him the title of “Security Expert” “the Lifesaver.”

What can you do to avoid being one of the 400,000? Keep reading.

* The Perils of Social Media. Recognize it. You laughed at the insanity of gang members who boasted about their crimes via Twitter and Facebook. Why are you posting your travel plans on these sites for the entire world to see? Duh.

* Lighting. High-wattage exterior lighting, set on timers along with indoor lamps, help neighbors spot suspicious activity at night while giving your home what Siciliano calls “that lived-in look.”But, motion sensors can have a downside. “They sometimes ‘ghost’ and give the impression that someone is there when he isn’t,”He says.

* Home Security. Burglars are known to enter neighborhoods disguised as contractors to gain entry. They jiggle doorknobs to find cheap, broken locks. Siciliano advises that it is essential to secure your main entry point with a strong lock like the Schlage Touchscreen, the Indiana-based firm that’s been creating technologically advanced security products for more than 90 years. “I like it because it offers the highest-grade residential security available, has a built-in alarm, anti-pick shield and is even easy enough to install yourself.”

* Garage Door Openers. When you’re traveling, unplug them and repeat the following words: A GDO that is powerless can’t be hacked using a universal remote.

Let’s end with those “shiny new gifts.”

Yes, the big box that your plasma TV arrived in is an eyesore that you have to throw out with the trash. Guess what attracts the eye of thieves on their post-holiday scouts?

“The best thing to do,” says Siciliano, “is cut the box up and put it in a big black trash bag. That way, they don’t know you have a plasma TV.”