Parking your car on the street is never an ideal situation. Whether you’re just in the city for an errand or you don’t have a parking spot of your own, though, it’s sometimes a necessity. Just because you’re parking on the street for a time doesn’t mean you have to leave your car vulnerable to break-ins or theft. Below are four steps you can take to keep your car more secure if you absolutely have to park it on the street.

Don’t Be a Target

Perhaps the most important step that any driver can make when parking on the street is to avoid making your car look like a target. Make sure that items like purses, wallets, and electronics are firmly stowed out of sight. If possible, make sure that your car looks as empty as it can – this will help to deter those looking for targets at night. Even keep things like charging cables out of site, as these might suggest to some that you have some valuable electronics in your car.

Consider Tinting

Car window tinting can be an incredible tool to have at your disposal if you know you need to park on the street regularly. Tinted windows make it harder to look inside a car when it is parked, so fewer would-be robbers will have a reason to break into your car. Additionally, tinted windows often provide extra protection as they are an extra film that a potential robber would need to break through to get inside your car. Remember, the average person trying to break into a vehicle is simply looking for an easy target so tinting your windows can make your car quite unappealing.

Use What You Have

It sounds silly, but one of the best ways to keep your car secure is to use the security measures that are included in your vehicle. Make sure that you lock all of your doors (and your trunk, if possible) whenever you park your car and ensure that all of your windows are rolled up. The vast majority of crimes committed against vehicles are crimes of opportunity, so making sure that you make a thief’s life harder is always a good way to stay protected.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Finally, put some thought into where you park your car. A well-lit area on a well-trafficked street is usually a safe bet, while parking your car somewhere secluded or around places where foot traffic is uncommon can feel like an invitation to those who want to cause trouble. Sometimes it really is worth parking a few blocks away from your destination if doing so will let you park in a safer area. You may also want to look around for street cameras, as having a few of these pointed towards your car will act as a deterrent and can also be helpful in identifying suspects if your car is broke into.

Parking on the street isn’t ideal, but it doesn’t have to be dangerous. Be careful about where you park and how you display your car, making sure to portray your vehicle as a tough target. With a little effort, you can make your car safer even if you have to leave it on the street.