Protective superstitions probably came into being shortly after man first conceived of the idea of ghosts and evil spirits.  After all, the terrifying is a great deal less so if you think that you have way of protecting yourself from it.
It’s a safety blanket, a way to gain control over an uncertain and frightening universe- even if the protective ritual ends up just being silly.  Which, to be honest, most of them really are.  Why would throwing salt over your shoulder negate the bad luck of spilling it?  How does avoiding cracks keep your mother safe?
But despite the modern age people still follow and repeat superstitions like these.  So, if you want to protect yourself from evil spirits, just what are you supposed to be doing?
Be careful of birds.  Birds aren’t simply pests that dirty your car and pick apart your doormat, they’re apparently creatures of power and mystery.  Owls are creatures to avoid, wherever they nest ghosts follow.  However, a rooster’s cry is the signal for a wandering ghost to disappear until nightfall returns.  If a bird flies into your house it means that something important is coming- but if the bird then dies or happens to be white then that important future will be death.  Crows mean different things depending on their numerical value: one is bad, two is luck, three mean health, four mean health, five are equal to sickness, and six represent death.
Placement is important.  The order of things matters, and if you change it up sometimes you can confuse a spirit into leaving you alone.  Or maybe they just think you’re really cool when you go against the status quo.  Either way, as you get ready for bed you should place one shoe with the toe pointing under the bed and the other shoe in the opposite direction.  Turn your pockets inside out when you think you’re near a ghost
Take care with the dead. This one makes a lot of sense.  Your house is more susceptible to ghosts when someone dies in it, right?  So what is a poor home owner to do if someone dies around them?  First thing, cover all the mirrors in the house.  This keeps a spirit from getting confused and sticking around staring at its new reflection, or using them as a future portal into the house.  Opening all the windows and doors will also help the spirit to get away from its body and go on its way.
 Apparently the dead are easily confused.

Also, make sure to close the eyes of the dead before burial to keep their spirits from wandering.  Wash the threshold of your house immediately after a dead body is removed to keep the spirit from returning, and if the person who has died is an enemy make sure to dance around their grave to keep them from returning for revenge.

Wouldn’t this make for an awkward funeral?
 Keep weird things in your pocket.  Seriously, the strangest things will keep you safe from spirits while you’re out and about.  Carrying a piece of bread crust in your pocket will keep you safe from evil spirits.  Ringing a bell will scare the spirits off.  Knocking on wood, especially oak, will ward off bad luck. Throwing a key at a ghost will make it go away.  
Basically just keep as many strange things in your pocket as possible.

Build your house right.  According to certain superstitions curved roofs and driveways can confuse spirits and keep them out of your house.  It’s also important to make sure that there’s an exit out of your basement that is lower than the rest of your house, and that you don’t build any windows or doors in the northeast corner.  Oh, and painting your porch roof a certain shade of blue (haight) will help keep any spirits trying to get in through the normal way.

Protect your children.  If you think protecting your house isn’t specific enough, psychic researcher Joanna Pilsner has a whole slew of ways to protect your children directly.  She’s determined that children have a “tremendous risk” of being harmed by evil spirits, demons, ghosts and the like and offers the following suggestions for saving your poor innocent babes. 
Ask your child about their imaginary friends.  Do they talk about hurting people?  If so, Pilsner suggests you firmly tell them that they can no longer hang out with their friend.
Because doing that works.

You should also throw away any toys that talk or move around, and bless any particular room that they have problems with.  If they continue to have problems teach them to draw a shield around themselves to trigger their innate psychic abilities. And if you suspect that your child has been hexed by a witch confront them and seek to make amends.  

So, I think you’re a witch and you’ve hexed my kid…
But, according to other superstitions, crossing your fingers will keep you safe from witches.  So you can confront your neighbors with impunity! 
But please excuse me, I have to go fill my pockets with junk.