These cheap home security solutions make great theft deterrents.

Home security and personal safety are of incredible importance these days. With the Internet, thieves have become savvier to the comings and goings of families and even neighborhoods. Do you tend to announce your locale via location aware social apps? Thieves can check those. Do you live in a 9 to 5 neighborhood primarily made up of single people? Again, thieves can know. They can strategically target locations, times, and people. What you can do, they can do. 

Now I'm not saying stop using popular apps like Four Square or Facebook. Far from it. The social good they bring truly outweighs the bad. But you should take steps to protect yourself and your home. And that doesn't mean you need to spend hundreds of dollars on a high-tech security system and hundreds more a year on monitoring. For many people, that's unaffordable. But there are cheap home security solutions out there, though, that act as theft deterrents. Perhaps my favorite being security signs.Brinks Home Security Sign

You don't need to have a security system to have security signs around your property. Let's put that out there now. Some think you can't unless you pony up the dollars for the actual tools. It just isn't true. You can purchase security signs across the Internet and in many brick and mortar stores. Just the act of having a sign on your property (or a security sticker on your window) can be a major deterrent to suspicious activity.

The logic is simple: Thieves want easy marks. Anything that you can do to create risk for the thief, the better chance you have of not being that mark. That's the simple beauty of putting up security signs. It creates risk. It places doubt in the minds of those looking to do you harm. And it does so without destroying your budget. Most signs cost no more than $20 to $30 maximum. Compare that to a security monitoring bill.

How can you boost the effectiveness of these security signs? There are three easy things that you can do:

Choose the signs of a reputable (and well known) security company

There are many security signs out there that just look cheap and unprofessional. Some are even silly in their tone. For the savvier thieves out there, these don't create risk. In fact, it can be a signal to them that you have no security at all. Instead opt for the signs of real and reputable home security companies. Ones that everyone has heard of like ADT or even a Brinks sign (even though the company is now ADT). Place signs around your home and stickers on your first floor windows. 

These are the security signs that create the most risk for a thief. To them, it's not an idle threat. You've created serious doubt because these signs are the real thing. There are well-known home security brand names involved, so you get a halo effect of protection. These signs may cost a little more than other security signs, but it's worth it to protect your home. They provide that much more value for your efforts. 

For larger properties, use video as a scare tactic

SECURITY SURVEILLANCE SIGNS Sign burglar video warning
Amazon Price: $2.45 Buy Now
(price as of Mar 10, 2016)

Video Security SignIf you've got garages, sheds, and other small buildings around your home that you're concerned about, think about deterring theft through a video surveillance scare. For these side buildings, it's not often that they're protected with a home security system like the main building will be. So a Brinks sign might not hold the same threat for the savvier criminals out there. But these days, video cameras are everywhere. They are tiny (read easy to hide and hard to detect, so the threat is hard to debunk) and many can sense motion. No criminal wants to be caught on video, so the sign alone can be a significant theft deterrent when it's obvious that the side building isn't wired for normal home security. 

Create risk with the threat of a dog

BEWARE OF DOG Warning Sign pet dogs signs security
Amazon Price: $12.97 $5.25 Buy Now
(price as of Mar 10, 2016)

Beware of Dog Security SignYou may be thinking that scaring them with a sign that mentions a gun in the house may be better, but a dog can be a much bigger wild card. First, dogs have great hearing, so they'll react to unusual noises. Dogs will check out where the noise is coming from and make signalling sounds themselves in the process--the type of whines and barks that will wake up all in a home. The threat of this alone can stop a criminal from choosing a house.

But on top of it is the threat of actual physical injury. Dogs are territorial and protective. They react immediately in moments where their den is compromised; they don't think. This can be much more dangerous to thieves than the threat of a gun since no human factors (like finding the gun and making the conscious choice to shoot) are in play. 

Other cheap products that you can use to secure your home

SE FL8403-10 10-LED Sensor Light
Amazon Price: $15.00 $6.34 Buy Now
(price as of Mar 10, 2016)

Pairing your security signs with other cheap home security solutions is an excellent way to protect you, your family, and your home. Again, the goal is to add risk, and one of the best ways to do that is by adding motion sensing lights around your perimeter and any obvious attractive entry points, like basement doors and first floor windows. You can go all out on buying an attractive front porch motion sensing light system, but cheap wireless motion sensor lights work just as well. No criminal wants the chance that they are seen. 

Another popular budget-friendly option relies on someone being home, but it gives you fair warning of potential intruders. You can use a motion-sensing driveway patrol sensor to give you notice of someone approaching. These can also be used for monitoring very unsecure areas around your home. If the chime goes off, you can turn on your front lights or take a look from a second floor window. Be careful on the placement of these sensors: they can be very sensitive to branches and wind leading to false alarms. You may need to experiment with where they work best. 

Driveway Patrolâ„¢
Amazon Price: $30.00 $14.99 Buy Now
(price as of Mar 10, 2016)

Double down on creating intruder risk

When you use inexpensive security signs and complement them with motion sensing lights and sensors, you can give potential thieves enough doubt to pass your home by. More expensive alternatives may have given you pause, but for less than $50 total, you can add a layer of protection to your home that can really help. They are small things that you can do that can have a big impact for your safety. If your home is totally unsecure now, it's definitely worth it.