ALL security can be beaten eventually, because all security has one thing in common: the item being secured must be accessible to its owner, or there is no point in securing it. If you don’t need access to it, the best (and often cheapest and easiest) way to keep it from being stolen is to destroy it.

Failing that, a good security system is one that relies on layers. The more layers, the more secure the system. Each layer can be fairly inexpensive.

For example, a security company yard sign is a great outer layer of security that costs very little. The purpose of this sign is deterrence: to signal to casual thieves that the risk of breaking into this house may not be worth the effort.

The next layer is part deterrence, part defense. I have security cameras that are visible to careful observers. I have no idea how well they work as a deterrent, and experienced thieves know how to defeat them, but they still complicate matters and may cause some thieves to look elsewhere. My cameras have helped catch criminals on three different occasions.

Layer three: landscaping lights illuminate the outside of the house.

The fourth layer is locked doors. There are more:alarm systems, safes, timers on lighting so no one knows when you aren’t home, even fake televisions to make it appear as though you are home.

In fact, for a relatively small amount of money, your home can be a much harder target than any other in your neighborhood. The goal here isn’t to make your house impossible to burglarize, that isn’t possible. Instead, aim to make your house a less attractive target than your neighbors’ homes.

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