frugal

6 cheap, effective home security solutions

Protecting the interior
Protecting the interior © Jill Reid Images/Shutterstock.com

Protecting your home's access points means making sure your doors, windows and locks are sturdy. "Deadbolts are definitely a good thing," says Hsiung. Also, make sure your door is a solid wood or metal construction with a good frame. "If the wood is deteriorated, it won't take much to force open," he says.

Use an inexpensive dowel in the windows or the sliding glass door, so they can't be pried open. "Any piece of wood that fits in the track works," he says.

Hsiung suggests using a safe for valuables, preferably one bolted to the floor, so the thieves can't carry it away. And while a jewelry box looks pretty, it's safer to store your baubles in a less obvious container, such as Tupperware.

Keeping physical property safe is concerning, but you should also worry about identity theft. "That would do way more damage than losing your physical valuables," he says.

Keep items such as your passport and Social Security card locked in a safe place, and don't put your master password on a sticky note near the computer. Consider storing your documents in the cloud instead of your hard drive, so if thieves do steal your computer, they won't have access to your bank account or other important information.

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