7 security moves you can make for under $350

Let's spill the tea: Without proper protection, you're three times more likely to become a burglar's main attraction in your neighborhood.

And here's the cold, hard truth: If you fall victim to a break-in, you're waving goodbye to an average of $2,600 worth of your precious belongings—and that doesn’t even begin to cover the other losses: feeling safe, sleeping through the night, and not looking behind shower curtains and under beds for intruders.

But here’s the good news—burglars and porch pirates don’t want to work hard to get to your goods. The more barriers you put in their way, the better chance they’ll skip your home and move on down the road to easier pickings. A little investment now can save you thousands in the long run.

If you’ve got even a little extra cash, here are seven ways to feel safer—and worry less—for under $350.

1. Install your own private security guard

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could get a full-time sentry to stand guard outside your home just like the King—especially for $500 or less?

That’s not going to happen, but we’ve got the next best thing.

A DIY home security system like SimpliSafe puts your home under 24/7 protection with pro monitoring.

You can get a starter setup from SimpliSafe for about $250 and that includes a base station, keypad, motion sensor, and up to three entry sensors. Best of all, you get to try SimpliSafe’s professional monitoring for 30 days for free. If you want to keep it after that, monitoring starts at just $19.99/month (or around $240/year).

2. Make your front door smarter than the average burglar

A shocking number of burglars just stroll through the front door. The least you can do (literally) is lock the door when you leave.

But why stop there when you can upgrade your lock to a smart one that lets you control it from anywhere—even if you forgot to lock up when you rushed out in a flurry?

Swap out the bargain-basement lock your home builder or apartment complex installed for this August smart lock (and you won’t even need to pull out a screwdriver to install it!).

For around $230 this lock does a better job than a moat and drawbridge—and you can lock and unlock it from anywhere with the August Home app. You’ll also get activity alerts whenever the door opens or closes, letting you keep tabs on your home from anywhere.

If you rent, this Wi-Fi lock is totally landlord-friendly (that means it won’t cause any pricey damage headaches). It works with your existing deadbolt and only takes minutes to install. Best of all, it comes with built-in Wi-Fi, so you don’t need to worry about it messing with your bandwidth.

3. Fool porch pirates by locking up packages in plain sight

Over 260 million packages were swiped from porches in 2022—and if your packages are left out in the open, they could be next.

Sink porch pirates with a secure Adoorn package box. With this foolproof solution you’ve got a package locker right at home that keeps pesky pirate paws off your packages.

Adoorn boxes are lockable, weatherproof, and (our favorite!) pretty! They come in two different styles and six snazzy colors. You can outsmart porch pirates and it won’t hurt your curb appeal one bit. When you add this cool box to your porch it means package thieves won’t see your deliveries, and they can’t run off with your Adoorn box because you can anchor into concrete or wood decking.

For just $350, you can send porch pirates packing and never again worry about losing out on your latest delivery. Plus, package theft is one of the only crimes that often hits the same person multiple times—adding up to hundreds of dollars in losses. Throw a little bit of cash toward a secure package box today and save money, hassle, and stress for years.

4. Catch lurkers in the act—and make them Insta-famous

Do you ever feel like somebody’s watching you? Turn the tables on neighborhood hooligans, thieves, and other front door lurkers with a video doorbell camera.

Google Nest’s doorbell is triggered by motion and uses smart detection to track whether people, animals, or packages are at your front door—all without a subscription. You even have some free cloud storage. At just $180, Nest leaves you room in the budget for other security upgrades.

The two-way speaker lets you spook package pilferers and other unwanted “guests” whether you’re elbows-deep in the kitchen or up to other “business” in the powder room.

But if a crook completes their heist anyway, you can return the favor by splashing their thieving mug all over the internet (thanks to the clips your doorbell camera caught).

5. Flex your green thumb to give criminals the finger

You don’t have to be Martha Stewart to add Mother Nature to your home security strategy.

Thorny bushes under windows, pruned trees, and clear lines of sight across your property can all ruin a burglar’s day. Don’t give prowlers a place to hide—keep bushes and trees tidy and trimmed.

Avoid planting greenery that obscures the view under windows or near other entryways. If you must have a plant in those spots, opt for something that’s spiky and inhospitable to creepy crawlers of the human persuasion.

Make it even harder for a sneakthief to get close to your abode with a motion-activated floodlight cam that warns you (and them) that something fishy’s going on.

For around $250 you can upgrade your home’s defenses with the Ring Floodlight Cam Pro. This crime-fighting security sentry comes with a built-in siren, motion tracking, and a blindingly bright floodlight to stop hooligans in their tracks.

6. Fake a Netflix and chill night

Randomized lights are one thing, but the sound and flicker of a TV gives bad actors even more pause.

So what if you’re out for the night (or week)? You can fake a lockdown-worthy Netflix binge when you connect your TV to a smart speaker like Amazon Echo or Google Nest Mini.

Smart speakers run anywhere from $50 up to a couple Benjamins, leaving plenty of leftover moolah to spend on your worry-free night out.

Depending on your setup, you can program a routine before you head out or manually fake it using your Amazon Alexa or Google Home app

7. Carry around a personal bodyguard

Home isn’t the only place you want to feel safe—and masks aren’t the only protective gear you shouldn’t leave home without.

From portable pepper spray to mobile panic alarms, there’s a bevy of personal safety products to ease anxiety when you’re on the move.

Unleash on suspicious stalkers with quick-access pepper spray that comes with a police-strength spray. A belt holster makes it easy to grab in an emergency and a flip top adds extra protection from accidental dispersal.

You can get Sabre Red Pepper Gel spray for as little at $20—just make sure you know how to use it. You don’t want to be unprepared in the stress of the moment when you really need help.