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In this paranoid, hyper-technological age, it's easy to turn your home into a stealthy cyber-fortress. Forget about installing steel shutters, unsightly bars and razor wire. Today's technology can provide more security, without turning your home into a prison.

And now might be a good time to assess your options. Rising unemployment rates and falling city budgets are a recipe for an uptick in crime. And as crime grabs more attention, it becomes more important to keep a low profile. "I'm against underground homes, bunker-style homes, fortress-style steel shutters--it just attracts notoriety," says Joel Skousen, author of The Secure Home and a number of other survival books.

In Pictures: Seven Ways To Make Your Home Safer

Luckily, the digital revolution that has made the kind of technology we used to see in Get Smart both cheap and discreet. Master Lock sells a garage-door opener with a built-in fingerprint scanner, the Kwikset SmartScan Deadbolt will open up your front door with another finger swipe and Schrage's LiNK door locks allow owners to give anyone access to their home by punching a code into a computer keyboard or mobile phone's keypad. At less than a couple hundred dollars a pop, these locks are affordable.

Not that you need to be a gadget hound to make your home safe. In fact, Skousen's suggestions are both practical and low-tech. He recommends people get a solid or metal door for the front door and a solid-core door with a deadbolt for the master bedroom. Another tip: Security window films, such as the Hardglass window film sold by CHB Industries, can make it tough for a casual intruder to punch out a window.


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