I definitely don’t disagree when it comes to the effectiveness of signs… the vast majority of break-ins are amateur-opportunists who once they see a sign – any sign – go elsewhere. I would even argue a sign in itself will deter the vast majority of home break-ins. However, I don’t really believe there is a difference between a branded sign and a generic sign in this type of scenario. If I’m an opportunist, I’m going to go to whichever house doesn’t have a sign because why risk it? After all, for every house that has a sign there’s probably ten others that don’t on the same block.
Perhaps its just my background in information assurance speaking. It’s just that in targeted attacks, knowing the make and model of the device you’re attacking is a major advantage (this is how the majority of data breaches occur). Equifax, for instance, used the default username/password for its non-US database (which was admin/admin). Meanwhile, the ADT/ST panel uses the default pin 1111 and does not require it to be changed upon installation. Thus, there’s inevitably going to be people who keep it set to 1111. As a result, if I know you use ADT/ST I also know there’s a greater chance you use the pin code 1111.
Having said all that, I realize that targeted attacks are incredibly rare unless you’re public figure. I just feel like its best to not share unnecessary information and I don’t personally believe a sign that says “ADT” will carry any additional weight over a sign that just says “Security system”. Let’s face it: smart criminals know its just as easy to buy an ADT sign versus a generic sign online.