Heading into the holiday homestretch, which means it’s also the final two weeks to secure those special gifts for your loved ones.  And if you’re one of the shoppers who has already contributed to the $81.5 billion spent online in November and December, and are now anxiously awaiting your gift’s delivery to your home, you could also be one of the 11 million homeowners who find themselves victimized annually by the newest thief preying on unsuspecting shoppers – the porch pirate.

There have always been thieves and burglars, but now, with the rise of online shopping and constant gift delivery services, the thieves have earned their new porch pirate monikers.

The majority of the packages are stolen during the daylight hours, when the homeowners are at work, with the average value of the stolen packages ranging somewhere between $50-$100.

There are a number of proactive steps you as a homeowner can take to avoid being victimized.

Avast! How To Protect Porch Packages from Would-Be Pirates:

  • If you work during the daytime and your home is going to be unattended, have the package delivered to your work address instead.
  • If the work address is not an option, you can have the item delivered to the home of a relative or friend who’s home during the daytime hours.  
  • You are also able to have the package held at your local post office, for a pickup time of your convenience.
  • Some of the larger franchises offer a “ship to store” option, which allows you to have the item delivered to the closest branch of the store nearest you.
  • Request that your package has a required signature confirmation upon delivery.
  • Ask your carriers to place packages out of plain view, perhaps on a rear porch or within a breezeway.  Any place other than being left out in plain view on your front steps.

Using Today’s Smart Technology To Provide Extra Home Security

Some other more costly investments to help safeguard your home and package deliveries:

Smart Doorbells

Many homeowners are now installing “smart doorbells.”  These video doorbells provide a first line of defense for homeowners, one that can help thwart property theft, but also protect you even when you are home, in the event of visits from unwanted solicitors or burglars.

The smart doorbells also record the footage, usually using your home’s Wi-Fi network to live stream video to your phone.  Installing the doorbell’s app on your smartphone allows you to keep a watchful eye on your steps or entryways.

These doorbells can also provide cloud video storage, sirens, motion detectors, and interoperability with smart locks or other smart home devices.

Many of these home security systems provide yard signs to let thieves know they’re being recorded. 

Parcel Lockers

Other homeowners are purchasing parcel lockers, which are electronic smart lockers that can accept a delivery, notify the homeowner of its arrival and allow for easy self-service pickup at any time.  This is often a pricey option, though, with the average locker costing several thousand dollars. To save consumers money, some companies like Amazon allow shipments to be sent to parcel lockers at their affiliated locations. If there is a pick-up point near your home or office, we recommend having your packages shipped to this location to avoid porch pirates altogether.

Be sure to continue practicing safe online shopping tactics, and make sure you follow through with keeping your purchases safe from the website to your front door.

Learn More About Security from The Edward Davis Company

At The Edward Davis Company, we specialize in several areas of physical security design and cybersecurity.  We can help provide extensive auditing and security design for your business in particular.  To find out more about those services, visit us at https://eddavisllc.com/services/

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