A recent survey finds that 84% of Americans plan to have at least one package delivered this holiday season and 26% admit they’re already worried about package theft. A 2021 survey found 43% of Americans had at least one package stolen
If you have a doorbell security camera, it can help you avoid a porch pirate attack, but experts say surveillance shouldn’t be the only security tactic you use to keep your deliveries safe. Matthew Stanton, who leads security for shopping centers and retail chains for the global security firm GardaWorld, says these are steps shoppers can take to protect their holiday shopping packages against theft.
- Specify delivery details - A lot of companies will let shoppers include delivery details when they’re placing their order, according to Stanton. That could include requesting them to leave a package on the side of the door that’s directly in front of the camera, or behind a fence or bush. Some companies will even let people give them access to their garage for package deliveries, but that can create issues as well. “The person delivering a package likely has good intentions and would not enter a garage area outside of the delivery,” Stanton explains. “However, opening doors can lead someone to accidentally leaving them open.”
- Doorbell cameras - These can be helpful, but the downside is that it only shows what is directly in front of it. Stanton suggests having a backup camera placed at the corner of the home, so it would show someone walking up to the house. Some doorbell cam companies have a forum for users to post messages to let the community know about incidents, but this also comes with risks. Those with bad intentions can also see what’s going on in the community, which homes have a doorbell camera and areas where there are fewer thefts happening, according to this expert.
- When to pick up in person - Stanton says in some cases it’s actually better to skip delivery. If the item is really expensive, he recommends picking it up right from the store. You could also have it delivered to your workplace or a trusted friend or relative’s home instead.