It’s no secret that online shopping has grown over the past few years. With the rise of e-commerce and the convenience of home delivery, more and more consumers are shopping online for everything—from groceries, to holiday presents and more. 

But as the number of online shoppers rise, so does the risk of losing deliveries to package theft; in fact, there’s even a national holiday called Package Protection Day, which encourages homeowners to stay alert during the holidays.

As we all prepare to scoop up deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and as delivery companies get ready for their busiest time of the year, here are some tips to protect your presents from package thieves.

Package Theft Stats at a Glance*

23 million Americans had a package stolen from their home last year.

23 million Americans had a package stolen from their home last year.

%

74% of packages are stolen during the day, when most of us are at work.

Last year, the USPS received almost 97,000 complaints about stolen mail.

Last year, the USPS received almost 97,000 complaints about stolen mail.

Steps to Prevent Package Theft

Here are six simple tips to fight back against package theft during the holidays.

1. Ship to Another Location

If possible, have your packages shipped to another location instead of your home. If it’s allowed, ship packages to your office, or have them shipped to a retired neighbor who’s home during the day.

Many delivery companies also offer to hold your packages at their respective stores, such as FedEx Office or The UPS Store, and Amazon has a similar feature called Amazon Locker, which will store all your Amazon shipments.

2. Require a Signature

Sure, this may be a hassle, but it’s also a great way to deter package theft. While most signature requirements are designated by the sender, many delivery companies will allow you to require signatures for all your deliveries.

For example, UPS has a service called My Choice, which lets you customize your preferences for each delivery you receive. FedEx and DHL have similar services as well.

3. Consider a Lockbox

While it might be more expensive and imposing than your other options, a lockbox can keep your packages secure while you’re away.

Home lockboxes are similar to apartment mailboxes and Post Office drop boxes. Some companies also sell smart lockboxes, which will send you alerts every time you have a delivery, although these might put a dent in your wallet.

4. Join a Neighborhood Watch

Neighborhood watches are a great way to connect with your neighbors and fight crime as a community. Most law enforcement offices can let you know how to join your local watch, and a simple Google search should also help you find one.

Of course, if there’s no neighborhood watch in your community, you can always create your own.

5. Use Smart Home Tech

We might be a little biased, but new technology is making it easier to monitor your home and protect your packages.

For example, Ring Video Doorbell sends you instant alerts when anyone presses your Doorbell or triggers its built-in motion sensors, so you’ll always know when packages are delivered or if thieves are lurking. And with Ring’s two-way talk, you can tell your courier where to hide your packages and warn strangers that they’re on camera.

6. Post a Security Sign

Security signs are the simplest and least expensive way to protect your home and your packages. Putting up a sign will warn criminals that your home is protected by a security system, which may stop them from stealing your goods.

Ring has a Solar Security Sign that charges itself during the day and lights up at night, so your home will be protected around the clock. Click here to learn more.

Peace of Mind for the Holidays

The holidays should be a time to unwind and get together with friends and family. They shouldn’t be spent tracking down packages and dealing with stolen presents. So this year, implement these simple home security tips to avoid package theft and enjoy a carefree holiday season.

References: 1. “Worst Holiday Hazards,” InsuranceQuotes.com 2. “August Home Package Theft Report,” BusinessWire.com 3. “2015 USPIS Annual Report,” USPIS.gov.