10 Tips to Help Prevent Package Theft During the Holidays — and All Year Round
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Home Security

10 Tips to Help Prevent Package Theft During the Holidays — and All Year Round

By Ring on November 17, 2023

Twinkling lights, crisp weather, and decked-out houses aren’t the only signs that the holiday season is fast approaching. Look around your neighborhood — you’ll probably see a box (or five) stacked on at least a few front porches or in the mailroom. And with so many special deliveries on the way, it’s easy to lose track of what actually makes it inside your door.

We’re sharing the most useful tips to help safeguard your purchases during the holiday season and beyond.

1. Track Your Packages and Sign Up for Delivery Alerts

When you’re expecting a dozen packages in the next week, you may forget what’s supposed to come and when. That’s why online retailers often give you the option to enroll in reminder texts and emails letting you know when your package is on its way. You’ll be able to see if something special is coming earlier than expected, so you can plan to be there when it arrives.

With delivery alerts, you can even get a text when your package is on the delivery truck and a confirmation text when it reaches your front step. Some retailers, like Amazon, even let you see how close your delivery driver is, so you can head to the door as soon as they turn onto your street.

2. Provide Delivery Instructions

Your front door isn’t always the best spot for a package to sit — especially if it can be easily spotted from the street or sidewalk. If there’s a better location for your delivery, like behind a planter or at your side door, be sure to leave a note at checkout to help ensure your package will be tucked away until you can grab it.

3. Install a Ring Video Doorbell and Security Cameras

You can’t always be home when your packages arrive, but with a Ring video doorbell, you can get notified when it happens and check in throughout the day. You’ll get a notification on the Ring App when your doorbell detects motion, allowing you to check in via Live View. With Two-Way Talk, you can ask the delivery driver to hide your package behind a column or wish them happy holidays. And with a Ring Protect subscription, sold separately, you can get Package Alerts, so you know that the activity at your door was a delivery and not just a visitor.

Outdoor security cameras can help you monitor a wider area, like your driveway, side entryway, or front yard, so you can still see packages that aren’t delivered to your front step. You’ll get a notification if motion is detected, so you can use Live View to make sure your shipment is sitting in front of the side door as requested.

If your package isn’t where you expect it to be when you get home, you can also look back at past footage with a Ring Protect subscription, sold separately. You might see that your neighbor moved the package to a more hidden location — or spot an unexpectedly furry porch pirate sniffing around your front door.

4. Request a Signature Upon Delivery

Keeping your packages safe is always a good idea, but some deliveries deserve extra attention. If you want to help ensure a special package ends up directly in your hands, you may be able to request a signature upon delivery.

Some carriers automatically require signatures upon delivery for high-value items. But if your package doesn’t meet their cost criteria, you may still be able to choose a shipping option that will require a signature.

5. Bring Your Package Inside Quickly

One of the best (and easiest) ways to help ensure your package makes it inside safely is to grab it as soon as it hits your front step — which is easier said than done if you spend most days out of the house. Luckily, many retailers allow you to change or delay delivery times to accommodate your schedule.

6. Ship to Another Location

You can’t always be home when your package is, even if you choose a specific delivery time and hurry home on your lunch break. By shipping your package to another place, you won’t have to worry about rushing home — instead, you can pick it up when it’s most convenient for you.

Depending on where you shop, you may be able to choose one of these delivery options:

  • Amazon Locker or Counter: When you check out on Amazon, you can choose to have your package delivered to a nearby self-service Locker or a Counter with service staff. If you can’t pick your package up in the time specified, Amazon will automatically return the order and send a refund.
  • Store pickup: Some retailers offer to ship your order to a local store, so it can sit in a safe place until you’re able to swing by.
  • A PO box: If you’re an avid online shopper who doesn’t order everything from the same site, you may not want to drive to several stores and Locker locations to pick up packages. Instead, you can pay a monthly fee to open a PO Box and pick up all your shipments in one place.
  • A friend or family member’s house: Whether your order will be delivered when you’re out of town or you want to keep it a surprise from the people you live with, sending it to a loved one’s house can help keep it safe (and secret!).
  • Your garage: If you’re an Amazon Prime member with a compatible smart garage control, you can get orders delivered straight to your garage. With a Ring Protect plan, sold separately, you can also link a compatible Ring security camera to Amazon Locker to automatically capture footage of the dropoff.
  • 7. Consider a Package Drop Box

    You can’t beat the convenience of coming home and grabbing your package off the porch as you head in the door. And if you’re looking for extra peace of mind that your big delivery is safe and sound, you can bring the feel and security of an Amazon Locker or PO Box to your home with a package drop box.

    These boxes come with a compartment or slot for delivery drivers to place packages in, and they’ll fall into a separate locked area that you can open with your phone or a key. Depending on the model you get, you may be able to bolt the box to your porch, see footage from a built-in security camera, or get alerts if someone tries to open it.

    8. Work With Your Neighbors

    From last-minute visits to the pediatrician to late-night meetings in the office, the unexpected can sometimes get between you and your newly delivered package. That’s where neighbors come in. If you’re friendly with anyone on your street or in your apartment block, you can send a quick text asking them to grab your parcel in exchange for an “I owe you one.”

    With the Neighbors App, you can also connect with your neighbors digitally to help create a safer community. If your package was marked delivered but didn’t reach your home, you can post to ask for help and see if anyone accidentally received it. And if several people on your street have issues with missing deliveries, you and your neighbors can discuss solutions and share helpful information.

    Click to open Neighbors App in App Store. Click to open Neighbors App in Google Play Store.

    9. Protect Package Deliveries With Insurance

    You may be nervous to spend a significant amount of money on an online order — especially if it’s something special. But with shipping or package insurance, you can protect your investment if your package gets lost in transit or misdelivered. Depending on where you purchase your item and the type of shipping insurance offered, you may get a refund or a re-shipment of your purchase after you contact the seller.

    10. Send the Message That Your Home Is Protected

    Even when you’re not home, you can still send a clear message that no one can get to your packages undetected. The right security tools from Ring can help protect your deliveries — and home — just by being there.

    From a simple security sticker in your window to our tried and tested video doorbells, we have options for every budget to help improve security around your front step. And for extra visibility, we also offer motion-activated security lights and powerful outdoor cameras with built-in LEDs. Explore our video doorbells, outdoor cameras, and smart lighting to see how Ring can help protect your packages all year long — or take a quick quiz to get custom recommendations for your home.

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