The holidays are going to look a bit different this year. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, those city sidewalks won’t be such busy sidewalks. Instead of shoppers rushing home with their treasures, many of them will be home, parked on their couches shopping online.
A recent SecurityNerd survey shows that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 50 percent of people say they’re going to limit their time in stories this holiday season or stay home all together. As many as 43 percent say they’re going to scale back their in-person holiday gift exchanges with friends and family.
While the malls may be bare, the postal service and shipping companies are going to be busier than ever as they ship gifts across the country and around the world. And as they do, make no mistake, there will grinchy thieves out there, ready to swoop in and scoop them up before you can say jingle bells.
Our survey found that at least 40 percent of people are worried about porch pirates swiping all those carefully selected gifts for family and loved ones. And while that worry is justified (more than a third of Americans report having a least one package stolen from outside their home), there are some things you can do to help keep your packages safe.
How to Thwart Porch Pirates
Here are some tactics to consider:
- Ask the recipient if there are any special instructions before sending the package. Some people can better keep an eye on their packages if they’re delivered to their work address or to a neighbor while they’re not home.
- Pickup is better. Many people would prefer to pick up the item at the post office, shipping center or locker, so it doesn’t sit around unattended while they’re away. If purchasing from a seller that has a brick-and-mortar store, have the item shipped to the store for the recipient to pick up.
- Sign up for tracking updates. This allows you to let the recipient know when to expect the package to be delivered.
- Request signature for delivery. Due to COVID-19, many shipping companies aren’t requiring a signature, so delivery can be free of physical contact. Adding this designation will still mean that the driver must see that there’s a person at the address before leaving the package.
More tips on preventing porch pirates and suggestions as to what to do if you’re package is stolen can be found here.
This year has been hard enough, and no one needs the added hassle of having their holiday gifts stolen. Nothing is foolproof, but taking a few extra precautions can go a long way to helping ensure that your packages are safe and your holidays are as holly, jolly and bright as they can be.
This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.
Officer Banta is the official SecurityNerd home security and safety expert. A member of the Biloxi Police Department for over 24 years, Officer Banta reviews all articles before lending his stamp of approval. Click here for more information on Officer Banta and the rest of our team.