E-commerce sites are a convenient way to buy anything from electronics and books to clothing. In the past year alone, 75% of Canadians ordered something online. After all, it’s super simple to browse and shop using a mobile device.
However, more and more online shoppers have experienced package theft. It is believed that one in four Canadians has had one or more packages stolen by a porch thief. During the holiday season, that number tends to double.
If you’re wondering how to prevent porch pirates from taking your packages, we’ve got you covered with a list of proven tips for keeping your online deliveries safe, even if they’re left out in the open.
Before we discuss how to catch porch pirates in the act, let’s find out more about them.
A “porch pirate” is someone who steals packages from other people’s homes, usually from an unsecured area outdoors. While package theft can occur anywhere in the distribution channel, porch pirates steal directly from someone’s home.
Why would anyone do this?
Most packages are stolen from homes in urban areas and the suburbs. However, even if you live in an apartment building or condo, package theft can still happen. Your packages can be stolen from the front desk or in the hallway in front of your unit.
If you think rural areas are safe from porch thieves, think again. While not as frequent, package theft is becoming more common no matter if you live in a “safe city.”
Here are some tried-and-tested ways you can keep your deliveries safe from porch pirates.
Most shipping services like Amazon or FedEx give you the option to track packages online. This allows you to see your package’s progress in transit. With tracking information, you won’t be left wondering if a missing package was stolen or just delayed.
You’ll also get a notification as soon as the box has been delivered, which means you can quickly retrieve it. Porch thieves won’t have the opportunity to grab an unattended package from your home.
Ask the delivery person to hide the package away from sight. Some delivery drivers take the initiative to put packages behind outdoor furniture or trash bins. If you live in an apartment or condo, you can ask the delivery person to put your package in your building’s drop-off area or locker. You can add delivery instructions while checking out your order online to an area of your home that is monitored with outdoor cameras.
The best way to avoid porch piracy is by installing a high-definition doorbell camera or an outdoor bullet camera. These devices allow you to monitor your front porch in real time and they often come with mobile apps so you can see everything using your smartphone.
Surveillance cameras capture footage and store hours of recordings in the cloud. In case a porch thief successfully steals your package, you can use this footage as evidence for the police report.
Keep your next-door neighbour in the loop about deliveries. If your package is scheduled to arrive while you’re away from home, they can keep an eye on your front porch. Often, the presence of witnesses is enough to deter thieves. Your neighbour will also notice if unfamiliar persons seem to be scoping out your home.
Better yet, ask your neighbour to help out with the next item on our list.
Shipping services usually offer a “signature-upon-delivery” option, which requires the recipient to sign for a package. This helps prevent porch piracy since the delivery person will directly hand the package to you, another person living in your home, or a trusted neighbour.
This is a great idea if you plan to order expensive or perishable items. Keep in mind that if you miss the delivery, you’ll have to reschedule it.
A surefire way of preventing package theft is to pick up your order from the physical store. When you place your order online, select the “pick up at store” option. However, this is only practical if you are within walking or driving distance of the physical store. It also negates the convenience of online shopping.
Yes, you do. Having your own security system gives you an extra layer of protection from possible intruders or thieves. Not only will a reliable alarm system prevent package theft, but it will also deter burglars from breaking into your house.
Aside from following these tips on how to prevent porch pirates from stealing packages, it’s also a good idea to consult the experts. When it comes to home security, look no further than thinkpro.
Think Protection’s security solutions come with 24/7 monitoring and top-tier devices that won’t break the bank. You also won’t get locked into a long-term contract—ever. And in case you change your mind, we offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.