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How to prevent people from stealing your packages

A strange masked man who steals parcels from an unsuspecting house.
Jeramey Lende / Shutterstock

Is your house the target of porch pirates? Maybe it̵

7;s time to fight back. Luckily, you can protect your packages with a few simple steps, ranging from proper delivery instructions to home delivery options.

Use the delivery instructions

Delivery instructions can go a long way. If your packages are stolen because they were left on your lawn or in your driveway, clarifying that packages must be delivered to the front door can solve your problem. You can even request that packages be left at a different location, such as at a back door. You can also require packages to be signed on delivery so that packages are never left outside.

You can also use services such as Amazon Day to schedule deliveries on specific days, such as the days you are off from work. Of course, the Amazon Day feature is only worth it if you order through Amazon. If your package is being delivered by the UPS, FedEx, or the USPS, you can schedule deliveries through their package tracking menus. Just click on the tracking number in your shipping confirmation email and choose which day you want your package delivered.

Install a security camera

Security cameras have come a long way. With the advent of cloud storage and super-fast internet, it is easy to access the live feed or recordings from your camera from your phone. Plus, popular smart security cameras like the Arlo Pro or the Ring Video Doorbell are surprisingly affordable, so you don’t have to pay to keep your packages safe.

A stack of Amazon boxes near a porch.
Julie Clopper / Shutterstock

Smart security cameras are relatively affordable and easy to use, but in the end, security cameras work best when they deter or completely stop parcel thieves. Video evidence of a crime is great and all, but wouldn’t you rather have your mail? Try to make the existence of your security camera as clear as possible. You could even use a cheap, fake security camera to deter thieves.

Deliver packages to your work or to a friend

One of the easiest ways to keep your packages safe is to have them delivered to your workplace. Make sure to include your full name and phone number on the shipping label and try to add additional information such as office numbers or departments. Also, keep in mind that some companies are not great at handing out mail. Try to have a small package delivered to your workplace before you compromise an expensive purchase.

Alternatively, you can have a package delivered to a friend’s home. Pick a friend with a short driveway or a history of successful deliveries, or ask around and see if one of your friends has a mailbox they’ll share.

Pick up your package at a locker or delivery center

You don’t have to pay for a PO Box to receive secure remote deliveries. You can have your Amazon packages delivered directly to an Amazon Locker for free during checkout, provided you are a Prime customer. As soon as your package arrives, you will receive a temporary PIN for fast, 24/7 access. These lockers are located all over the country, and there is probably one near you.

An open padlock with an inserted key.
dnd_Project / Shutterstock

You can of course only use Amazon Locker for Amazon packages. Alternatively, you can ask the USPS, UPS, or FedEx to keep your package at a delivery center for up to five days. Click on the tracking number in your delivery confirmation email and choose the option “Hold my package” (sometimes this option is hidden in the menu “Change my delivery location”).

Use Amazon Key for home or car deliveries

Amazon Key is a weird idea, but it’s an easy way to make sure none of your packages go missing. At its most basic level, Amazon Key is just software associated with a smart lock and smart security camera. It allows you to quickly lock and unlock your door with a keycode, Alexa voice commands, or scheduled routines. Every time the door is unlocked, Amazon Key will send you notifications and record a short video.

If you haven’t decided yet, you can give delivery drivers temporary access to your home through the Amazon Key system. Your parcels end up in your home, even when you are not at work. It sounds suspicious, of course, but Amazon Key records every delivery, and Amazon employees don’t really have a reason to poke around your house when they know they’re being watched.

For a little extra peace of mind, you can use Amazon Key exclusively for your garage or car. That way, no one goes straight into your living room to drop off packages.

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