Make sure your online orders make it safely into your possession with our tips to avoid porch pirates.
In the fast-paced culture we live in, two-day shipping solves almost any problem. Have a last-minute birthday invite and need a quick present? Baby shower gift for your out-of-town relative? Almost out of laundry soap? There's no shortage of reasons to turn to online shopping.
But with every online purchase you make, you risk falling victim to an increasingly common crime: Porch piracy.
To make sure your online orders make it safely into your possession, we’ll explain what porch piracy is, how common it’s become, and ways to prevent it from happening to you.
Ackerman Security is Atlanta’s most trusted home security company. To keep your family safeguarded against porch pirates, robberies, and more, give us a call at 800.552.1111 or schedule a free instant security quote online today.
A porch pirate, also called “parcel pirate,” is any person who steals delivered packages from other people’s porches or front lawns.
In a recent survey, 14% of Americans said they had been a victim of porch piracy in the past 12 months. Applying that percentage to the broader US public equates to roughly 35.5 million Americans falling victim to package theft a year.
Over the past few years, porch piracy has become such an issue that many states are taking greater strides to protect homeowners from this crime. Texas, Michigan, California, Oklahoma, and other states have recently passed or introduced bills to enforce harsher penalties (in some cases enforcing felony charges) against repeat offenders of package theft.
"With the number of packages being delivered and the number of homeowners experiencing package theft, no one can be too cautious," says Vincent Hill for Ackerman. "Consumers across the U.S. are looking for solutions to prevent package theft and increase home security."
The good news is that there are many solutions available to homeowners. We’ll share some of the most effective ways to stop porch pirates in their tracks.
1. Use an alternate address
If you can't be at home during the daytime hours when most packages are delivered, consider shipping your package elsewhere. Perhaps you have a retired neighbor who would be willing to receive your packages for you and return them to you in the evening when you arrive home.
Another option is checking with your employer to see if it would be okay to have your packages shipped to your worksite. Both these options ensure that someone will be available to greet the delivery person and secure the package.
2. Secure your deliveries
Some people are choosing to have their packages delivered to secure package lockers. Amazon has several locations throughout the United States. Shoppers who choose this option receive an email notification when their package has been delivered to the secure locker along with a code to retrieve their package within three days.
If the extra step of driving to a designated location to retrieve your package feels like work, you could install your own package lockbox on your porch. Several options are on the market from a very industrial lockbox to more decorative options that fit into the homeowner's landscaping. Weatherproof options also exist so that your packages stay safe from porch pirates and inclement weather, like rain or ice, that could damage your purchase.
Delivery companies can be given instructions on how to use your new lockbox.
3. Require a signature
Delivery confirmation in the form of a signature requirement is another way to keep your packages safe. This ensures that the delivery service will not leave the package on the porch without someone signing to receive it.
4. Engage technology
If you're a tech-savvy shopper, there are a variety of apps that allow you to reroute your packages and select alternate delivery locations after they are en route. This is ideal if you plan to be home when your delivery is expected but have a change of plans.
In addition to apps, security companies offer smart technology to help you keep an eye on your home when you’re away. Installing security cameras or smart doorbells are popular options for homeowners who want to catch and prevent porch piracy. There are even smart home kits that allow Amazon personnel to deliver packages inside your home. These kits provide access only to approved 3rd parties via a smart lock.
5. Increase your home's security
Adding securing features to your home not only protects you from theft but provides the added benefit of your overall home's security. Web cameras, security cameras pointed at the porch, and doorbells with built-in cameras are all options homeowners should consider to prevent package theft and increase their home security.
"While porch pirates might be a relatively new phenomenon with our increased online consumerism, our desire to protect our home and feel safe is nothing new," says a spokesperson for Ackerman Security. "Taking action to prevent theft is not only a smart way to protect your purchases, but it’s also a wise investment in home security."
If past behavior is any indication, online shopping is likely to continue increasing, and that means more packages on porches in cities across the U.S. Making some simple changes in delivery options or adding security features to your home can help prevent parcel piracy and secure your home.
At Ackerman Security, we take your security seriously. We have the latest, safest, and most secure home security technology that will protect your packages from porch pirates all year long. Call 800.552.1111 to speak with an expert or schedule your free instant security quote online today.