What the Tech: Package delivery options

What the Tech

There’s still a little excitement for many of us when we see a package on the front steps.

That’s especially true around the holidays. Bad guys get pretty excited to see packages on the front steps as well.

According to a study commissioned by ValuePenguin, in the past 12 months, half of all consumers report having more than one package stolen by so-called “Porch Pirates”.

Before placing orders for your holiday gifts there are a few things you can do to protect your purchases from thieves.

Doorbell cameras are a good idea since they allow you to keep an eye on deliveries and capture video of anyone who attempts to steal them.

Ring and Nest doorbell cameras are popular as they send notifications to your phone when it detects movement or if someone rings the doorbell. The Maximus Dual-Cam Doorbell has two cameras. One pointed at eye-level and a second aimed at the ground so you can see if there are any packages.

If you’re purchasing items from Amazon make sure to check the delivery options. Prime members can select a day when someone is going to be home to have items delivered.

Amazon will also deliver items inside your garage through its new Amazon Key Delivery system.

You’ll need to purchase a WiFi-enabled garage door opener that connects to the existing garage door. There’s a sensor that is placed on the door that allows it to be controlled by a smartphone. Choosing Key Delivery, the Amazon delivery driver will have access to your garage door for a few seconds. They’re able to open the door from their device, place the item inside the garage and close the door behind them.

You’ll also want to get a security camera for the garage to receive notifications when the door is open and closed and to see the actual delivery.

Amazon will also deliver items to Amazon Lockers that are found in some retail locations. Once the items are delivered to one of the secure lockers, you’ll get a code emailed to you. When you scan the code at the locker, a door will open to retrieve the items.

Some Walmart stores have a similar service.

For items delivered by the U.S. Postal Service, you can sign up for Informed Deliveries. Every morning you’ll receive an email from the USPS with gray-scaled photos of every piece of mail that will be delivered that day, along with information on any packages arriving that day.

The Informed Delivery Portal also allows you to change delivery dates and whether you want an item held at the post office for you to pick up there.

Police tell me if you do capture video of someone stealing packages, share the video with police and post it to any Neighborhood Facebook pages and groups to warn your neighbors and others in the area.

Police say that does help them catch porch pirates and discourages them from hitting those neighborhoods.

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