The holiday season is in full swing, which inevitably means that we will be expecting more packages as we order gifts for family members and friends. Preventing package theft is a hot topic during this time of the year, and it is extremely important to know what measures should be taken to prevent these parcels from being stolen. Here are a few ways you can protect your packages against theft:

1. Monitor your front porch by installing a security camera

In the last year alone, 11 million people experienced package theft of some sort. Having a security camera or security system that allows you to monitor when your packages are dropped off is incredibly helpful, and making these cameras visible deters thieves from stealing from your front porch. If a package is stolen and you have the thief on tape, you can use the evidence to be granted refunds or replacements without having to spend more money to rebuy the same thing.

2. When you order a package, select the option that requires a signature upon delivery

Unless you’ve already done this, most mail carriers will just leave your package on the front porch if you do not answer the door to sign for the package. Setting your preferences to require a signature upon delivery of your package will ensure that you have the package delivered right to your hands: If you are not there to sign for the package, the carrier will bring it by another time, which is safer than leaving it out in the open for potential thieves to see.

3. If using Amazon, try using one of their Smart Lockers

Amazon has placed special Smart Lockers in various locations around the country where your package is stored securely until you pick it up yourself. Picking up a package is simple, only requiring a barcode to be scanned or a code to be entered, and you can rest knowing that it will be there waiting for you when you pick it up!

4. Track the progress of the item you’re shipping

Most vendors allow you to track the progress of your shipment once you’ve purchased an item. Signing up for email or text updates is free and allows you to know where your package is at any time.

Monitoring these updates can help you plan when to be home if you want to receive a package directly or help you decide if you need to reschedule a delivery for a different time or date.

5. Place a hold on the delivery of your package and insure your package

Especially if you’re out of town for the holidays, it’s a good idea to get in touch with your delivery company and ask to place a hold on the delivery of your package. Doing this will allow your package to stay at the delivery facility for a set amount of time until you return. In addition, especially on expensive deliveries, it’s always a good idea to insure your package. This way, if anything is stolen or lost, you can be reimbursed or given a replacement.