From increased options to avoiding the long lines, online holiday shopping has become extremely popular in recent years. While there are many benefits to online shopping, there is one thing that cyber shoppers need to be on the lookout for this holiday season: porch pirates, or thieves who steal packages from porches. Here are four ways to protect yourself from becoming a porch pirate victim:

  1. Install an outdoor camera.

When you install an outdoor camera, like a Video Doorbell from Ring, you’ll instantly receive a notification when the motion-sensors are activated and you’ll be able to see, hear and talk to anyone at your door. These outdoor cameras are noticeable and when thieves spot them, it’s likely they’ll be discouraged from stealing packages. In fact, Ring partnered with some of the largest police departments in the country and found that communities with Ring had a 50% reduction in home burglaries.

  1. Track your package.

Most retailers offer the option to track your package online, enabling you to see exactly when and where it’s delivered. But, once it arrives, it’s up to you to retrieve the package as quickly as possible and eliminate the opportunity for porch pirates to strike. Communities using TownSq are able to use the tool’s package management feature and work with the management team to manage all orders and packages arriving at the community. Office employees can register orders by bar code readers, link pick-up vouchers to deliver records, and send push notifications to residents when packages arrive.

  1. Get packages sent to your office.

The best way to prevent packages from being stolen from your porch is to avoid having them sent to your home in the first place. If possible, get your package delivered to your office or another trusted location so you know it won’t be sitting outside all day.

  1. Ask neighbors to keep an eye out.

The kindness of neighbors always goes a long way. If you won’t be home when a package is getting delivered, ask your neighbors to retrieve the package from your porch, or to be on the lookout for any suspicious activity.