Protecting your delivered packages this holiday season

With Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, its the holiday shopping season and a big deal for all of us shoppers. It’s also kind of a big deal for the mail industry. With online purchases increasing every year and all those letters to Santa going all the way to the North Pole, it can get a bit crazy at the post office; in fact FedEx predicts that just between December 1st and 7th they’ll make over 85 million shipments and that’s not including all the other boxes and large envelopes that will be shipped on or before December 24. With all that mail being sent about, it’s important to keep a watchful eye out for any important mail or packages because as shipments increase so do the opportunities for porch poachers to swipe your shiny new gadgets and tech, so here are some times for keeping tabs of your holiday package shipments and deliveries.

Track it Using online tracking is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to keep an eye on any shipment. Most websites even include a specified time of drop off rather than just the day and will also notify you of any delays or if the item is being held at a local facility for pickup.

Ask a Friend or Neighbor If you know you’ll either be out of the house or on vacation at the time of a scheduled delivery, a neighbor or friend can be a powerful ally in the fight against package thievery. Have your friend either pick it up and hold it for you or put it in a special hiding spot.

Leave a Note A good trick is to simply leave a note for the delivery man with instructions to either hide it somewhere specific or even leave it at a neighbor’s house.

Require a Signature Requiring a signature guarantees nothing will be left out in the open; the delivery man will leave a note saying they attempted to deliver so that you can choose whether to have them try again or pick it up from the specified location.

Have it Held Another useful trick is you can actually ask your local post office to hold any deliveries there until you can pick them at your own convenience. With this option they will often text or email you to let you know it’s ready for pickup. The only caveat being if they have it for too long they will ship it back the sender, so don’t delay too much.

Add a Wi-Fi Camera - D-Link DCS-2330L If you have security cameras at home or have been having problems with package thieves, setting up a camera like one of D-Link’s Wi-Fi Cameras facing your door or walkway can help track any deliveries or activity. You can view the live feed anywhere with the mydlink app or record the feed using a micro SD card to view later.

Know the Minute it Arrives A great feature on several D-Link cameras is the motion and sound detection capability which can be configured to notify you via email or text any time one of your pre-set alerts is triggered. In the camera settings you can set up motion detection and pinpoint the specific area you want to track movement. You can also set it up to send a snapshot or video clip notification whenever motion is detected. When setting the sound detection, you are able to set the volume level for which you want to be notified if exceeded.

Gate Smart Lock

With a Gate, you can see who is at your door through a motion-activated camera. You can also talk to the person at the door and remotely lock/unlock it through your mobile phone. Gate was fully funded on Indigogo here.

Notify

If you plan on sending any gifts or boxes let the person you are sending it to know it’s coming so they can also plan ahead. Providing the receiver with the actual tracking information is also convenient. Have a great holiday giving season and make sure you get those packages off early.