A strange masked man stealing packages from an unsuspecting home.
Jeramey Lende/Shutterstock

Is your home being targeted by porch pirates? Maybe it’s time to fight back. Luckily, you can protect your packages through a few simple steps, ranging from proper delivery instructions to in-home delivery options.

Use Delivery Instructions

Delivery instructions can go a long way. If your packages are being stolen because they’re left on your lawn or in your driveway, then clarifying that parcels need to be delivered at the front door could solve your problem. You could even ask packages be left in another location, such as at a back door. You could also require that packages are signed for upon delivery, so packages will never be left outside at all.

You can also use services like Amazon Day to schedule deliveries on certain days, like the days that you’re off from work. Of course, the Amazon Day feature is only worthwhile if you’re ordering through Amazon. If your package is being delivered by the UPS, FedEx, or the USPS, you can schedule deliveries through their package tracking menus. Just click the tracking number in your shipping confirmation email and choose which day you want your package to be delivered.

Install a Security Camera

Security cameras have come a long way. With the advent of cloud storage and high-speed internet, it’s easy to access your camera’s live feed or recordings from your phone. Plus, popular smart security cameras like the Arlo Pro or the Ring Video Doorbell are surprisingly affordable, so you don’t have to break the bank to keep your packages safe.

A stack of Amazon boxes at a front porch.
Julie Clopper/Shutterstock

Smart security cameras are relatively affordable and easy to use, but in the end, security cameras work best when they deter or completely stop packages thieves. Video evidence of a crime is great and all, but wouldn’t you rather have your mail? Try to make your security camera’s existence as evident as possible. You could even use a cheap, fake security camera to scare off thieves.

Deliver Packages to Your Job or a Friend’s House

One of the easiest ways to keep your packages safe is to have them delivered to your job. Just make sure that your full name and phone number are on the shipping label, and try to add extra info like office numbers or departments. Also, keep in mind that some businesses aren’t great at handing out mail. Try having a small packaged delivered to your job before jeopardizing an expensive purchase.

Alternatively, you could have a package delivered to a friend’s house. Pick a friend with a short driveway or a history of successful deliveries, or ask around and see if any of your friends have a PO box that they’ll share.

Pick Up Your Package from a Locker or Delivery Center

You don’t have to pay for a PO box to get secure, remote deliveries. You can have your Amazon packages delivered right to an Amazon Locker for free during checkout, provided that you’re a Prime customer. Once your parcel arrives, you’ll receive a temporary pin-code for quick, 24/7 access. These lockers are located all across the country, and there’s probably one near your home.

An open padlock with a key inserted.
dnd_Project/Shutterstock

Of course, you can only use Amazon Locker for Amazon Packages. As an alternative, you can ask the USPSUPS, or FedEx to hold your package at a delivery center for up to five days. Click the tracking number in your delivery confirmation email, and choose the “Hold My Package” option (sometimes this option will be buried in the “Change my Delivery Location” menu).

Use Amazon Key for In-Home or In-Car Deliveries

Amazon Key is a weird idea, but it’s an easy way to ensure that none of your packages will go missing. At its most basic level, Amazon Key is just software that pairs with a smart lock and a smart security camera. It allows you to quickly lock and unlock your door using a keycode, Alexa voice commands, or scheduled routines. Each time the door is unlocked, Amazon Key sends you notifications and records a short video.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, you can give delivery drivers temporary access to your home through the Amazon Key system. Your packages end up inside of your home, even if you’re away at work. Sure, it sounds suspicious, but Amazon Key makes a recording of each delivery, and Amazon employees don’t really have a reason to snoop around in your home when they know they’re being watched.

For a little extra peace of mind, you can use Amazon Key exclusively for your garage or car. That way, nobody’s going directly into your living room to drop off packages.

Andrew Heinzman Andrew Heinzman
Andrew Heinzman writes for How-To Geek and Review Geek. Like a jack-of-all-trades, he handles the writing and image editing for a mess of tech news articles, daily deals, product reviews, and complicated explainers.
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