Almost everybody loves the annual Christmas season – including burglars who may see it as a ‘shopping’ bonanza. Between home break-ins and porch piracy, thieves of all stripes can have a field day at this time of year. What are your plans for protecting yourself and your property?
In terms of home burglary, you have heard all the standard suggestions many times over. You know enough to:
- lock your doors and windows
- keep your shades drawn
- program your lights.
We have heard the safety tips so many times that most of us have them memorized. But wait. There are additional things we can do at this time of year.
1. Take a Social Media Break
Criminals are not afraid to use every possible tool to locate vulnerable victims. They are all too happy to use social media thanks to the tendency of some people to over share. If you want to keep burglars away from your home this Christmas, do not be one of those people. Take a break from social media.
If you cannot manage a clean break, at least be very careful about what you post. No one needs to know that you are visiting aunt Susie. The world doesn’t need to see photographs of all the great gifts you found under the tree. Just remember that whatever you post on social media is forever. Sharing too much only increases your risks of being victimized by criminals.
2. Be Careful with Your Trash
The week immediately following Christmas sees a lot of extra trash put out to the curb. Smart criminals know enough to walk through neighborhoods to survey trash piles. They are looking for boxes and other packages that might reveal profitable items they can steal. What is the lesson here? Be careful with your trash. Break everything down and hide it away in trash bags and cans. Make sure nothing is visible from the street.
3. Use Package Delivery Alternatives
Package delivery companies experience a major surge every year at this time. This year will not be an exception. Criminals know this, which is why porch piracy tends to be such a big problem around the holidays. Your best bet to thwart porch pirates is to make alternative delivery arrangements.
If you know you cannot be home when packages are set to be delivered, arrange to have them delivered to a neighbor. Perhaps you can get permission from your boss to have them delivered to your workplace. If all else fails, most delivery companies now offer remote locker options. Packages are delivered to a locker; you are given an access code that allows you to pick up packages on your schedule.
Vivint Smart Home also recommends installing a doorbell camera. Also known as a video doorbell, a doorbell camera is a combination device that acts as both a doorbell and a video surveillance tool. Doorbell cameras are a fantastic way to fight porch piracy.
4. Keep an Eye on Things
In closing, we will all be safer this holiday season if we make the collective effort to keep an eye on things. For example, nothing makes a neighborhood more secure than neighbors who all work together to watch out for illegal activity. Neighbors who see and report things are amazingly effective at stopping crime.
Make this holiday season a safe one by taking the steps necessary to protect yourself, your family, and your home. Don’t sit back and let yourself be victimized by criminals. Do not make it easy for burglars to break in and steal. Fight back. Win by making it hard for them to do what they do.