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How to protect your deliveries against theft this holiday shopping season

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Yahoo Finance's Daniel Howley reviews home security and mailing options to help prevent package theft by 'porch pirates' during the Christmas shopping season.

Video Transcript

ZACK GUZMAN: Welcome back to "Yahoo Finance Live." If you haven't started your holiday shopping, you're going to be getting some packages I'm sure this year as we've all been buying online. And, of course, whenever you do get packages, there is the issue of potentially those getting stolen on your porch or otherwise.

And in this holiday shopping season, we want to highlight some of the tips and tricks to maybe protect those, and Yahoo Finance tech editor Dan Howley joins us now with more tips to protect your deliveries this holiday shopping season using some of his very own, I suppose, personal experience here, Howley.

DAN HOWLEY: That's right, Zack. I have had some of my packages stolen. And yes, they were inconsequential, but still, it matters because as the holiday shopping season gets closer and we know about supply-chain issues, we know that we may not be able to get some of the packages that we want returned in time or have companies send out new versions of what we were looking for.

So I want to give you some ideas of what you can do to protect yourself against porch pirates if you have a house or, I guess, vestibule vandals if you live in an apartment. We'll just go with that. I like the word vestibule. We were talking about that before.

And the first thing is if you're using Amazon, they actually have Amazon Hub lockers. And basically what these are is they're large lockers that are in locations, whether they're outside of major transit stations or even inside Rite Aids or things along those lines. Some of them are outside. And they're lockers that you can set up for your delivery point. So when you go to have your item delivered, rather than picking your address, you can pick an Amazon Hub locker.

It will be sent directly to that. They will be locked up, so they won't be sitting out in public view like happens in a lot of situations. You will get a notification with your unique code for that locker to unlock it. And then you can go pick up your item, and it won't be an issue with it being stolen or anything. It will be there when you want it.

There are also some Hub centers that you can go to. So pharmacies, for instance, sometimes act as this where they will actually hold on to your item, and then you can go pick it up there. So it's a really good option that's available.

After that, some more practical things are using a connected camera to see if anybody is near your front porch or if somebody is just making a delivery. So there are items from Amazon's Ring, Google's Nest. There's a whole slew of them out on the market. You don't necessarily need to go with the big-name brand if you're just looking for something like detection and video streaming.

Things like that can really help. They can be a deterrent. Although as we've undoubtedly seen online, there are plenty of porch pirates who just love to be on video, and so they'll do it regardless. But for some who are, I guess, more careful, it could be a deterrent. It's also good because you can see if delivery has been made, and then you can go ahead and go grab your item if you're in the house and you can just pick it up right away.

Outside of that, you could put special instructions on your actual delivery note. So if you're getting something shipped through FedEx or UPS or Amazon, anything along those lines, you can put a note saying, you know, please place this inside of my building behind a hallway. That's what some of our delivery people have been doing here after we lost some items. They'll put it around a hallway so it's out of view of the main entryway. And if you have a house, you can ask someone to put it behind perhaps a planter nearby or even inside of a backyard fence so that it's all out of view because a package just sitting out is basically just bait for someone who wants to steal it.

You can also finally require a signature. Now, this is very annoying. You have to be home to sign it, but it is a way to ensure that your product gets in your hands. If you aren't home, some companies like FedEx or USPS or UPS will actually deliver to a secondary drop-off point where you can go and sign and pick it up, and that way you ensure that this holiday season you have all your gifts.

This is just some of the advice that's available. There are also your own lockbox you can have in front of your house if you have the space. But I think these are really practical, and they're good ways to go about ensuring that if porch pirates are looking, your goods are not the ones that are getting swiped.

ZACK GUZMAN: Dan, I hope porch pirates weren't watching this segment here, Howley. We can't have them picking up on all the tips out here either, especially if now we all know behind Howley's house is where the goods are. That's where you've got to go.

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