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Home Security Tips for Holiday Shopping Season

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Now more than ever, holiday shopping season begins as soon as we enter November. As pointed out by this local WWLP article, some stores began running holiday specials before Halloween this year! More than any other time of year, the holidays deserve taking special security precautions. The combination of family travels and gift-giving create a tempting recipe for burglars. In this post, we share some of our most valuable tips for holiday shopping season security in your home.

We will begin by focusing on security tips for those traveling during the holidays. From there, we will suggest steps to ensure your holiday mail stays safe. The less time packages spend unattended, the better! Additionally, we will discuss keeping track of traffic at your home. Receiving alerts when someone approaches your house can add a tremendous amount of holiday shopping season security. Finally, we’ll examine how adding doorbell cameras and smart locks can make your holiday shopping and gift-giving a more secure process overall. Let’s begin with a look at some security tips for those who may have empty homes over the holiday shopping season.

A suitcase filled with gift-wrapped packages and holiday decorations

If you plan on traveling for the holidays, take smart security steps to keep your home as secure as possible in your absence.

Follow Smart Travel Security Guidelines

If you read our post on Avoiding Common Security Mistakes, you may remember a few of our security travel tips. Social media safety has recently turned into a major security issue. If you travel for the holidays, we recommend keeping travel plans and pictures off of social media. Avoiding the temptation to post family photos — at least until you return — can increase holiday shopping season security. After all, many people who you only know in passing (if at all) may see these posts. If the wrong people know when you plan on traveling, they may feel safer attempting to rob you of your holiday valuables.

We also recommend involving your community in holiday shopping season security. Tell trusted neighbors when you plan on traveling so they can keep an eye on your house. If you plan on traveling for an extended period of time, ask the post office to hold your mail. This step, especially, can help with security a couple different ways. For starters, it keeps mail from piling up outside your door. Since a large stack of mail usually indicates an empty house, it’s best to avoid at all costs. Additionally, having your mail held also thwarts package thieves from taking your USPS-delivered gifts. Of course, it does not stop other delivery services from bringing packages during your travels. Read on for some tips on adding security against having these gifts stolen in your absence.

An Optex motion detector and annunicator system.

A driveway alert system, such as this model by Optex, provides an instant alert when a car or person comes up your driveway.

Keep Packages Out of the Eyes (and Hands) of Passersby

As we touched on in our introduction, you should prioritize minimizing the visibility of gifts that show up on your doorstep. Holding your mail during extended absences certainly helps with this. Asking a neighbor to watch your door and grab packages for you can also add a measure of holiday shopping season security. Additionally, consider the security of your gifts both before and after getting them into your house. Many homeowners fail to take steps to make their home a less attractive target for “window-shopping” thieves. Having a well-lit tree with gifts visible from the street can create security issues. The same gift-wrapped electronics and toys that tempt children over the holidays also tempt burglars. Keep this in mind when you set up your indoor holiday displays this holiday season. Now, let’s look at a tip for making it easier to know when packages arrive.

Install Equipment to Alert You to Driveway Traffic

Several months back, we created a post sharing Yard and Driveway Security Tips. In that post, we discussed the importance of installing equipment to track driveway activity. Motion-based equipment, such as the Optex system pictured, can alert you to delivery trucks arriving at your house or approaching your mailbox. This can help you grab your mail as soon as possible after receiving it, thwarting even the quickest of package thieves. Additionally, this type of security can alert you to people approaching your home as well. This allows you to investigate the situation and potentially catch someone approaching your porch or mailbox with less-than-perfect intentions. Let’s look at an even more advanced way to track activity outside of your home!

Use Smart Doorbell Cameras to Your Advantage

Doorbell cameras, such as ours powered by Alarm.com, add a tremendous amount of security to any entrance where you install them. For starters, doorbell cameras record motion-based clips of anyone who approaches your door. If desired, you can have live motion-based clips sent to your phone as soon as the cameras detect motion. Your video clips remain stored in the cloud for reference in case they do capture any illegal activity. This obviously adds significant security to your entry points against package thieves.

Furthermore, smart doorbell cameras allow you to communicate with visitors who ring your doorbell. Activation of your smart doorbell will create a real-time video alert on your smartphone. This allows you to then have a conversation with anyone who rings your doorbell. The added security and tremendous convenience offered by these doorbells make them an extremely popular security addition for any home. In addition, pairing these doorbells with the equipment listed in our next security tip can really pay off. Let’s take a look at how installing smart locks can add overall security and work with your doorbell cameras to maximize your holiday shopping season security this year.

A Yale smart lock and Alarm.com app open on a smartphone

Smart locks, such as this model by Yale, allow homeowners to grant access to their home via keypad codes or real-time remote smartphone control.

Allow Smart Locks to Add Convenience and Security

As with our doorbell cameras, our preferred smart locks are powered by Alarm.com, such as the model by Yale pictured here. The touchscreen on this smart lock allows users to unlock the door without a key. This helps with key security, as you can grant temporary access to contractors or house sitters without making a copy of your key that they may also copy for future use. Simply providing a temporary code that you delete after these individuals no longer need to access you home can solve this security issue.

Furthermore, these locks pair with your doorbell camera to allow you to grant quick access to your home without providing a key or a code! We mentioned earlier that smart doorbells sends an interactive video alert to your smartphone when a visitor rings your doorbell. If you have a smart lock, you can then unlock the door remotely as well. Now, when delivery drivers ring your doorbell to alert you to a package delivery, you can unlock the door and have them leave it inside for you! The ability to do this without granting permanent access to your home via a key or a code secures you against package thieves as well as unwanted return trips from individuals who possess a key or code to enter your home.

Creating a Complete Holiday Shopping Season Security Plan

We hope that this post has given you some ideas for improving your holiday shopping season security. Unfortunately, one of the most joyful seasons of the year is also one of the most popular seasons for criminals to strike. We encourage you to contact us with any questions you may have about the material in this post. At this time of the year, homeowners find our free security site surveys especially useful. We can visit your home and address any security concerns you may have. Additionally, we can make suggestions of our own if desired. Together, we can create a plan to make your holiday shopping season security plan as simple, convenient, and effective as possible.