For many of us, the holidays are a time to relax, have fun with friends and family, and even take a bit of a vacation after a long year of work. Unfortunately, for others, the holidays are an opportunity to take advantage of even the most hard-working of us.
The world has become increasingly more reliant on online shopping meaning savvy criminals are able to watch your front doorstep for holiday deliveries and even take advantage of the occasional unlocked door. It’s a shame that we should worry about these things, but at the same time, there are ways to have peace of mind during the holiday season and prevent these types of problems from happening.
Home Safety While Away
Something north of around 100 million Americans will travel during December for the holidays which means tens of millions of homes will be vacated. This is a perfect opportunity for smart criminals to take advantage of your time with family and cause a ruckus at your house.
If you don’t have a friendly neighbor who can help out and watch your property, the next best thing would be to invest in some smart security options. Google’s Nest and Amazon’s Ring hardware lead the industry in home security. It’s easy for homeowners to install and can give you 24/7 surveillance of your property no matter where you are in the world.
While costly upfront, some smart technology to help boost your home security can keep you, your family, and your property safe for years to come.
Discourage “Porch Pirates”
By the same token, one of the most common petty crimes of the holidays is for porch pirates to steal deliveries right from your doorstep. These sorts of crimes tend to happen in otherwise affluent and generally safe neighborhoods; however, there are some ways you can deter porch pirates.
Of course, you can do what this guy did, but unless you have worked for NASA, this probably isn’t an option. Instead, as we’ve mentioned, invest in smart technology or potentially even fake smart technology. There are plenty of websites out there that outline ways to make false security cameras that, unless seen up close, can look just like the real thing.
Additionally, you can request that your packages be delivered to different parts of your home such as a side or back door or have them delivered to a neighbor or relative who will be able to keep an eye on things while you travel. Porch piracy can happen to anyone, but you can take plenty of steps to keep them away.
Implement Other Smart Home Gear
One thing that can be a godsend to the holiday traveler is smart technology beyond the spendy cameras.
Smart technology crosses a broad range of applications, but one of the least expensive and most effective things can be to install smart plugs, switches, and lights to give the appearance of an occupied home. If you already have a smart speaker such as a Google Nest Home Mini or one of its predecessors, then a few quality smart plugs such as TP-Link’s Kasa WiFi plugs can help give you control of some lighting inside your home while you’re away.
A few lights tied to Kasa (or similar) smart plugs strategically placed throughout your house can be controlled by your phone no matter where you are during your holiday travels. Additionally, you can set timers on these plugs to turn on and off to give the appearance of someone being home.