Protecting your Online Shopping from ‘Porch Pirates’


Almost 10 million Australians now shop online. It’s easy to see why, too. You can do all of your shopping from the comfort of your own home, and your items can be delivered right to your doorstep.

However, the rise of online shopping has also led to an increase in porch theft from ‘porch pirates’. These opportunistic thieves steal mail and parcels from the porches, doorways and safe places of unsuspecting online shoppers.

In Victoria alone, more than double the number of people were charged with the crime in 2018 than in the year previous, and the police are warning that the trend is set to continue as more and more people shop online. In this post, we’ll discuss how you can stop these ‘porch pirates’ and how you can keep your parcels safe.

How do ‘Porch Pirates’ Work?

Some ‘porch pirates’ are mere opportunists who happen to see a parcel on a doorstep as they are walking past and decide to take it with them. However, some of these thieves are far more calculating.

Some thieves purposefully follow couriers on their rounds, picking up any parcels that are left around. In some extreme cases, these ‘porch pirates’ have also been known to knock couriers to the ground as they exit their vehicles in order to take their parcels.

How Can I Keep my Deliveries Safe?

Thankfully, there are several ways you can keep your deliveries safe. For example, when ordering your parcel, you can specify that if you’re not home, you’d like it to be delivered to a neighbour or taken back to the postal office, rather than being left outside your home.

Many online retailers now also ask you to fill in details of where you would like your parcel to be left if you’re not at home. If you don’t want it to be delivered to a neighbour, you should make sure you fill these details in, leaving as much information as possible. You should also make sure that you select an area that can’t be seen by passers-by.

Alternatively, you can pay slightly more for recorded delivery, which will mean that someone will have to sign for your item. This way, not only will you know the item has been delivered, but you’ll also know who has it. Some couriers also allow you to name a time and date for delivery at an additional cost. This way, you can schedule your deliveries for a time when you know you’ll be home.

There are also a couple of additional steps that you can take to improve your home security. For example, we’ve seen a rise in the number of Australian homes using smart lockers and lockboxes at their homes, which are perfect for leaving parcels in and mean that you don’t have to pay extra for premium delivery options.

As a more advanced measure, you can also look to install security cameras on the outside of your home. With security cameras, not only will you be able to keep an eye on anyone entering your property, but you’ll also be able to catch any potential thieves in the act.

By installing a home security system or CCTV cameras, you’ll be able to keep an eye on your property wherever you are, as you can sync your security system to your smartphone. Plus, even just the presence of a camera could deter potential thieves.

Whether you like treating yourself in the sales or you do your shopping online for a loved one’s birthday presents, make sure that your deliveries are safeguarded.

With ‘porch pirates’ looming, you should take measures such as specifying delivery locations and installing home security cameras to keep your home and its deliveries safe from intruders. If you’re interested in installing a home security system or would like to talk through your options, please call us on 1300 773 633.

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