Nearly 80% of Americans have fallen victim to package theft. There’s no perfect solution to “porch piracy”—but there are things you can do to lower your risk.

Imperfect solutions. Several suggestions commonly seen in the press are less helpful than they might seem.

Doorbell cameras: Getting an image of the thieves is unlikely to help recover stolen items. But these cameras can alert you to the arrival of packages, so you can bring them indoors promptly.

Requiring a signature: This option isn’t always available, and it may cost more.

Amazon Key: You can sign up to allow delivery drivers to open your garage and leave packages inside. But most consumers aren’t trusting enough to allow this, and what if a driver lets out your cat or forgets to relock the door?

Better choices. The following strategies have fewer drawbacks…

Shipping to your workplace if you work someplace where you can receive personal shipments.
Lockers: Several companies now sell lockers, bags and other receptacles, including Yale, Danby, Adoorn and Keter. Most have locks on them, and some boast smart technologies.
Problem: Despite leaving instructions, many consumers find that delivery drivers, under considerable time constraints, hastily drop packages right next to the lockers.
Alternative pickup: UPS offers pickup at its own stores as well as at local retailers authorized to receive packages, called Access Points. Similarly, Amazon Hub allows pickup at one of its lockers or counters close to your home.
If your package is stolen: Alert the shipping company to make sure it had been delivered. If you have proof of a theft, contact the retailer. Most will give a refund or ship a new item, although some will require a police report.

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