The holidays are here but some Grinches out there could steal your holiday spirit, along with your packages. Here's how to protect yourself. The holiday shopping season is upon us and while there are still some who are willing to endure the elements to go out and shop at brick and mortar stores, most do their shopping online. They usually have the best deals, will arrive quickly and pants aren't required. The problem with all these online orders is the packages that arrive on your doorstep when you're not home. This time gives porch pirates plenty of opportunities to run up to your door, steal your packages and scurry away.

Porch pirating has become so common that 1 in 3 Americans will be a victim of this crime, according to the Daily Mail. A survey by C & R Research found that over half the respondents (56%) say they know someone who had a package stolen, and over 30% had a neighbor's package stolen. Having one package stolen is heartbreaking enough, but 22% has deliveries stolen twice and a shocking 10% say they've had three or more packages stolen.

With porch pirates becoming more common in different neighborhoods and cities across the United States, many wonder how they can protect themselves from these potential thieves.

  1. Conceal the contents- some retailers will put their products in flashy packaging so you know that you're special package has arrived. While this looks nice to you, it also looks really nice to porch pirates. Amazon even has an option to conceal packages.
  2. Get notifications- Many companies offer text and email notifications so you know what day your package will be delivered when it's out for delivery or has been delivered. If you're able to track the package, you may be able to run home and get the package as soon as it reaches your door.
  3. Ship packages to your work- Assuming your coworkers aren't front desk pirates, shipping your packages to the office could be safer since your work receptionist or front desk can receive and store the package for you if you're unavailable.
  4. Ship packages to the store- Sure, it's not as convenient as getting a package to your front door but store delivery allows them to keep your package safe until you're able to go and retrieve your package.
  5. Ship packages to an alternate location- Delivery companies like UPS, Fed Ex, Amazon and others allow your packages to be shipped to different locations like Walgreens, CVS, Michaels, etc. Contact the delivery company to see what your options are.
  6. Schedule a delivery time- Many delivery companies offer delivery dates and times for you to choose from so you can find the time that works best for you and your schedule.

Find more tips on the USA Today website and see the entire C & R Research survey at their website.