Another autumn has nearly passed like the fallen leaves on the old maple tree. Winter is pushing it's way in with biting temperatures, snowy landscapes, and a parade of winter holiday's! The children have put away their Halloween treats for letter's of holiday gift wishes. Families are planning gatherings of feasts and giving.
With gift giving season comes shopping in every form imaginable. Groceries for family get together's, party supplies, clothes for pageants and religious gatherings, and holiday gift purchases. Whether its Hannukkah, Kwanzaa, or Christmas, retailers of every niche are ready with their suggestions and sales. Unfortunately with the sudden increase of spending thieves and scammers are also waiting for their opportunity to get a piece of the frenzy.
Shopping online has now exceeded the visit to big box retailers and brick and mortar shops. Commerce giants like Amazon, Ebay, and Walmart have changed how we shop. 76% of American's shop online. The majority of online purchase browsing is done on Mobile devices. Everyone is getting into the online game from drug stores to local businesses.
With online shopping comes numerous delivery options. According to SMIOTA, (a provider of cloud-based package lockers and mailroom software solutions):
- 1 in 4 people have fallen victim to package theft, and half know someone who has.
- The average value of stolen packages is $140.
- There are an average of 17 incidents per 1,000 people in metro areas.
- Police make arrests in less than 10% of reported theft cases.
- Being at home during the day doesn’t prevent package theft.
Consider having packages delivered to your place of employment or business if possible. Packages will often be more secure in a business than a residential location. Have your package delivered to a location where someone is more likely to be home like a neighbor or family.
Even with an occupied residence, package theft can still occur. There are now many options for front entrance security that do not require hard wiring, costly subscriptions to monitoring services, and are economical for small budgets. Look at new Lightbulb surveillance camera's that simply screw into the front entrance light and send instant notifications to your cell phone. There are other small wifi camera's with mounts from magnetic to non-damaging brackets. Look for options with night vision, 2-way audio, and most importantly that cover your required area.
Even with vast E-commerce options, the malls and shops will inevitably flooded. Many of us need to browse for ideas, touch, smell, and try on our holiday finds. With increased traffic in malls and shopping centers you must consider increased theft and safety hazards.
Keep your auto locked at all times. Find well lit parking areas near other vehicles. Remote, isolated vehicles are more vulnerable to theft. Do not leave purses, bags, or packages visible from outside viewing areas. Look into getting a dash camera with motion activation. There are now inexpensive options that alert you remotely if your vehicle has a breach or is hit. Get a camera with GPS technology. If you vehicle is stolen many GPS options now have no required subscriptions, they are simply paired with your smart phone and can assist as a theft deterrent and often save on insurance premiums.
Your wallet/purse, and pockets are also tempting for would be thieves. Get RFD blocking sleeves for your credit and debit cards. A swipe from a thief can cost you thousands, destroy your credit, and have long lasting effects. There are now options for micro GPS devices that can be discreetly placed in a purse liner, wallet, or clothing. Like a vehicle GPS, when your personal items are stolen you get a phone alert and can instantly report the location to law enforcement.
Most identity theft and privacy breaches are done with secret surveillance. You can now locate these hidden threats with small handheld scanning devices. For holiday season and beyond a hidden device detector can sweep dressing rooms, hotel rooms, ATM's, gas pumps, and various other locations for hidden camera's RFD readers, phone scanners, and other devices. This also makes a great unique gift for your loved one that is hard to shop for.
As an E-commerce store owner with many years of retail and sales experience on our team, I have seen and heard it all during the holiday's. Black Friday stampedes, shopping cart wars, and weary Santa's of all types. We at Envision Safety and Security feel peace of mind is more important than the best deals, best gifts, or anything life throws at us. So enjoy your holidays, pay it forward, treasure your gifts, but take the time to relax and take in each moment. Holiday shopping should ultimately be about the memories created and not worrying about the safety or security of you and your loved ones.
“IT’S NOT HOW MUCH WE GIVE BUT HOW MUCH LOVE WE PUT INTO GIVING.”
― MOTHER TERESA