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Security how-to: Clever way to protect your packages from porch pirates

If you’ve never had a package stolen off your porch, consider yourself lucky. According to, nearly 49 million Americans have had this unfortunate experience within the past year alone.

Most people can’t stand guard 24/7, so Amazon built a package-protecting feature into its lauded Ring doorbell line of home security devices. Tap or click here for ways to extend your video doorbell’s battery life.

Can Ring Package Alerts keep your online orders safe from local thieves? It can, and we’ll show you how to set it up.

Here’s the backstory

Package Alerts allow you to designate a package area within your Ring camera’s view. It will notify you when it detects a package has been delivered. First, you’ll need to ensure that Motion Detection is turned on via the Ring app.

Now it’s time to turn on Package Alerts. Here’s how:

  • Open your Ring app.
  • Go to Devices and select a compatible device.
  • Select Motion Settings > Smart Alerts.
  • Under the Package section:
    • To turn on and record your package deliveries, select the video icon.
    • Follow the instructions and create your Package Zone.
  • To start getting package alerts, make sure you select the alert icon.
  • Customize your Package Zone by following the on-screen prompts.
  • Customize your Package Sensitivity by following the on-screen prompts.

After you’ve finished doing this, you’ll be able to review any Package Events captured by the device on your smartphone or computer. You should find these events in your Timeline when you get an alert.

Note: Deliveries must be left within your Package Zone to be detected. Packages are detected most reliably when left within seven feet of your Ring device.

To use Package Alerts, you’ll need to use the most recent version of the Ring app. It’s also worth noting that you can create multiple Package Zones on multiple devices.

To start using Package Alerts, you will need a Ring Protect subscription. Pricing begins at $3.99 monthly. You’ll also need one of the following devices:

  • Video Doorbell (2nd Generation).
  • Video Doorbell 2.
  • Video doorbell Wired.
  • Video Doorbell Pro.
  • Video Doorbell Pro 2.
  • Video Doorbell 3.
  • Video Doorbell 3 Plus.
  • Video Doorbell 4.
  • Video Doorbell Elite.

Setting Package Alerts up is probably one of our biggest holiday shopping tips this season. Who knew it would be so easy?

More tips for keeping online purchases safe

The last thing you want this holiday season is an empty sack of gifts. Keep packages out of the wrong hands using this tip, as well as a few more:

  • Add specific delivery instructions on your orders to hide packages in a particular place.
  • Use package holding services that your courier offers.
  • Have packages delivered at work.
  • Schedule weekend deliveries for when you’ll be home.
  • Ask a neighbor to pick up packages from your porch when you’re not home.
  • Use a pick-up location like a P.O. box or an Amazon Locker.
  • Use Key by Amazon in-garage delivery or a similar service.

Keep reading

Five holiday scams to know about so you don’t get fooled

This app that promises you money for watching videos is a scam

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