Ignoring These 4 Simple Tips Puts Your Holiday Gifts At Risk
By Angela Sanders Thursday, December 12, 2013, 06:12 AM EST
Crooks love the holiday season because there’s a lot more stuff for them to steal. They count on honest holiday revellers to pay too little attention to where their gifts are so they can swipe all those hard-earned presents. And nothing puts a damper on Christmas cheer than spending December 25th filing a police report instead of exchanging thoughtful gifts. If you want to avoid being a victim this holiday season, follow these four simple simple tips that ward off Christmas-ruining thieves.
1) Be Careful Of Who You Invite To Holiday Parties
Do you know everybody who is coming to your holiday party? How well? Unfortunately, many burglars don’t have to break into a home in order to steal Christmas presents. They are simply invited. Before you throw your holiday bash, cross-check your guest list against public records using InstantCheckMate. If anyone had spent time in prison for theft or any other offense, you’ll know instantly. You’ll also see who has a history of criminal behavior and even if one of your invitees is a registered sex offender. It’s a much more reliable way of determining who’s been naughty or nice than Santa’s method.
2) Don’t Leave Gifts In Your Car
Sadly, many presents don’t even make it home before they’re stolen. After people complete their big shopping day at the mall, they might stop by a restaurant to eat or travel elsewhere to run errands, leaving their defenseless items in the backseat of their car. When they return to the vehicle, they discover that their windows are shattered and their presents are stolen.
Treat your presents like the precious cargo that they are. After you buy your gifts, head straight home to wrap them or hide them in the closet. It gives criminals one less opportunity to reap the benefits of your shopping trip.
3) Put Your Presents Under The Tree The Night Before Christmas
A brightly-lit Christmas tree surrounded by stacks of neatly-wrapped presents is a joyous sight to behold. Much less joyous is the sight of that same tree completely bare of presents because a burglar broke into your house and made off with everyone's gifts. Leaving a big pile of expensive presents out in the open is a tempting target for thieves who need only look in your window to see what you’ve got. Keep your goodies safe by storing them away until the night before the big day.
4) Don’t Post Your Haul On Social Media
After you’ve bought presents for your loved ones and after you’ve received your own Christmas bounty, don’t show off on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. While you might do it to make your friends jealous, it also broadcasts the whereabouts of your newly-acquired valuables to every criminal who has access to the Internet. Morally bankrupt crooks won’t just know what expensive items you have, but also where to get them. If you absolutely must rub your awesome Christmas gifts in your friends’ faces, do it the old fashioned way—in person.
About the author: Lindsey Rubin is a blogger living in San Diego, California. He writes about social media, online security, and etiquette.