<p> The Christmas holidays are a time of anticipation for both young and old. Everyone&#39;s waiting for those packages to come.</p> <p> With the growth of online retailing, there&#39;s even more reason to look forward to big packages from Amazon or Best Buy on your front steps.</p> <p> However, more packages mean more opportunity for someone to steal them. Thieves will steal <a href="">packages</a> right off your front steps no matter the time of year, but they&#39;re more likely to help themselves to your goodies during the holiday season.</p> <p> That&#39;s because most bad guys are looking to <a href="">swipe electronics</a> and other expensive items they can sell for a quick buck.</p> <p> Still, there are a few things you can do to ensure that your packages don&#39;t end up in the hands of a <a href="">casual thief</a>.</p> <p> Here are safety tips you to protect yourself if you are expecting a package delivery.</p>

If possible, choose an alternate shipping address.

<p> If you know you&#39;re not going to be home to receive a delivery, have it sent to a relative or neighbor who will be home.</p> <p> Alternatively, Chu said, have your package delivered to your place of business instead of your residence. That way, you&#39;ll get your package or the person at the front desk will sign for it if you&#39;re not around.</p> <p> [<a href="">Thief Apparently Hacked Hotel-Room Lock</a>]</p>

Always take in packages and mail as soon as they are delivered.

<p> &quot;Packages left on a porch or doorstep, and mail sticking out of your mailbox, are more likely to be stolen,&quot; said Archie Chu, a crime prevention officer Archie Chu with the Pleasanton, Calif., police department.</p> <p> In fact, Chu said, sometimes thieves follow a UPS, FedEx or U.S. Postal Service delivery truck as it makes its appointed route.</p> <p> Then, as soon as the delivery person drops off your package and/or mail and drives away, the thief will jump out of his car, run up to your porch or doorstep and steal your packages or holiday cards filled with cash and gift cards.</p> <p> &quot;The time it takes for someone to stop their car, run out, grab a package and run back in their car is probably about seven seconds,&quot; Chu said.</p> <p> [<a href="">12 Ways to Make Burglars Avoid Your House</a>]</p>

Always try to request signature confirmation on deliveries.

<p> &quot;If possible, you should request that the shipper require a signature for delivery,&quot; Chu said. &quot;This will make certain that the delivery person will get a real person to sign for the package and he won&#39;t leave it unattended on the front porch.&quot;</p> <p> [<a href="">10 Home Security Tips You Haven&#39;t Thought Of</a>]</p>

Ask the package delivery company to hold the package at its location if you&#39;re not going to be home.

<p> Some delivery companies will hold your packages for a few days. If you&#39;re going to be away for the holidays, ask your local post office to hold your mail.</p> <p> [<a href="">Make an Old Computer Your Home Security System</a>]</p>

Don&#39;t leave a note on your door telling the driver where to hide your package.

<p> A thief following the delivery truck may not see where the driver put that huge box with the Apple logo on it. But he won&#39;t have any problem reading your note.</p> <p> [<a href="">How to Defend Yourself Against Home Invasion</a>]</p>

Some delivery services offer text, email or Web-based alerts to track your package and let you know when it has been delivered.

<p> Check the delivery company&#39;s website for this service, Chu said. UPS, for example, offers proactive Delivery Alerts, so you can get the most up-to-date information about your home deliveries, and you won&#39;t even need a tracking number.</p> <p> [<a href="">Pick the Home Alarm System That&#39;s Right for You</a>]</p>

6 Tips to Protect Your Holiday Package Deliveries