Local security expert skeptical about new Amazon home delivery service

Howland Alarm Company President Cindy Matheson says you should always think twice before letting someone into your house

FILE - In this June 30, 2011, file photo, a United Parcel Service driver delivers packages from Amazon.com in Palo Alto, Calif. A joke book “written” by a conservative author and filled with blank pages in a dig at Democrats topped Amazon's list of best sellers on March 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)
AP Photo/Paul Sakuma


HOWLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – To try stopping people from stealing your packages when you’re not home, Amazon is launching a new delivery service called Amazon Key.

The service allows couriers to scan packages at your house, which then sends a signal to open the door so they can leave your packages inside.

Owners can watch the courier with a security camera that’s set up inside their house.

But, what seems convenient and safe for your packages might not be the safest thing for you and your home.

Cindy Matheson, president of the Howland Alarm Company, says you should think twice before letting someone into your house.

“The more people that have access to your home, the more people that can see the way you live — your patterns, your coming and your going [when] you are not home during the day,” she said.

People might not decide to take anything at the time, but they could come back later.

“It’s not just the people living on the street that are breaking into homes, it could be people that lose their job — they were delivering packages and lost their job,” Matheson said.

She recommends installing a porch security camera.

“At least you would be able to see, hopefully, who took the package and be able to identify them. But, then that’s in the past,” she said.

Plus, when using Amazon Key, you would have to unarm your security system for the courier, which can leave you even more vulnerable.

But, Matheson says there are some newer systems that allow you to control your security systems with your phone, letting you unarm just one door of your house then quickly putting the security back up.

Matheson believes cameras and security systems are still good preventative measures to take, saying you shouldn’t even give thieves the opportunity to steal your packages in the first place.

She also suggests having your packages delivered somewhere else, to an address where you know someone will be there to retrieve your packages. This could be a neighbor’s house or even your workplace.

UPS, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service offer alternative options for delivery.

They all allow you to track packages with a tracking number so you have a better idea of when they will be delivered so you can be there to get them. They also allow packages to be delivered to their own facilities so you can pick them up there.

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