As more and more of us are doing our holiday shopping online, there's always that exciting time when you've checked your package's tracking info and know that it'll be waiting for you when you get home.

Except when it's not. Sadly, while online shopping has become more widespread, so has package theft.

It's gotten to the point where some thieves are even following UPS trucks around, waiting for the driver to drop off a package on a doorstep, and swooping in to take the box right away.

Here are a few ways that you can thwart potential package bandits:

Have your package delivered to a friend or family member

If you have a friend or family member who either works from home, works opposite hours from you, or is retired, ask them if you can have your packaged delivered to their place. Make sure that when you order something that you add "please ring bell" to the shipping instructions so the delivery driver immediately lets the recipient know that the package is there.

Have your package delivered to your office

I'm lucky to work in an office where the management and receptionist don't mind if we have our online shopping delivered here. That way, I know that my orders are being handed directly to someone who I trust.

Rent a box for the season

There are many places where you can rent a post office box monthly. If you don't have any other options, it can't hurt to spend the extra money for a month or two for the peace of mind of knowing that your delivery won't be exposed and unattended.

Most importantly - know where your package is and where it's going

Keep a close eye on the tracking info that you receive in your order confirmation. That way, you should have a pretty good idea of when it's due to arrive. If something doesn't look right, get in touch with the company that you ordered from right away and alert the delivery service (UPS, FedEx, US Mail, etc) that you have a concern.

Have you ever had a package stolen? What happened? Tell us in the comments section.