To prevent theft, clothing stores and stores that sell electronics and other big-ticket items will use security tags that will set off an alarm if you attempt to leave the store without paying. But around the holidays store clerks can get overwhelmed with shoppers and occasionally forget to remove security tags from clothing, electronics, etc. Also, it's not uncommon to receive an item you've ordered on the internet with a security tag still attached. Instead of having to go all the way back to the store to have a clerk remove the tag or ship an item back in the mail, you can remove them yourself at home.

Universally, there are really two security tags that are used most often. One is a spring-loaded type mechanism without security dye and the other is more of a twist-off type device that often times contains dye.

The spring-loaded device requires the use of a knife or magnet, the other can be removed safely and easily with a simple plastic bag.

These two proven methods to remove security tags from items should only be used on purchased items and should only be performed by adults.

How to remove security tags using a plastic bag

How to remove security tags using a magnet (this method only works on certain types of security tags)

CAUTION: This security tag life hack requires the use of a knife

It goes without saying, but let's say it anyway. Never shoplift. Always pay for items, stealing is illegal. These methods should only be used in unique situations.

LOOK: The top holiday toys from the year you were born

With the holiday spirit in the air, it’s the perfect time to dive into the history of iconic holiday gifts. Using national toy archives and data curated by The Strong from 1920 to today, Stacker searched for products that caught hold of the public zeitgeist through novelty, innovation, kitsch, quirk, or simply great timing, and then rocketed to success.