Protect Your Mail from Prying Eyes
Why Do You Need to Protect Your Mail?
First and foremost, you need to protect your mail from prying eyes in order to reduce the risk of identity theft. If someone can steal a credit card statement from your mailbox, they can request a credit card without your knowledge. Medical identity theft is when someone gets a hold of a health insurance statement or medical bill and then uses your medical ID number to object medical services; you’ll get stuck with the bill while incorrect information is recorded in your medical records. If you do not protect your mail, birthday cards and Christmas cards filled with cash and gift cards could be stolen. And that’s assuming someone doesn’t get a hold of a replacement driver’s license or the new checks you ordered. Mailbox locks may be the simplest solution.
How to Protect Your Mail from Prying Eyes
There are several ways to protect your mail from prying eyes. The best solution will depend on your needs and security concerns.
Mailbox locks are the cheapest long term solution to protect your mail form prying eyes. You purchase a single lock, and you receive years of protection. Installation is typically do it yourself, though you can hire a Gilbert Locksmith to do it. Locking mailboxes are accessible to the postman and you, unless you let someone make a copy of the key.
Another option along this line is replacing the whole mailbox with a mailbox that locks, especially if you are replacing a mailbox that was already damaged by a baseball attack. If you are installing a new mailbox with a vandal-resistant mailbox, don’t forget the locks. If you have a locking mailbox, no one will be able to shove a small bomb in with your mail before detonating it.
If you receive quite a few packages, select a locking mailbox style called the mail/package box. The packages will be dropped off within the mailbox, protecting the packages along with the mail.
Locking mailboxes that use traditional keys are better than the recently released mail vaults that depend on keyless touch pads. You don’t want to be unable to access your mail because you forgot the code. Worse yet, you may be unable to get to your packages until the battery that powers the keypad has been replaced.
Post Office Boxes
Another option for protecting your mail from prying eyes is to buy a post office box. However, this will force you to visit the post office regularly to get your mail, and you’ll have to pay a monthly maintenance fee. This solution may limit the availability of your mail to the times the shipper or U.S.P.S. is open. Mailbox locks are a cheaper long term solution. However, paying for a post office box may be better if you regularly need your mail stopped or receive many packages that can only be picked up from the post office.
Pick Up the Mail Immediately
You may choose to try to pick up the mail as soon as it is delivered. Unfortunately, we are not always home when the mailman comes. Envelopes and small packages in the mailbox are subject to pilfering when we’re on vacation or simply late to get home. Don’t assume you will always be there to pick up the mail as soon as it is delivered.
Minimize the Mail You Receive
You can try to minimize the risk by reducing the amount of mail you receive. Electronic billing is one way to reduce the bills you receive. Mailing bills and letters from the post office means less in the mailbox to steal. You could request to be removed from mailing lists. However, important letters and packages like new checks, replacement driver’s licenses, benefit statements and health insurance notices are often only sent to your home address.