The level of concern about identity theft has risen in recent years. A recent report showed that 1 in 7 Americans had been victims of identity theft. While data breaches of several big-name corporations have formed the bulk of the talk, that’s not the only way miscreants use to get to other people’s personal data.
Mail theft is one of the more traditional ways criminals use to get their hand on people’s personal information, and it’s prevalent. Most of the time, they do this by knocking open mailboxes and taking mail that contains sensitive information like your credit card information, bank statement, or even your social security number.
Protecting your mail is key to preventing a data thief from gaining access to this kind of personal information and can be done by following these five easy steps:
Change the location of your mailbox
Most homeowners place their mailboxes close to the street. However, since no laws are defining where you can put your mail, you can buck the trend. Moving your mail closer to your gate or home entrance could be the difference between your mail getting stolen or not.
A thief is sure to think twice if he knows that attempting to steal from a particular mailbox puts him at a higher risk of exposure.
You can also try installing a camera near your mailbox. If you already have one overlooking the front of your home, move your mailbox somewhere within its range. This should serve as ample warning to potential mail thieves.
Get a security mailbox
While most people prefer wooden mailboxes because of their aesthetic value, being aesthetically pleasing isn’t the primary function of a mailbox. Mailboxes are supposed to hold important information, so it’s only proper that you invest what’s necessary to protect this information.
The anti-theft mailboxes at hereon.biz are good examples of security mailboxes. While they may be more expensive than your traditional wooden mailbox, they are more secure, more durable, and specifically built to keep out thieves.
Close your mail if you’re leaving the town
Put your mail delivery on hold if you plan on being out of town for a while. It reduces the chances of your mail being stolen. It also has the added advantage of helping you prevent break-ins during the time you’re away. A filled-up mailbox usually indicates to passers-by that a house has been empty for a while and can leave your home vulnerable to attacks.
Get the Label 33 from your local post office
Pasting the Label 33 on your mailbox ensures that any willful damage to your mailbox will be considered a legal crime. This may be enough to stop some criminals from vandalizing your mailbox to steal its content.
Guard your mail diligently and shred junk mail
Your mailbox isn’t the only place a miscreant can find documents carrying your personal information. Make sure to keep your important mail in a secure location. In fact, you should only carry sensitive mail if you intend on sending it on the same day.
Although all mail may not be sensitive, most of the time, they contain personal information that may be of interest to criminals. Criminals have been known to dig through people’s trash to get to documents holding personal data. Always make sure to shred all documents before disposing of them.