Staying safe and keeping our personal belongings and information secure is always important, but many people tend to overlook the importance of keeping their mail secure and protected. Mail theft often leaves people blindsided, as it’s common knowledge in the United States that tampering with someone’s mail is illegal in most states, and mail fraud is a federal crime. However, if your mail is stolen from its mailbox, you may run the risk of having your personal and financial information compromised by scammers. In fact, many people don’t think to take extra care in protecting their mail until it’s too late.
Here are a few proactive steps you can take to ensure your personal mail is well protected:
Keep your actual mailbox protected.
If you live in a house, odds are you have a mailbox that easily opens and closes. However, you can upgrade your home’s mailbox to something more secure that won’t interfere with mail delivery. You can opt for a mailbox that locks from the outside with a key that has a mail slot that’s wide enough for small and large envelopes. You can also opt for a mail slot in your door, so only your home’s residents can retrieve it.
If you’re traveling, pause your mail delivery.
You can easily contact the postal service and arrange to have your mail paused while you’re away for a few days or longer — and you can pause mail for up to 30 days. Bear in mind that this only applies to mail delivered by USPS, so if you have packages arriving via UPS, FedEx, or other delivery services, they will still arrive as scheduled, but you can set up text updates through most carriers to follow their path to delivery. If you have a neighbor whom you trust, it’s a good idea to keep them in the loop if you’re expecting any deliveries so they can hold onto your packages.
Opt for digital mail whenever possible.
Switching to digital mail — or receiving certain items in your email’s inbox instead of your physical mailbox — is not only safer and more secure, but it also cuts down on paper waste. Opting for digital mail is a smart idea when it comes to anything that contains sensitive material, such as your credit card and bank statements. In fact, Polam has made it easy for our members to switch to e-statements — just log into your online banking account with us to receive your statements digitally instead of in the mail.
Look into video surveillance options.
With newer technology arising, it’s easier than ever to keep every part of your home safe and secure without spending a ton of money. Ring doorbells are popular and can monitor who’s coming to your doorstep, and SimpliSafe is also a popular home security system with video features. Adding decals from your security brands of choice can also serve as a deterrent to anyone who might be considering tampering with your mail or packages.