How to Keep Your Mail Safe
Secure locking mailboxes offer identity theft protection
Should you have a locking mailbox? Most of us assume the mail carrier will safely deliver and pick up our mail, rain or shine, six days a week. But the mail carrier may not be the only one visiting your mailbox. Mailboxes have become the targets of identity thieves looking for easy access to your sensitive personal information.
According to a study reported by the Identity Theft Resource Center, more than 15 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2006. That means in just over two seconds, a new American becomes a victim of identity theft. Identity thieves use their victims’ information, often stolen from unlocked mailboxes, to access checking accounts, open new credit cards, and to buy cell phone service.
Keeping your mail safe will greatly reduce your risk of becoming the next identity theft victim. A secure locking mailbox is a reliable way to prevent your mail from being stolen and to reduce your risk of identity theft.
Many people think locking mailboxes will be an inconvenience to themselves or their mail carriers. The reality, though, is that the inconvenience of using a key to access your mailbox pales in comparison to the hundreds of hours you will spend to recoup your losses in the event that your identity is compromised. And a locking mailbox is no inconvenience to the mail carrier!
A locking mailbox has two parts: an unsecured area where the mail carrier picks up outgoing mail, and a locked area with a letter slot into which the mail carrier deposits mail. The locked area can only be opened by the owner. So you see, the mail carrier does not need a key to deliver your incoming mail. (Read more here.)
It is important to know that not all locking mailboxes will deter an experienced mailbox thief. When choosing a locking mailbox, make sure the model is approved by the United States Postal Services (USPS). It must be strong enough to resist tampering and large enough to hold the volume of mail you regularly receive, including magazines and large envelopes. In addition, a mailbox that you can mount yourself saves the cost of a professional installation. (Learn more about the Mail Boss mailbox Fast-Trak Installation here.)
Locking mailboxes are available in a wide range of styles, from the traditional looking curbside mailbox mounted on a post, to modern wall-mounted mailboxes. The style of mailbox you need will be determined by where the mail carrier delivers your mail to you. Locking mailboxes that are installed at the curb are the right choice for mail delivery from the truck, while wall mount mailboxes are the norm where mail carriers walk to the front entry.
In addition to style, there are a few other things to consider when choosing a locking mailbox. Some have a rear door for retrieving mail while others are accessed in the front. Choose a mailbox that is well-constructed, welded together rather than pop-riveted, and keyed individually. Finally, make sure it is weather-proof as well as theft-proof.
The Mail Boss Locking Security mailbox, made of 12- and 14-gauge electro galvanized powder-coated steel with stainless steel hinges, is a high-security durable choice, virtually theft-proof and all-weather resistant. Additionally, the Mail Boss includes a Fast-Trak Mounting Plate for quick and easy installation, and includes all the necessary hardware, reflective house numbers, and three unique keys.
You made a good point when you said that locking your mailboxes can help you to make sure that you won’t be a victim of identity theft because locks can prevent your mail from being stolen. My husband and I are actually interested in shopping for keystone mailboxes. We want to ensure that our letters won’t be in the hands of unauthorized people, so we’ll make sure to consider buying keystone mailboxes with locks.