Mail Theft in the Digital Age
Have Things Really Changed?
Times are changing, but ways your identity can be compromised might not be. A focus on mobile access, typically with smartphones, has shown that there has been an increase in mobile banking and bill pay. Using these practices quickly becomes a habit and may take away from focusing on what kind of information shows up in your mailbox.
A 2014 study by the Federal Reserve found that:
- 51% of mobile users have used mobile banking
- 66% of users mobile payment was bill payment through an online system
- 38% of mobile users have deposited a check through a smartphone
More Things Are Done Online, But You’re Still Getting Mail
Mobile payment and information processing are growing, but the average person still receives 16 pieces of potentially damaging direct mail per week.
According to the United States Postal Inspection Service, here are a number of ways you can protect your mail:
- Regularly pick up your mail. Just because you are maintaining billing and payment info online doesn’t mean that your personal information isn’t finding it’s way into your mailbox. Credit card solicitations, subscriptions and other pieces of mail can contain important information that can compromise your identity.
- When changing your address, notify the Post Office and any specific businesses you deal with immediately. Waiting to take this step can mean that personal information is delivered to the wrong person.
- If you’re going out of town for an extended period, find a neighbor or a friend that will regularly pick up your mail. This not only keeps your mail safe, it doesn’t let anyone know that your home is going to be an easy target for other kinds of theft for a certain amount of time.
- Don’t send cash in the mail. Once it is in the mail it cannot be tracked. If it’s gone, chances are it’s gone.
- Report suspected mail theft immediately to a Postal Inspector. Not only is this important for you, this could be part of a bigger issue. The more diligent you are about a problem, the better the chance that you find a resolution.
What Can You Do?
Staying abreast of where your information is coming from, as well as where it ends up is important. The digital age is slowly taking over, but that doesn’t mean that things have completely changed and it is important to take the same level of care with your direct mail as you ever have.
It is important to regularly check your mail and make sure you shred the pieces that may contain critical information.
We help southeast Wisconsin and northeast Illinois with their secure document destruction needs. Contact us to start shredding your documents and keeping your identity safe, today.