To Protect Yourself from Identity Theft, Treat Your Mail Like Currency


It's not easy to stay one step ahead of criminals and international crime syndicates intent on stealing your personal information, and turning a huge profit on their ill-gotten data goods. But it is possible to foil these thieves and sometimes the solutions are so simple they're easy to overlook. For example, have you considered installing a locking mailbox outside your home? It might be the best $60 that you ever spend, as stealing U.S. mail directly from the curb is one of the most common types of identity theft. Think about the wealth of personal information in your mailbox: credit card statements, credit card offers, newly issued checks, tax returns, earnings statements, insurance claims and more. Don't let anyone near this stuff. Aside from a locking mailbox, you might consider using a Post Office Box for official mail. Also, remember to temporarily suspend mail delivery when you're away from home - the USPS has a convenient online form for just this purpose. Lastly, consider a move to paperless billing for credit cards, utility bills and the like. If there's no highly prized mail to steal, a key vulnerability point has been successfully neutralized.


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