10 February 2009

Keeping your Mail Secure

After several years of living in apartments, we were finally able to purchase our first home. Little did we know of the many aspects of home ownership that would surface. Yes, we knew that we would have to pay sewer, gas, and electric, but there were other things that we never even thought about. There are many small details that I never even took into consideration, such as supplying our own light bulbs or getting a mailbox.

So, imagine our surprise when we walked into our first house and saw, as one of our housewarming gift, a mailbox. This is something that I truly did not think about, so I’m glad that they provided one for us. So, one of my first duties as a new homeowner, would be to mount the box on the post. The only problem was that the post for our box was located 3 houses down. Now, I contacted the Post Office and told them about this and the manager told me that, due to federal regulations, the drivers are not allowed to backup their vehicles and because of the location of our house, the mailbox would need to be located at its current position.

Well, I went ahead and installed the box and life went on as normal. However, a few months ago, we noticed that some of our mail had started to disappear. It first began with a bill we were expecting, but never received. We were only aware of this fact due to the late notice we received from our creditor a few weeks later. Evidently, someone had gotten into our mail box and had taken the bill. The next instance occurred a few weeks later when my daughter’s birthday card never arrived. I knew now, that something needed to be done, but I was at a loss of what to do.

Well, thanks to the Internet, I get to let my fingers do the walking and I quickly found a site that carried a wide variety of mailboxes; they even have an entire section devoted to security mailboxes. Now, there are a few things that you want to look for when choosing your new box and the first, is its construction. You want to get a box that is made of solid, galvanized steel. After all, what is the purpose of getting a box made of sheet metal or plastic, when someone can just take a screwdriver and break it open.

You will also want a box that is secure. The box I am currently looking at has a commercial grade anti-pick lock and has a tubular locking mechanism. This type of lock is the same type that is used in vending machines and I can state from experience, these are very difficult locks to pick. (No, I am not a crook, but I am a certified locksmith and I have had experience in picking a wide variety of locks). These types of locks require a special tool in order to pick them quickly, to which your average crook does not have access. There are many mail boxes out there that claim to be security boxes, so please choose wisely. Get a box that is sturdy, durable, and secure.

If you cannot afford a security mailbox, there are a few things that you can do to help minimize your chances of becoming a victim. Firstly, make sure that all your outgoing mail, is mailed from the post office, or is placed in one of their official boxes. Next, if you have a mailbox that is located near along the street, as we do, try to collect your mail as soon after it is delivered as possible. Now, I know that this is not always possible, but if you cannot do it yourself, maybe have someone pick it up for you. If this is not an option and you are having problems with theft, you may want to think about getting a PO Box. The main idea is to not only prevent your mail from being stolen, but your identity as well.

4 comments:

  1. I finally got a po box. Was so over it!

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  2. Angela: That's great. Now, you have one less thing to worry about. We were on the verge of doing that as well. We are hoping that we won't have to do it.

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  3. It could be the mailman himself is messing up the sorting of mail and some is ending up in others' boxes. Many people just throw away misplaced mail especially if it looks like bulk advertising.

    Get the PO box. People in the PO are less likely to make mistakes in sorting and recipients of wrong mail are mare likely to just drop it off at the desk than the wastebasket.

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  4. Anonymous: Not in this case, because I have seen the kids looking in the boxes. I just haven't caught them getting mail out yet. Good advice on the PO box! Thank you!

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