Home security continues to be something everyone should be aware of, and with increasing incidents of identity theft, mailboxes are a potential weak link in any home’s safety net. Identity theft doesn’t just take place online and credit card numbers are not always stolen when shopping on the web or forgetting to tear up a receipt at a restaurant. Think about what arrives at your door every day and what a thief could do with that information. Credit card statements contain all of your critical info and you likely receive bank account updates, insurance policy updates and all manner of confidential data in the mail. Locking mailboxes are an effective way of preventing the wrong person from reaching in and snatching your private information. Starting as low as $87, mailboxworks.com offers secure models to fit any decor or budget.
Thieves have always had ways of fraudulently obtaining confidential information besides residential mailboxes. So-called “dumpster diving” where they search garbage bins for receipts has been popular for decades. With many subdivisions using communal commercial mailboxes, careless residents sometimes leave potentially useful items in garbage bins as they sort their mail, and the Internet has led to all sorts of issues with credit card numbers being traded and e-mail phishing for consumers’s information. But one area that’ss frequently overlooked is right at your front door: mailboxes. Given the ongoing rise in identity theft (a 2009 report indicated 9.9 million Americans were identity theft victims, a 22 percent increase over the previous year), you ignore this weak link at your own peril. When you think about it, many people go to the trouble and monthly expense of paying for a monitored security system to keep burglars out of their home. But having someone assume your identity by stealing a credit card statement from your mail could be far more expensive than having to replace a TV or your stereo.
If your home has one of the standard residential mailboxes that builders install by default, there is nothing to prevent a thief from simply walking up to your front door and scooping the contents, making off with information that could be sufficient to make things very miserable for you. In only seconds, they could be walking away with your financial history, your cell phone information or a new credit card in your name. Locking mailboxes are the best way for homeowners to protect themselves from this low-tech identity theft. While no lock will keep out a determined thief, just as in the case of stealing purses from cars in a busy mall parking lot, the public nature of stealing from residential or commercial mailboxes means that the perpetrators are under pressure to operate very quickly and without attracting attention. In the majority of cases, encountering a mailbox that’ss secured with a locking mechanism will lead them to leave in search of an easier target, just as a locked car will discourage the purse thief.
Written By Robert Urgo