When you think about keeping your home safe, most of us focus on alarm systems,
cameras and a sturdy set of locks for our doors and windows.
And with rising crime rates in Melbourne, it goes without saying that keeping your house secure is more important than ever.
One thing that we see many people neglect however is how secure their personal details are. Much like physical crimes, identity theft is also on the rise.
And while most of us know about the importance of having strong passwords and multiple forms of verification online, how much thought have you put into the information sitting outside your home in your letterbox?
We’ve touched on mailbox security in the past. Today, we’ll be taking a deeper dive into the implications of having an unsecured mailbox and what you can do to keep your mail safe.
Why should I worry about my letterbox?
Compared to your front door and windows, your letterbox might not seem like a high priority.
And in one sense, you’d be right. After all, no-one’s going to be squeezing into your home through the letterbox!
However, keeping your letterbox secure is still important. Because for better or worse, many important letters, bills and paperwork still come through good old snail mail. If you want to keep this information secure and stop it getting lost - or worse, falling into the wrong hands - a secure letterbox is a must-have.
Keep your identity safe
Uber has been making waves in the transport industry recently. And while it’s a boon for people who need a cheap way of getting from point A to point B, the ride-sharing service recently came under fire for allowing the account details of 57 million customers to be stolen from its database - including credit card details.
Now, we’re not a data security business… our focus is firmly on the physical world! But the scale of this identity theft illustrates just how important it is to keep your digital and physical identities box secure.
Some thieves go through letterboxes looking for things like pay wave credit cards.
But what’s more concerning is how much of your personal information sits in your letterbox. With a bit of patience, a persistent letterbox thief can build a complete profile of you through the letters that come through your letterbox.
This is especially lucrative, with some organised crime syndicates using the information to gain access to your accounts or take out fake bank loans in your name, for instance.
If you want to avoid an unexpected phone call in the middle of the night for a product you never bought or a loan you never took out, taking steps to secure your letterbox is key (if you’ll pardon the pun!)
Keep up to date on your bills
It’s not just your privacy that takes a hit when your letterbox is raided - your wallet could take a hit as well.
An unsecured mailbox isn’t just a target for thieves - your mail could simply get lost. It’s quite easy to never notice that you haven’t gotten your quarterly water bill yet. And next thing you know, the late notices start rolling in.
Like it or not, your electricity provider, water company and insurance broker still send a lot of paperwork through the postal service, including the bills you need to pay. And if you happen to never receive those bills...
Well, we’re fairly sure you don’t need us to tell you how important it is keep on top of your bills! But if you keep losing your bills, it might be a good idea to think about taking steps to secure your letterbox and avoid an unexpected notice later down the line.
Protect your privacy
We’re willing to bet that no-one likes having their personal information being looked at by complete strangers. Whether that’s your insurance premiums, that speeding fine you copped last week or your bank number, it just feels wrong. After all, your private information is just that - private.
Keeping your letterbox is about more than just identity theft or keeping on top of your payments. It’s also essential for peace-of-mind. If you value your privacy, what are your options?
How to enhance letterbox security
Check your mail regularly
With so much of our communication conducted online, it’s easy to forget to check the humble letterbox. Raise your hands if you’re guilty of letting your mail pile up for weeks - we’re willing to bet at least half said yes to that!
Don’t let your mail build up. Instead, make a habit of checking your mail every night when you pull in after a day at work or when you leave. Even better, find out what time your local postie makes the rounds and schedule your letterbox checks around that.
This is a simple habit to get into. But it can save you a huge headache later down the line.
Redirect mail when you go on holiday
With Christmas coming up so soon, many of us already have travel plans, including a week at the beach, travelling interstate or even going on a well-deserved tour overseas.
If that sounds like what you’re planning, we have one piece of advice: get your mail redirected to someone you trust so it doesn’t sit unattended while you’re away.
When you mail builds up and isn’t attended to, that’s when your information is most exposed. So don’t give it the opportunity.
Rent a PO box
Another way to keep your mail safe is to rent a PO box at your local post office. While the main draw of renting a PO box is to keep your information safe, it can also make your life easier too!
- The separate mailing address doesn’t reveal your home address
- Keeps the same PO address, even if you move
- Gives you the freedom to collect mail at your convenience
Get good locks
If you’re not keen to rent a PO box there’s another low-cost option you can do to physically secure your mail. Talk to your local locksmith!
Installing a new lock or getting an existing one rekeyed can go a long way towards securing your mail and protecting your personal information. Far too many letterboxes nationwide have no sort of locking mechanism on them… and many others haven’t had their locks changed for years on end.
The lock on your mailbox is the front line of defence when it comes to protecting your identity and your privacy. And for most people, it’s the only one, too.
Need a local locksmith in St Kilda or across Bayside?
Good mail security starts with a good set of locks. And while it mightn’t be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of home security, it’s still hugely important to protect your humble letterbox.
If you need a local locksmith in St Kilda, Brighton, or anywhere in Melbourne’s southeast and Bayside area, look no further than Galmier Locksmiths. We want to be your locksmith for life, so for all commercial, domestic, auto, and emergency locksmith needs, we urge you to save our number in your phone. You never know when you’ll need it and your future self will thank you!