Monday, May 7, 2007

What’s missing from your mailbox today?

A habit that we are all used to doing since we had our first apartment, or first went away to college, is get the mail before we walk in the door. Every day we expect to get something when we open that box. Mail is a way of life in our society. It is woven into the thread of our daily lives.

Will physical mail ever go away? No, but it will evolve into a different service than what we see today. Email, estatements, online billpay, are all eroding at a service that has been in existence for ages. But what online taketh away, online giveth back in another form. Ecommerce has opened up the marketplace for any item you want with a click of a mouse.

So who still uses this age old system of antiquated origins? All of us do! There must be something about still receiving items in that box that keeps us attached to this extremely vulnerable system. Ever think about how vulnerable it is? Most don’t.

According to the US Postal Service they arrested 6000 people last year for mail theft! If it doesn’t sound like many, just think of how many they have not arrested. Then add in the ones who will start doing it. The number of mail thieves is growing as identity theft continues to grow year after year.

There is also the occurrence of “volume thefts”, that is prevalent in a number of states. The postal service does not specify what a “volume theft” is, but I would guess it is in the range of a bulk airline cargo hold shipment (ever look out the airplane window and see bulk bags of US mail being loaded with your luggage) to an entire truckload. I doubt they are looking for Ebay packages either. The thefts are occurring everywhere that mail is readily available, from collection boxes, apartment mailbox panels, postal trucks, your curbside box etc.

So what is missing from your mailbox today? A quick off the cuff answer is nothing, because you picked up your mail and it was there….so you thought. But were you there when it was delivered? Did it sit all day waiting for you to get it after work? And are those 2 credit card offers the only ones you received today or did the mailperson leave 4? You just don’t know what is missing from your mail because you never see it to start with.

You need to defend yourself from mail theft by eliminating the use of mail for all critical and essential information. Only use the mail for catalogs and advertisements and coupons, the thieves can have that.