For Personal Privacy, Use a Virtual Mailbox Address

Perhaps you don’t want your street address visible to everyone. Mail forwarding services typically provide a new street address for your postal mail and then will forward the received envelopes and packages to any address the customer specifies.

Mail forwarding services have been available for years but now such services have moved into the digital age. You can have your physical mail sent to such a service and then have it scanned and delivered electronically to you wherever you are.

Scanning of the contents is not mandatory. Instead, you can have the received envelopes and packages forwarded to you (without being opened) in the same manner as old-fashioned mail forwarding services. You can choose the delivery option on a case-by-case (or envelope-by-envelope) basis.

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Securely Send Snail Mail the CIA Way

gummed-kraft-sealing-tapeMatt Novak has published an interesting article at describing how the CIA always sends old-fashioned snail mail through the postal system. It seems the CIA sends out letters that are secured with a specific type of tamper-proof tape.

The “gummed Kraft sealing tape” the agency uses makes sure the letter or package you receive has not been surreptitiously opened along the way. There’s no way to open the envelope without making it clear someone has been messing with it. The tape cannot be steamed off and has laminated glass fibers embedded in the tape to resist cutting.

Using this tape on your letters will help protect your privacy by making sure no one messes with your letter or steams open the envelope to steal the check you sent inside.

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Using a Credit Card Online is Safer than Sending a Check in the Mail

stolen_checkMany people have a phobia about using credit cards online. They think it is unsafe to do so as hackers supposedly theoretically could steal the credit card numbers as the information passes through the networks. However, experience has proven the opposite to be true. In fact, using a credit card online is safer than using it in a store and even much safer than sending a check in the mail.

Sending a check in the mail is high risk. Indeed, many checks get stolen from mailboxes every year and are cashed. See a recent article in the WESH Television web site at for just one example. There are thousands of similar thefts every year.

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Does The Postal Service Protect Your Privacy? No!

Everyone worries about online privacy and data thieves and then ignores the bigger potential losses of privacy. Did you know that the Postal Service uses a mail imaging program to photograph the exterior of every piece of paper mail sent in the United States?

According to a “surveillance audit” done by the postal inspector general, which the sleuths at The New York Times uncovered, nearly 50,000 requests from law-enforcement officials for mail monitoring were approved last year. Often, no reason was given. Sometimes there wasn’t even a written request.

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