Summary. These days, with concerns about privacy and identity theft, it’s a good idea to have your mail as secure as possible. That’s why, for postal mail, it’s generally a good idea to utilize a Post Office Box for all your mail.
Online Change of Address. The USPS now has an online change of address process. So, even if you’re not moving, you can put in a request to have your mail forwarded to a PO Box to consolidate all of your mail. You’ll need a credit card and you’ll be charged $1 to use the online service. This is a much easier way to request a change of address.
Dangers of Home Delivered Mail. These are some of the potential drawbacks to residential or apartment postal delivery:
- shared mail delivery increases chances of pieces getting lost or misplaced
- confidential financial information can be stolen
- checks or other valuables could be intercepted
- items sometimes get put in the wrong box
- letters and letter boxes can get wet if outdoors
- after you move from one address to another, some mail gets forwarded, but some does not, and mail arriving after a long time might not get forwarded
- packages delivered may set out for days, or be put at the wrong door, and could get damaged from weather or stolen
- There are many situations where you need to provide your mailing address. Yet for privacy and security reasons, it’s not always a good idea to make your home residential address publicly available — whether the concern is stalkers or thieves. So, by having a PO Box, you can have an address that’s available on business cards or public directories without disclosing where you live.
Benefits of a PO Box. With a PO Box, mail is safe, dry, secure, and if you’re moving from one address to another in the same town you don’t need to worry about submitting a change of address form.
When a PO Box Doesn’t Make Sense. For some people and some circumstances a PO Box might not be as convenient as home delivery. Here are some examples.
- retired people
- mobility challenged people
- rural residents
- people who live in a large city and don’t have a post office near their home or work
- people who prefer to get home delivery of mail and aren’t concerned about the issues raised above