Advantages of steel locking mailboxes

We've discussed aluminum locking mailboxes and plastic locking mailboxes. In this post I want to discuss locking mailboxes made out of steel.

Steel is a great material due to it's high strength. It will hold up better than aluminum and much better than plastic. The biggest problem with steel locking mailboxes is that they are prone to rust and corrosion.

I have seen many steel security mailboxes around my neighborhood that are only a few years old and they already have substantial rust. It is clear the manufacturers of these mailboxes do not understand what is necessary to keep the rust away on steel in an outdoor application like a locking mailbox

In another post I will talk about steel technologies and coating technologies that will help make steel mailboxes longer lasting and more rust resistant.

Plastic Mailbox Designs

In my last post I talked about some of the advantages and problems with an aluminum locking mailbox design.

In this post I want to talk a little bit about plastic mailbox designs. There are not very many plastic mailboxes that are locking. There are some other plastic mailbox designs out there.

The advantage is that they will never rust. The disadvantage is that sometimes when exposed to lots of sunlight, they end up fading and looking very bad. Also, in climates where the temperature gets very cold, they can be susceptible to cracking. Even worse, in very cold temperatures, it would be easy for somebody to break your mailbox with a bat or crowbar.

Also, plastic designs typically do not look as good as metal designs because the plastic must be thicker to meet he US Postal service standards.

All About Aluminum Locking Mailboxes

There are many different materials that locking mailboxes can be made out of . Today we will be discussing Aluminum locking mailboxes.

Aluminum has one great advantage, one pretty good advantage, and several disadvantages. The best thing about an aluminium locking mailbox is that aluminium will never rust. Even if if the paint wears off, the aluminum will not rust.

Another pretty good thing about aluminum is that it's light weight can lower shipping costs when ordering them online.

A big disadvantage to aluminum is that it gets beat up easily. Aluminum is lighter than steel, but it is also much less strong. I've seen many aluminium locking mailboxes that look terrible just from the daily wear and tear of normal use.

Also, due to its light nature, aluminium also scratches easily.

How a Locking Mailbox Prevents Identity Theft

There are a lot of powerful tools to help keep your identity safe. You can sign up for credit monitoring services that send you a notice anytime somebody pulls your credit or applies for credit with your name.

If you suspect you might become a victim of identity theft, you can contact the credit bureaus and have them put a 90 day freeze on your credit file. This means that a company will have to call you to verify that you are the one who applied for credit.

A locking mailbox is also a powerful tool to prevent identity thieves. No one solution can do everything for your, you need a combination of credit monitoring plus keeping your personal information safe.

In later posts, we will cover each of these topics in more detail.

Who Makes the Best Locking Mailbox?

This is a good question. At MailCase, we like to think we have the best locking mailbox on the market.

However, if you don't want to just take our word for it, then you will need to do some additional research. The most important thing you need to look for in a curbside locking mailbox is how secure it is. Does it have a strong secure lock?

The second most important thing is the quality of the mailbox itself. You do not want to see your mailbox rusting out after only a few years of use. The best way to tell if this will happen is to look around in your neighborhood for people who have already purchased a locking mailbox. Check the quality. I have seen several around my neighborhood of a very popular brand that have a lot of rust after only 3 years.

Finally, you want to see how the locking mailbox looks. It has to look good in front of your house.

How a locking mailbox can benefit you

When you receive mail in your mailbox, the vast majority of the mail is probably not super sensitive. However, some mail is. The most sensitive kind of mail includes things like credit card offers, packages of checks, prescriptions, etc.

In todays world, the credit card companies will send you dozens of unsolicited credit card offers every week. It is an easy thing for a criminal to take the mail out of an unlocked mailbox and see these unsolicited credit card offers. They can change the address on them and then use them to open a credit card in your name!

Also, people are shopping more and more on the internet. Many of these things come to your mailbox. Having a locking mailbox is essential to keeping your identity secure.

What does it mean to be approved by the US Postmaster General?

Certain types of mailboxes have to be approved by the U.S. Post Office before they can be sold to the public. Most new housing developments have the mail delivered to a central mail pod. These central mail pods must be purchased by the developer of the housing project, but once they are installed, they become the property of the U.S. Post Office.

The Post Office wants to make sure these mail repositories meet strict requirements since they become the property of the Post Office. So they subject these to extensive testing before they will approve the manufacturer to make them.

The Post Office also requires curbside mailboxes to be approved by the Post Office. These are a little different than the central pods in that they do not become the property of the U.S. Post Office. For example, the MailCase locking mailbox that you purchase from MailCase would not become the property of the U.S. Post Office, it would remain your property. If you moved to another house, you would have the choice of leaving the locking mailbox, or taking it with you to your new home.

However, these curbside locking designs still have to meet extensive specialized requirements by the U.S. Postmaster General.

Many homes in older neighborhoods still have mailboxes attached to the house. These mailboxes are actually not required to be approved by the U.S. Postmaster General. However, as locking mailbox designs become more prevalent, I think the Postmaster General will publish a standard that these mailboxes have to meet.

Why Does MailCase Even Have an Outgoing Mail Flag?

If you read my previous post about never putting your outgoing mail in your mailbox with the flag up, and instead put take it to the post office or put it in an official U.S. Postal Service blue mailbox, you may be wondering shy the MailCase locking mailbox even has a flag at all.

Well, the short answer is that we are required to by the United States Postmaster General. As long as it is in the USPS requirements, then we will continue to include a flag on our MailCase locking mailboxes.

One thing to remember is that with the MailCase, the flag is removable. So if you decide you don't even want the flag, you don't have to install it when you get your MailCase.

However, sometimes it is okay to put outgoing mail in your locked mailbox. Things like letters and personal correspondence that do not contain any sensitive financial information you do not need to take the post office and you can just put it in your MailCase. Basically anything that does not carry any risk of identity theft can be put in the MailCase.

We also include a handy clip where you can place the outgoing mail should you choose to send something that way.

Identity Theft and Outgoing Mail

It seems like every month we hear another news story about large companies who have lost or compromised large amounts of consumer data. While it is important to keep on top of these situations and be careful who you submit your personal information to, the vast majority of identity theft occurs through old fashioned low tech methods.

These include things like getting a purse or a wallet stolen, or getting mail stolen. The first piece of advice I give everybody is never put your outgoing mail in your mailbox with the flag up. Having a flag was a great idea 50 years ago to notify your mail carrier that you had outgoing mail. However, now it is just an invitation to identity thieves to come and take your mail. You are making it easy for them to know who you are, you have a RED FLAG sticking up telling them that you have outgoing mail.

The outgoing mail is the most likely kind of mail to include your sensitive information. For example, lets say you are paying your credit card bill with a check and you put it in the outgoing mail. The identity thief now has your credit card number, your address, your checking account number, and your name. With this information it is incredibly easy for the criminal to begin stealing your identity.

Never put your outgoing mail in your mailbox, even if it is a locking mailbox like a MailCase. The safest bet is to take it directly to the post office, and the next safest bet is to take it to the blue mailboxes used by the United States Post Office.

Curbside Locking Mailbox Types

There are many different locking mailbox designs on the market now. However, most are variations on the same age old designs the post office has used for decades. There are two basic types of locking mailboxes:

1. There is they kind that has a narrow slot, large enough to fit mail in and some small packages, but not so large that a normal person could not reach their hand inside and access the mail in the locked compartment below.

2. There is the kind that uses a bin, or a tray attached to a door. When you open the door, it lifts the bin. You can put your mail or any packages on the bin and when you close the door, the mail slides down the bin floor into the locked compartment below. When the door is open, the bin is configured such that you cannot reach your hand in and access the contents of the compartment below.

Which one is best? Well it depends on what your needs are. Anything that is depository for packages will be of the type with the bin attached to the door. Most overnight couriers use this type of depository device.

I will cover more about the advantages of the different types in another post.

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