The more places that have your home address, the more likely that address will end up in a database that gets shared, purchased, or hacked. A post office box can help limit that exposure – but unfortunately, even here your identity and location are not as secure as they seem.
The US Postal Service demands to have your real address and an ID to set up a PO Box, and requires that third-party PO Box providers (like The UPS Store) do the same. While that information is considered private, it is often made available by the US Postal Service to anyone who submits a written request to the postmaster. A legitimate or legal reason is required, but sometimes such requests are not closely scrutinized.
But at least the Post Office won’t offer up your address just for profit. UPS Stores and others that provide PO Box services are private companies that would think nothing of selling the personal data of their customers.
Someone determined to find your home address might also be able to track it by linking your name and the PO box with your social media accounts. Another method is to mail a package to your box with a tracking device inside. That’s why judges and police officers should take the precaution of inspecting any letters or boxes before taking them home.
A Better Option: Mail Forwarding
Mail forwarding allows you to get an alternate address and have your mail (or some of it) sent to that address. If that address is leaked and someone heads there to confront you, they won’t find you there. It’s not only more secure than a PO box; it eliminates the inconvenience of having to drive to the post office to retrieve your mail.
Companies like iPostal1 offer a digital mailing service with a virtual mailing address; however, they also tend to sell and trade personal information (review their privacy policies and you will learn that they reserve the right to do so).
Since these companies can’t be trusted either, we decided to provide this service with a level of built-in security that clients should expect. It’s the best way to be assured that your address is not being sold.
360Civic provides an option for mail forwarding for only $12 per month if you are enrolled in IronWall360 privacy protection.