Friday, August 26, 2011
You've seen the variety of patterns inside security Printed business envelopes, but is it effective?
You bet. Not every potential criminal is ready to take on a major federal crime like outright stealing mail, because think about how many pieces he'd have to steal before obtaining what he is looking for; the information he needs to steal your identity. Maybe he'd get lucky with the first few attempts, but surely people who did not get their mail would complain. Plus, he'd have to wade through a whole lot of junk mail. Now consider what's inside business envelopes. Checks. Account numbers. Sometimes even identification. In fact, one business I worked for as a temp asked for literally everything. My driver's license, social security number, and bank account info (to deposit my checks). I sent each one in a separate security envelope by registered mail. Some of the laws in place to protect a company against fraud can ironically expose the employee to identity theft. Once that information leaks out, it's hard to get control again. The National Crime Prevention Council points out that all a thief needs is one piece of information, like a social security number, to ruin your whole financial life. Credit card fraud is most common, but phone and utility fraud is right up there, followed by bank fraud. How can you protect yourself against this type of fraud? First, never use a plain envelope, either for business or personal use. Let's face it, even when you write a letter to your Nana, you drop clues, like the name of your pets or your kid's birth date, that most people who are not security conscious use as passwords. Whatever's inside that envelope is your business. Don't allow random people into your business with business envelopes anyone can read through. In addition to being unsafe, it's just not very professional. Don't leave your mail in an unprotected home mailbox, an outbox sitting on a desk, or give it to someone else to post. Drop it in a traditional mailbox and make sure it falls in properly. Since post office boxes are emptied every day and are usually highly visible, they are rarely broken into or vandalized. You can't protect yourself against every form of fraud, but most fraud depends on people who accidentally expose themselves. Thieves are always going to take the easiest possible route, and the answer to fraud is as simple as: Don't make it easy. Good quality security business envelopes with a patterned inside is just another layer of extra fraud protection in a very unsecure world, for you, your customers, vendors, suppliers, contractors, and employees.