The United States Postal Service “Informed Delivery” is a product that allows users to view images of their household’s incoming mail and manage their package deliveries.
Once registering, a Postal Service customer will receive an email that contains images of everything that is to be delivered that day. These notifications can be sent to phones, mobile devices, or desktop computers.
Rest assured, the Post Office does not open your letters, if you use this service. The scans and images of the deliveries are of the outside of the envelope only.
The idea behind this feature is simple. If you know what you should expect in your mail, you will also know if something is missing. The crime of mail theft is on the rise and has been a problem for many years. The Post Office has set up locked mailboxes and advises the use of post boxes at the post office to secure mail. These steps will help since the additional information may assist to solve this problem. If you know that something should be there and it isn’t, you can try and do something about it.
According to the Post Office Informed Delivery is a free service. To sign up for it you go to informeddelivery.usps.com and create an account. The system will do a basic identification verification by presenting you with a list of questions to answer. This list contains questions about past addresses, financial history, and other things. It is presented in a multiple choice format.
In addition to this you will have to provide your delivery address and an e-mail address for the notifications to go to.
Unfortunately, this service is not available everywhere yet. When you sign up there is an option to check your zip code, and that will inform you if the service is available in your area.
Security experts are concerned about the weakness of the identity verification process that the Post Office has opted to use. The questions are something that a jilted ex-partner, private investigator, or others may be able to answer. In fact they are provided by Equifax, the credit bureau that was breached last year.
One option that would make this service more secure would be if the Post Office would inform users when someone has signed up by postal mail. This would give a two layer verification much like a username and mobile phone do for online access to many services. Hopefully the Post Office will opt to increase security soon. For now if you sign up for this service and create an account with a username and password this will help a little.
William (Bill) Sikkens has been a technology expert for KXL on the Morning Show with Steve and Rebecca since 2014. With an expertise in I.T., cyber security and software design he has had more than 20 years’ experience with advanced technology. Sikkens conceptualizes and designs custom applications for many professional industries from health care to banking and has the ability to explain the details in a way all can understand. Article edited by Gretchen Winkler.
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