In the ever-expanding world of new technologies, now comes the virtual mailbox. People might wonder if this is just another name for a new email provider. What exactly is a virtual mailbox?
How it Works
When they think about a virtual mailbox Austin, Residents have many questions. Is it safe? Is it expensive? Why would a person need or want a virtual mailbox?
A virtual mailbox is a person’s actual physical paper mail scanned and emailed to them. This is how it works:
First, an Austin resident would pick a US address from a list provided by the United States Postal Service. Then that person would fill out official post office forms giving the post office or the mail service company the authority to open a person’s mail. They will also need two forms of ID.
When any mail with the new address is received at the post office or the mail service, the staff will scan the envelope and send the person an email notification showing the envelope. The customer logs into their online mailbox and starts managing their mail.
The customer can choose from several options for what they want to do with the mail. They can choose:
1. Open and Scan
3. Shred and Recycle
And that’s all there is to it. A virtual mailbox in action.
But is That Safe?
This is a tricky question. A virtual mailbox in Austin is only as safe as the staff that is handling the mail.
Customers should vet the company before they let them start receiving mail. The mail service should be able to prove that they perform background checks on their personnel before they are hired and continue to monitor their employees regularly.
Particularly when a customer is using the virtual mailbox for their business address, it is important to know that their business information will not be shared. When choosing a company to set up a virtual mailbox, Austin residents should ask the provider what security procedures they have in place to keep the mail safe and private.
Other customers may be concerned about having their mail scanned to them. It seems like this opens up yet another way for people to steal information since it is on the internet. Credit card statements and bank statements and other private information might be compromised.
A good virtual mailbox provider will make sure that the mail being sent to the customer digitally is encrypted. Or a service can also use two-factor authentication to make sure no one else accesses the customer’s mailbox. This reduces the chance of hacking.
Is This Service Expensive?
The cost depends on the provider. The average price around the country is about $10 to $15 per month.
Why Would a Person Want a Virtual Mailbox?
There are many good reasons to check out a virtual mailbox set up.
For one thing, a physical metal mailbox is not all that safe. The mailman drops the customer’s mail in the mailbox and then walks away. Unless that person has a lock on their mailbox, anyone can come in behind the mailman and remove the mail.
If the customer regularly receives checks in the mail, anyone can steal them. Especially if the home is in a subdivision or a neighborhood where mailboxes are out at the street rather than on the house, it makes it very easy for anyone to just remove the mail.
Secondly, having a virtual mailbox keeps your actual home address a secret. If a person is working from home and would prefer to keep their home secure, they can choose a virtual address that is in a business district.
Another reason a person would choose a virtual mailbox would be if that person regularly receives expensive packages in the mail. Some virtual mailbox services keep the deliveries in a locked guarded area. This eliminates people stealing packages off the front porch.
Thirdly, some people’s jobs require them to move frequently. People who move around the world a lot find that a virtual mailbox is a lifesaver. If a customer is going to be living in Mexico for a few months and then moving on to Argentina, it can be nearly impossible to keep paper mail going to the right place.
With a virtual mailbox, the person can move any number of times and never have to worry about having their mail forwarded and or lost. Important paperwork can arrive safely and on time.