In his book, "The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence," leading American security expert Gavin de Becker writes that, “Intuition is always right in at least two important ways; it is always in response to something. It always has your best interest at heart.” Security concerns in our virtual and literal worlds are on everyone’s minds these days. Anonymity is a form of protection and it manages to keep you and those who live with you safe quite well. This is why so many businesses are opting for an anonymous mail drop.

What is an anonymous mail drop? A mail drop is a commercial mail receiving agency that can receive your mail and packages in your name. It provides you with what is usually called a “ghost address” meaning that while there is a physical location people and businesses can use to send you mail, it keeps your real home address safe and secure, with no direct way to trace you. It’s not only to maintain anonymity, sometimes it’s just easier. If you travel a lot, your mail can be forwarded to almost anywhere you are. You have someone on hand at the agency to sign for packages and keep them secure. Lots of mail drop businesses offer other services, such as receiving faxes.

Search Your Options

To set up your anonymous mailbox, search online for “anonymous mail drop”, “anonymous mailbox" or “private mail address” as well as your approximate location.

Assess Your Needs

Some services only extend their reach so far so you must consider where you travel and to what places might you need your mail forwarded. There are a lot of different mail-receiving agencies so make a list of what type of services you need to help you narrow it down.

Contact Your Agency

You can go into the agency if it is nearby or set up your account virtually. Ask about different promotions they may have and if they have extra services you didn’t see when searching online. Price points vary widely so be clear about what services you are looking for. Many of these agencies are privately owned and are franchises so there is a good chance you can talk to the owner and ask your questions.

Contact the USPS

You must change your mailing address. This can take a few weeks to kick in so it’s best to do it quickly. You can do it online for the cost of $1 or you can go to your local post office and fill out a PS Form 3575 free of charge.

Next, fill out the PS Form 1583. This is the application which states you agree that the mail-receiving agency you have chosen can receive your mail. Please note that the United States Postal Service does not guarantee anonymity; under particular circumstances, the USPS can disclose your ghost address.

For people who work from home or travel for work, having an anonymous post office box is a lifesaver. For people who may need to stay safe, it may be a literal lifesaver. Check out all your options and the agencies available to keep you and your mail protected.