This may be one of the most simple protection measures that you can implement to protect yourself from harm. Before discarding mail, be sure to shred any pieces of paper with any identifying information. For maximum security measures, shred any and all documents that are directed to you.
Document shredders are available in a wide variety of prices and security options. Basic shredders are small, inexpensive, and shred in a linear pattern. More expensive shredders can shred multiple pages simultaneously, and perform in a cross-cutting manner (instead of having strips of paper, this shredder creates diamond-shaped confetti). With a cross-cutting shredder, you eliminate the risk of shredding a document in a way that is easy to piece back together. Also, with linear cuts, it is possible that an entire strip of paper may contain just enough information for an identity thief to do damage.
An added security measure is to place a lock on your mailbox. The lock may act as a deterrent to theft. Additionally, you will notice immediately if the lock has been tampered with and will be able to alert authorities before damage incurs.
For maximum security, you can purchase a post office box or a UPS bo x and have all of your vulnerable mail routed to that address. If you travel often, you can use these boxes as your primary address so that your mail doesn’t accumulate at home and indicate that you’re away.