Consumer Payment Card News

How Stopping Unwanted Mail Can Help Protect You from Identity Theft

Think about your daily trip to the mailbox. When you get back into the house, how many of the envelopes or magazines do you actually look forward to opening? Better yet, how many of them do you actually need to receive? In many cases, the daily mail tends to be upwards of 75 percent junk mail and only 25 percent actual mail that we need or want to receive.

Beyond bills, checks and paystubs, and personal cards or letters, many of the things to fill our mailboxes include credit card solicitations, lawn care advertisements, local deal papers and pubs, and other junk mail that we neither want nor care to waste our time reviewing and discarding. To reduce or eliminate this unnecessary time waste, it can behoove you to get yourself off of the bulk mailing lists.

Much like the do-not-call list, you can add yourself to an anti-solicitation list to reduce the amount of junk mail that comes to your home or office. A new website, Updater.com, is a web-based management tool that allows you to control your postal mail through a variety of methods. Members can update their address, notify contacts of a move, and reduce or stop unwanted paper mail. This also helps the environment and can actually help to reduce the incidence of identity theft through the prequalified credit card applications.

As an online service designed to manage offline mail, Updater recently launched its public beta site for consumers to better control who can access their mailing address. The two key services include Address Change and Address Privacy. Address Change makes an automatic update by filing a consumer’s official Change of Address Form with the United States Postal Service. The Address Privacy feature removes a user’s mailing address from direct marketing lists and employs a custom spam filter option.

“Notifying businesses and affiliations of a change of address is a major hassle, and postal addresses are increasingly hijacked by marketing firms, which use them as an unsolicited advertising platform,” says David Greenberg, founder of Updater. “The consumer needs a trustworthy and reliable way to streamline the change of address process and decide for themselves which mail they want to receive.”

At the time of publication, the Address Change feature costs $1.99 and is included for free with the Address Privacy feature. The Address Privacy feature costs $14.99 for three years. To learn more about Updater or to sign up, visit www.updater.com.

Even if you don’t plan to use a paid service to reduce your junk mail, you can definitely save time by removing yourself from unwanted marketing mailing lists. Speak with your local post office for more details on how to change your address or reduce your junk mail consumption.

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