Many people don’t like the idea of having their home address so easily searchable on the Internet. It used to be that if you wanted a way to receive mail without giving up where you live, you got a post office box, which is ok but let’s face it, there’s not much worse in this world than having to go to the post office.

I love to travel (hence the origins of this blog), and for me, I also would like to be able to receive my mail even when I’m not home. Rather than burdening my friends, I use one of the many services out there that receive mail on your behalf and, at your request, scan your mail and e-mail it to you, forward your mail to you, or simply drop it in the shredder if you don’t want it.

The services range in price from about $20 for the basics, and it’s the easiest way to get your address off the Google while still maintaining communication with those who still find it necessary to send paper. Two that I’ve used that I’ve been happy with (and receive no commission from) are:

One cool tip: with the check deposit feature that most banks have in their mobile apps, if you receive a check, you don’t have to request it be forwarded to deposit. Just request that they scan the item and then either print and endorse, or if you’re extra fancy, you can endorse using any graphics program and use the app to take a picture of your screen. It actually works.


This is one of a 30-part series, “No Surveillance State Month,” where daily for the month of June I’ll be posting ways to avoid invasion of your privacy in the digital age. The intent of these posts is not to enable one to escape detection while engaging in criminal activity — there’s still the old-fashioned “send a detective to watch you” for which these posts will not help. Rather, this series will help you to opt-out of the en masse collection of data by the government and large corporations that places Americans in databases without their knowing and freely-given consent for indefinite time periods. We all have the right to privacy, and I hope you demand it.