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Mailing can be easy with the best practices.

Professional mailers use well-developed security practices. The following are some best practices used by the mailing industry and shared with the USPS. These suggestions may not apply to all businesses. Mailing professionals should determine which are appropriate for their company and conduct periodic security reviews of their operation to identify needed improvements. The list below contains general security concepts and a few specific examples of how to accomplish them.

Secure Your Mail & Paper Production Facility
  • Control access to the plant site/work area.

  • Limit facility access to employees, known visitors and escorted visitors.

  • Lock all outside doors. Prohibit doors from being propped open.

  • Require deliveries to be made in a restricted area.

  • Restrict drivers to an area that is separate from the production facilities.

  • Use video cameras inside and outside the facility.


Mail Transportation Security
  • Clean trucks, trailers, and mail transport equipment between shipments.

  • Seal all inbound shipments of supplies. Record the seal number on the bill of lading.

  • Use trucking companies certified by and registered with the U.S. Department of Transportation and are  fully insured.

  • Seal all outbound trailers that move among and between USPS mailer facilities with numbered seals.

  • Record the serial numbers of the seals on the bill of lading and have the driver check them upon arrival.

  • Note on the bill of lading if a shipment arrives with a broken seal, and investigate the shipment.

  • Use systems to track the location and expected time of arrival for all shipments. Investigate any delays.

Mailroom Employee Security
  • Maintain good hiring practices.

  • Perform background checks on all employees prior to hiring.

  • Make exclusive arrangements with one or two temporary employment agencies to ensure that a restricted, pre-screened group of individuals are available when needed to supplement the workforce.

  • Establish an employee identification program.

  • Require employees to wear photo ID badges.

  • Instruct employees to challenge any unknown person in a facility.

  • Provide uniforms with names and logos stitched on them for employees to wear at work. Provide a separate area for personal items (e.g., coats and purses). Prohibit employees from taking personal items into the main  workspace.


Mail Preparation
  • Use tinted stretchwrap around bundles and pallets. The shrinkwrap identifies the mail as coming from a professional mailer and allows for easier detection of tampering.


Mailpiece Design Recommendations
  • Use safety seals and tamper-proof envelopes.

  • Use transparent envelopes.

  • Use closed window envelope rather than open window envelopes.

  • Use a postmark or indicia that matches the city and state of the return address.

  • Use a full return address and recognizable company logo on the outside of mailpieces.

  • Include a contact name and phone number or email address in all correspondence.

  • Discontinue using "handwritten" fonts.

  • Include a toll-free number and web site on the outside of the mailpiece.

  • Use indicia or metered postage instead of live postage stamps.

  • Inspect all pre-printed inserts.

  • Assess use of premiums such as pens and magnets, which make mailpieces lumpy and misshapen  non-machinable USPS equipment.

  • Review production processes to eliminate any substances that could be misidentified as a biohazardous material by employees or customers.



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