A few years ago, I was reading a client's Facebook profile page and discovered something that made my jaw drop.
Here, in this very public forum of millions of people, this single woman had plastered very personal info that included her home address, relationship status and phone number.
I immediately contacted her and politely alerted her to "the error of her ways."
And this oversight is not uncommon.
Sometimes in an effort to be "transparent" or friendly, people overshare.
But, be forewarned. It could cost you.
An act, seemingly innocent, can cause future detriment.
Even if you have lived at the same address for decades, are proud of the "posh" neighborhood in which you reside, or have no problems disclosing your where-abouts, publishing personal information in public forums is generally not a good way to go.
It could potentially expose you to criminal activity such as burglary, bodily harm, stalking or identity theft. Particularly for females.
(And on a side note here: ladies, do you really want that "crazy ex" to have access to your new life with his old issues?) "Houston, we have a problem!" LOL
But, don't just take my word for it.
P.O. Boxes typically provide greater safety and sanity for various reasons.
According to Quickbooks.com:
"If you use your home address as your business address, that means you need to provide your personal address whenever a customer or a vendor needs contact information. Using your home address may compromise your family’s privacy. The last thing you want is for a disgruntled customer or vendor to be able to show up at your doorstep."
And Entrepreneurshiplife. com further states, "If you get checks and contracts in the mail, it is much safer for them to go into a locked box inside of a post office than a mailbox in front of your house.
One of the most common sources of identity theft is mail stolen from a mailbox. Keep your business safe by sending your mail to a locked box."
If you are doing business as a freelance professional, here are five compelling reasons to consider a P.O. Box as a point of contact.
1. Not everyone likes to communicate via email. Snail mail provides an alternative.
Hello? This includes some senior citizens who are not very computer savvy, direct mail marketers, or even charitable organizations seeking donations. Having a P.O. Box simply increases your contact options.
Here's another related reason: as a popular blogger, I often get requests from authors and businesses to do book reviews, try out new products, or take surveys. A physical address makes it easier for others to mail tangible products. And who doesn't like free goodies?
2. Embedded forms on websites don't always work.
Website forms are often perceived as a quick way for readers to pose questions or perhaps to request professional services. But here's a newsflash: site forms don't always function properly. Tech glitches happen to the best of us.
3. P.O. Boxes are very affordable.
Depending upon your geographic location and the size of your box, rental could cost less than your
weekly Starbucks' tab. To check out prices and offerings where you are, here's a link to the U.S. post office: https://www.usps.com/manage/po-boxes.htm
You can even apply for one online.
4. P.O. Boxes offer privacy.
You can operate your business from your basement and no one needs to know.
A P.O. Box also prevents what I like to call location stereotype. Believe it or not, sometimes people will make assumptions about you, your income level, your education and your standard of living based upon your neighborhood or surrounding areas. Why deal with the hassle if you don't have to?
5. P.O. Boxes add a layer of professionalism and credibility.
This is particularly true if you are selling things online and want customers and clients to feel more comfortable and confident--for refunds, follow-up, problems, etc.
Or if your street name sounds a little silly for professional purposes.
That wraps things up here, folks.
Keep in mind that with the holidays just around the corner, a P.O. Box address posted on your site positions you to perhaps receive a lovely Xmas card or gift from your faithful readers and fans...or even me. :-)
For optimal success, think "inside the box."
Thoughts? Agree or disagree?
Do you have a Box?
Image credits: Pixabay.com