Nowadays, it is possible to make almost any type of payment without a paper check. With Venmo or Zelle, you can pay your bills online, shop with credit cards, and send money to friends and family.

Nonetheless, many businesses and individuals still use paper checks in the mail to do business, at least some of the time. Even though mailing a check in the United States is reasonably safe, paper checks can still get lost or stolen. Checks can even be used by thieves to learn your bank account number and routing number, which are printed on them.

To ensure that your payment reaches the intended recipient, you can follow these steps next time you mail a check.

1. Restrict the Paper Check

To improve check security, you can dictate that the check can only be deposited into the intended recipient’s account. In the space for a signature, write “For deposit only”. It isn’t foolproof, as a bank teller may overlook it or ignore it. However, it can make it less likely that a thief can successfully cash the check or sign it over to somebody else, especially without leaving a paper trail.

2. Use a Security Envelope for Checks

A thin, transparent envelope makes it easy to see if there is a check inside. Think about getting some security envelopes, which are designed to conceal the contents of your mail. If you don’t have any, you can also fold a piece of paper before stuffing the check into the envelope.

3. Drop the Mail at a Secure Location

Anyone can snatch your mail from an unsecured mailbox before the postal worker can collect it if you leave it there unattended. Consider dropping off your check at a secure location the next time you mail one. Mail can be placed in a locked post office box, dropped off at the post office, or handed directly to your mail carrier.

4. Send the Check Via Certified Mail

Send your check via certified mail if you want to ensure that it reaches its destination. A signature is required when the check arrives. Your receipt acts as evidence that the check was delivered.

Is your personal information on the dark web? Make sure your identity isn’t at risk!