New prices

Several Postal Service price changes will take effect Sunday, Jan. 9.

The changes affect Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express and military mail and are in alignment with Delivering for America, the organization’s 10-year plan to achieve financial stability.

Here are some of the current and new retail prices:

• Priority Mail small flat-rate box: $8.45 (current), $9.45 (new)

• Priority Mail medium flat-rate box: $15.50 (current), $16.10 (new)

• Priority Mail large flat-rate box: $21.90 (current), $21.50 (new)

• Army/Air Post Office and Fleet Post Office large flat-rate box: $20.40 (current), $20 (new)

• Priority Mail regular flat-rate envelope: $7.95 (current), $8.95 (new)

• Priority Mail legal flat-rate envelope: $8.25 (current), $9.25 (new)

• Priority Mail padded flat-rate envelope: $8.55 (current), $9.65 (new)

Overall, these changes raise prices approximately 3.1 percent for Priority Mail service and 3.1 percent for Priority Mail Express service.

The prices for large flat-rate boxes for Priority Mail and military mail will decrease 40 cents.

The Postal Service implemented price changes for cards, letters and flats in August.

The Postal Explorer website has price change tables.

Hidden dangers

Online hackers are imagined as lone wolves hiding somewhere in the recesses of the internet, but often they are part of well-organized and sophisticated operations sometimes financed by foreign entities to do far more harm than gain access to a family’s checking account.

For instance, Microsoft and cybersecurity experts have recently warned that hackers sponsored by foreign governments are attempting to gain remote access to computer networks by exploiting a flaw, called Log4j2, in a utility widely used in Java applications.

Similarly, nearly one year ago, SolarWinds — a major technology firm that specializes in security software widely used by government agencies — was hit by a massive, months-long, cyberattack perpetrated by what experts believe were Russian government operatives.

The hackers uploaded malware into SolarWinds’ software products, compromising security at dozens of government agencies and private firms.

The SolarWinds cyberattack included phishing emails that targeted the company’s employees and customers, a reminder that hackers often use emails as an easy access point into computer networks.

To protect the USPS network, employees and contractors should do the following:

• Never use unapproved applications or software on any USPS device.

• Keep computer, mobile device software up to date.

• Change passwords regularly.

• Never share passwords with others.

• Store passwords written on paper in a secure location.

• Watch out for suspicious emails.

The CyberSafe at USPS Blue and LiteBlue pages have additional guidance

New year, new you

Postal Service employees can continue to work toward achieving their wellness goals with the help of a new webinar series.

Kaiser Permanente, a provider of health plans for federal employees, is offering a series of virtual “Mindful Monday,” “Thriving Tuesday” and “Wellbeing Wednesday” sessions this year.

Here’s an overview of the webinars and when they’ll be offered (all times are Eastern). Select the session title to go to the registration website:

• “New Year Guided Meditation.” Learn how to start the new year with positive intentions. Monday, Jan. 10, noon-1 p.m.

• “Preventive Care Guidelines.” Learn how to prevent common health problems. Tuesday, Jan.11, 2-3 p.m.

• “Ready, Set, Go. Learn to create positive habits. Wednesday, Jan. 19, noon -1 p.m.

• “Guided Meditation for Aligning Your Heart and Mind.” Learn how to breathe in rhythm with your heart. Monday, Feb. 7, noon-1 p.m.

• “Keeping a Healthy Heart.” Learn how to help prevent stroke, coronary artery disease and high blood pressure. Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2-3 p.m. (This session will also be offered Wednesday, Feb. 23, noon-1 p.m.)

• “Mindful Eating Guided Meditation.” Learn how to improve your everyday diet. Monday, March 7, noon-1 p.m.

• “Nutrition, Just the Basics.” Learn key nutrition principles. Tuesday, March 8, 2-3 p.m.

• “Preparing Healthy Meals and Dining Out.” Learn how to identify healthier food options. Wednesday, March 23, noon-1 p.m.

Participation is voluntary. Nonexempt employees may only participate off the clock or during authorized breaks.

For more information, email the USPS Health and Wellness team.

News Briefs

Scanning snapshot

Scanning snapshot. A snapshot of Postal Service scanning data shows the national rating was 96.65 percent during the week ending Dec. 31, down 0.36 percent from one week earlier.

The data was collected Jan. 5.

Central led the four areas with a rating of 97.06 percent, while Atlantic ranked last with a 96.32 percent rating.

Among the 50 districts, Arkansas-Oklahoma, part of Southern Area, ranked first with a 97.73 percent rating, while Puerto Rico, also part of Southern Area, ranked last with a 92.14 percent rating.

Scanning data allows customers to track their mail and packages, which helps USPS deliver excellent service, boost loyalty and drive revenue.

To see the latest data, go to the Informed Visibility website and select “Customer Experience,” followed by “DES 2 Scan Performance.” Postal Service employees must request Informed Visibility access through eAccess.

Delivery data. From Oct. 1-Dec. 24, the Postal Service delivered 89.8 percent of First-Class Mail on time when compared to the organization’s service standard, according to data released last week.

During the same period, USPS delivered 91.7 percent of Marketing Mail and 81.2 percent of Periodicals on time, the figures show.

Happy returns. Postal Bulletin’s Dec. 30 edition features an overview of the organization’s offerings for customers who want to return merchandise through the mail, along with the latest updates to USPS policies, procedures and forms.

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