April 21, 2014

Greetings! I trust that this will find you well and enjoying life.

Your mail is protected by 18 U.S. Code § 1708, but that won’t stop mail theft, which may occur after you’ve already read through your mail and thrown it away. The trash cans you place at the curb for pick up are not protected by the Fourth Amendment expectation of privacy, so it is legal for people to rummage through them. This practice is referred to as dumpster diving, and is one of the ways thieves can access your personal and financial information. So while you can lock up your house, it’s not so easy to lock up the trash you haul out to the curb every week. And if worrying about who might be rummaging through the bins keeps you up at night, there is a better way.

Some people opt to buy a paper shredder so they can destroy financial statements before tossing them in the trash, but that’s not helpful if you want to review your statements later. Many financial institutions encourage clients to replace paper statements with online delivery. You receive an email when the statement is available, and can access it by logging into your account online. This way your personal data is protected by firewalls, encryption and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology, which can help protect your account information from being stolen. Plus, it may be easier to log out after viewing your online statement than to shred sensitive documents. You can even save them to your hard drive if you’d like to keep them more easily accessible.

Another convenience is that you can view an archive of your past statements at anytime, anywhere – whether you are on a trip in another part of the country or while standing in line at the post office. And if you spend part of the year away from your primary home, online statements allow you to put a hold on your mail – not your finances.

Unsure about how to access your statements? Call our office and we will walk you through the step-by-step process to access your statements online. The more that you can do to simplify your life and make it secure in retirement, the better off you’ll be.

If you have questions about any issue that relates to finance, don’t ever hesitate to call.

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