• Paper vs. Paperless bank statements


    Is it safer to receive paper bank statements through the USPS or to go paperless and retreive them from my IMac?  Which is more hack proof:  the US Mail or the computer?

    My neighbor was not receiving USPS mail and found that someone had forwarded it to another address.  In addition,  how safe is it to have bank statements sitting in a phsical mailbox?

    However, is it more safe to have these documents on a computer that can be hacked?



    Viewing 8 reply threads
    • #2560994

      In addition, how safe is it to have bank statements sitting in a phsical mailbox?

      Messing with mail is a federal offense. That said, collect your mail immediately and don’t let any mail sit in your mailbox overnight.

      Further, mailbox bashing is a favored sport locally.

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      • #2561012

        Thanks geekdom – what is your opinion:  which is safer from hacking:  the USPS Mail or my computer?

    • #2561030

      is it more safe to have these documents on a computer that can be hacked?

      I’ve been with the same credit union since 1973.  As soon as they went online (late ’90’s, I think), I started downloading my statements, and dispensed with paper statements entirely.  I’ve never had a problem, and I’ve never looked back.

      Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
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    • #2561062

      I live far enough out in the country where mail theft is not a problem, but it’s a different story if you live in a big city or the suburbs of a big city.  I personally can hear the mail truck making the rounds, especially when it pulls up to my mailbox.  I know the days when the bank statement arrives and I pay close attention for mail to come.

      This works for me because I’m retired, and may not work for people who aren’t home all day.  I still prefer a paper statement that I can get to in ten seconds in my desk.

      Being 20 something in the 70's was much more fun than being 70 something in the 20's.
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    • #2561066

      I prefer electronic statements for everything financially related. I avoid charge card paper receipts if at all possible. I think it is more secure and I can see everything online. Why kill more trees if it can be avoided?


    • #2561110

      Now that I think about it, I realize that since I already have an on-line account with my bank there is no reason to have my statements delivered by USPS.  I can easily print my own copy if a hard copy is needed.

      I just now set up my bank with 2FA — when I log in they have to send me a code to my email before I can get into my account.

      This seems to me to be safer than having it sent to my mailbox as I live near a big city as opposed to Charlie who is more rural and therefore has a more private mailbox.

      Thanks everyone for your input!  May we all be safe.



      • #2561170

        I require printed copies for work, and having to deal with online only statements in the very near future is making me think of changing banks!
        A timely discussion 😉

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      • #2561310

        While receiving a text message for 2FA is better than just a password, you should use an authenticator app if your bank supports it. That is much more secure. Text message authentication can be spoofed.


    • #2561202

      I went “green” and stopped receiving paper statements years ago. Besides a bank statement sitting in your mail box, the delivery of your mail to another persons mail box is a risk. It happens.

      One online tool I do use and like is the “USPS Informed Delivery” website. It sends me email every day with pictures of my mail being delivered that day.


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    • #2561304

      I can easily print my own copy if a hard copy is needed.

      Shouldn’t be needed unless there is a problem. FWIW: I use Foxit PDF Reader to view and annotate all of my Bank, Credit Card, and Brokerage statements and then file them away. About the only thing I get in the mailbox is junk mail and an occasional greeting card.

      May the Forces of good computing be with you!


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    • #2561301

      Thanks TechTango for the info on USPS Informed Delivery.

      I came across this warning from Krebs on Security:  https://mashable.com/article/usps-informed-delivery-fraud.

      The article does say that if you open the account yourself it should be safe.  Cyber Security is not for wimps!!!!!  It seeems like No Good Deed Goes Unpunished. 🙁

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    • #2561311

      I find the paperless route sufficient for my needs and the immediate anytime access to the account information is a plus. Incidently, the bank charges a fee for sending out a monthly paper statement for my checking account. The same is true for the credit card account which, of course, is on a different monthly schedule. So two fees a month for paper!

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