Why I Disagree with the Money Experts About Internet Transactions


Locking mailboxes come in many styles at many prices

Typical locking mailbox. Photo: Signature Hardware.

I came across an article in a recent AARP Magazine in which finance reporter Jean Chatzky quotes Neal O’Farrell of the Identity Theft Council. O’Farrell urges consumers to ditch snail mail when it comes to paying bills and doing banking.  

Chatzky says he “calls the U.S. postal system ‘an absolute gift’ for identity thieves, who can reach into your mailbox and grab whatever’s there.”

I stand 180 degrees on the other side of this. Facebook, UCLA, Target Stores, and even the Pentagon have been hacked. I assume that neither Ms. Chatzky nor Mr. O’Farrell are familiar with locking mailboxes. We have one at our home and it’s a piece of cake.

I do not store my personal information, such as date of birth, social security number and the like on the Internet. It’s high-tech Russian roulette.

And there is one big bonus to receiving paper records: You end up with hard copies that cannot be lost or altered by an electronic glitch or a ham-handed clerk. I like being able to whip out paper copies of my accounts any time I need them.