Going Paperless with Estatements

Receiving bank and investment account statements and other documents (such as credit card bills) online instead of in the mail can have benefits — including convenience, less clutter and fewer trees being cut down — but electronic statements can raise concerns. Here are ways to manage electronic documents:

Take security precautions. Because financial documents contain personal information, institutions offer a secure connection to their Internet banking site. You should use and update anti-virus software, strong passwords and a "firewall" to stop hackers from accessing your computer.

Monitor the e-mails from your bank and credit card company. Regularly review bank statements or credit card bills and manage the accounts to avoid penalties and fees.

Be on guard against fraudulent e-mails. "Fraud artists commonly use well-known bank names and logos in e-mails that ask recipients to click on a link that will take you to an unauthorized site,” offered William Henley, Jr., Associate Director of the FDIC’s Technology Supervision Branch. “So if you want to access your bank’s Web site, don’t click on a link in an e-mail. Instead, carefully type in the Web address or use a ‘Favorites’ link."