Low-tech identity theft protection: Keep your paper-based financial information safe

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Each week seems to bring a new announcement that yet another massive credit card security breach has occurred. Some of these breaches result in identity theft or the loss of financial assets, and consumers have learned to be alert to risks to their electronic financial information.

A recent Bankrate.com survey showed that even though the majority of Americans access the Internet on a cellphone, tablet or other mobile handheld device, 50 percent never make a major financial commitment (such as getting a mortgage or purchasing stocks) online on such a device. Another 24 percent rarely do. And 41 percent say they don’t use a mobile device for such financial commitments because they’re concerned about information security.

This means we take our electronic security very seriously. But a 2014 study by Travelers Insurance shows that the majority of identity theft cases occur through physical access, such as a stolen wallet or purse. We need to be sure we’re as vigilant about the security of our paper-based information as we are about our electronic information.

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