In today’s fast-paced, ever connected—ever logged-in—world, how do protect your personal data?
Better yet, how do you even know where to start? Sometimes it can feel as though there is so much to think about – so many accounts, passwords, documents, numbers – how do you safeguard it all? Last month, credit reporting agency Equifax announced a major data security breach. Though this news may have been dulled here in South Florida by pre-Hurricane Irma panic, it’s not news to ignore. While still no reason for alarm, the company’s data breach leaked personal data on almost 150 million consumers. The privacy technology companies have in place is out of our hands, but there are some steps you can take and habits you can develop to protect yourself in the future.
To find out if your privacy was breached as a result of the Equifax leak, visit equifaxsecurity2017.com. While this is important now, it is also important to remember that personal data security is not a one-time fix. Our advisors have compiled a list of 10 easy, but important habits to make sure you stay in tune with your finances, and ensure any potential case of stolen identity is caught right away.
10 Tips for Staying Safe in Today’s Digital World:
1. Only keep credit cards you use regularly.
2. Do not apply for credit you will not use.
3. Consolidate bank and brokerage accounts as much as possible to easily track activity.
4. Check banking and brokerage account activity as much as possible, alerting firms immediately following a breach so they will post additional security measures on your accounts.
5. Balance your check book often.
6. Pull your free credit report from all three credit bureaus at least once a year.
7. When you file your tax return, make sure it has been accepted/received by the IRS.
8. Change your passwords every few months.
9. Store passwords in a secure place.
10. Sign up for a credit monitoring service like Life Lock, TrustedID Premier (Equifax’s preferred service, free of charge for one year for consumers who sign up before November 21).
Still have more questions about fitting security into your financial plan? Send us a note.