LIVING IN A DIGITAL WORLD

Thomas J. Kavanagh, CFP®, Financial Planner
March 29th, 2017 | 12:05 PM

IDENTITY THEFT PROTECTION
Data security becomes more important each year. At least once a year we encourage our clients to ensure they are taking appropriate steps to mitigate the risk of identity theft and other issues related to loss of personal information. Below are a few quick items to review:

  • Review Credit Report: We encourage you to review your credit report and that of your children’s, annually, to catch any reporting errors or fraudulent activities. For your free annual credit report, go to www.annualcreditreport.com or call 877-322-8228. A more comprehensive report (as well as your credit score) is available for a fee at www.myfico.com.
  • Protect/Check Email: One of the most common issues today is hackers breaking into personal email accounts. If they gain access, they will be able to steal personal information as well as send emails posing as you. You should keep a close eye on any outbound email, change your passwords regularly, and don’t allow others to access your email. It is also a good idea to use your business email instead of personal email as business email typically has more safeguards in place.
  • ID Theft Monitoring Service: If you haven’t already, you should consider signing up for a service that monitors your credit report for any changes. This is an important step to make sure there are no unauthorized changes to your credit report.
  • Change Password Regularly: It makes sense to update all your passwords every few months.
  • Review Statements: Make sure you are regularly reviewing all transactions for all accounts. This is one of the most important ways to make sure there are no unauthorized transactions.
  • Beware of Phishing: Phishing is a technique used by identity thieves to get your sensitive information by pretending to be a site you trust. You should be suspicious of any incoming phone call or email that asks you to provide any confidential email, especially if the request is for username and passwords, account numbers, or social security numbers.

DIGITAL ASSETS
Have you included your digital assets, such as photos and music, in your estate plan? Those of us with extensive collections should consider adding these items to your Wills and Trusts to ensure our intended beneficiaries have access to the necessary online credentials.

USER IDs AND PASSWORDS
It is easy to become overwhelmed by the volume of User IDs and Passwords required in our day-to-day lives and the importance of keeping these items secure. You should consider using a Password Manager App like DashLane, 1Password, or LastPass. These applications can generate and keep track of all your passwords in one secure, easy-to-access place. You can also use these types of applications to securely store other important data such as secret question answers, credit card numbers, and addresses.

To learn more or speak directly with a Lenox Advisor, click here to contact us.