Post Equifax Data Breach Ideas
We are not claiming to be experts. We think you will find this a handy starting point.
Clients: Most of you have all or some of your accounts held at the TD Ameritrade institutional custodian. Know that we get immediate around the clock notifications of money and securities moving in or out of your accounts. We are notified of new accounts, transfers and closed accounts. If you think that your data has been compromised and are concerned, you can call TD or us and ask for your accounts to be placed in “Loss Prevention”. That means that TD will flag your accounts into a heightened mode of scrutiny. This will also add an inconvenient layer of extra bureaucracy when you want to legitimately access your account.
Are you suspicious that you data has been compromised and your identity has been stolen?
Then you should call the credit bureaus and ask that they “freeze your credit”. This will prevent the person(s) who potentially stole your identity to purchase big ticket items in your name. Here the bureau numbers for your convenience.
Equifax (CBI) (800) 685-1111
Experian (TRW) (888) 397-3742
Trans-Union (800) 916-8800
Paid Protection Services: What about paid protection services like LifeLock? We think these services are worthwhile. It’s best to protect yourself with preventative measures and then LifeLock will help if someone takes advantage despite your good practices.
Importance of Passwords: There seems to be no shortage of hackers these days. It’s very important that every password is “strong” and is changed at some regular frequency. It’s easy to get lazy. I recommend that you calendar your password changes so you don’t forget! I have some ideas on how to create secure passwords that can be remembered – and a way to easily create more passwords. Call me if you would like to know more.
Importance of not “clicking” on anything questionable: An IT services firm we respect, has a test where they send an e-mail with a clickable link to multiple employees to see how many will be drawn to click on a questionable link. This is an eye-opener for company owners when they see their employees clicking where they should not. Let me know if, as a business owner, you want that test done for your employees.
Importance of shredding and avoiding paper: Numbers can be stolen through the monthly account statements you throwaway.
Awareness: Be aware, pay attention, look for any signs that could indicate that someone has taken advantage and act quickly.
The more attention your pay and sensible protective measures you implement, the more peace of mind you’ll have. Don’t live in fear; control the things you can.