Five Things Identity Thieves Want You to Do

Identity TheftEscaping identity thieves may be nearly impossible, but you can make it much more difficult for them.

The following are five examples of the worst things you can do that can expose your identity to being hacked.

1. Ignore Your Bank Account & Your Credit Reports

Checking your online bank statement is the fastest way to determine if someone has stolen your bank credentials and begun to make purchases. You should review your bank account regularly, especially after buying something online or from a business that you know was recently hacked. It’s also a good idea to check your credit reports (also free — www.annualcreditreport.com).

2. Use One Password

Consider using complicated passwords and use different ones for every site you access. That way if someone discovers that an easily hacked site contains the password to your Amazon account, they could begin making purchases before you realize it – especially if you ignore your bank account.

3. Don’t Bother to Check Website Credentials

Phishing is the attempt to acquire sensitive information such as user names, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication, and it is everywhere. If you don’t look to see if a website is the authentic site, then you could easily fall prey to a phishing scheme that will steal your password. Be very careful of emails as well, as these can be used to phish for information.

4. Give Out Your Social Security Number

Your Social Security number is the most valuable piece of data you possess. Hackers can set up all kinds of accounts in your name if they have your Social Security number and your address. As a result, keep your Social Security number as secure as possible.

5. Tell Everyone on Facebook Where You Are Going

Remember that Facebook is readily available to anyone with a computer, and if someone wants to break into your house, they can find out the best time for that by looking at your social updates. So don’t say whether you’re on vacation, and don’t make your daily schedule of when you’re out of the house available online.

Student Debt Takes a Toll on Some Home Buyers

Student DebtI have touched on the negative impact of student loan debt in the past, and the following is a link to a Wall Street Journal article regarding this issue. Unfortunately, student loans are a tool for many, but they need to be used prudently and judiciously. Otherwise, you may have a great four or five years at college, or graduate from a very prominent university, only to find that your student loan payments prevent you from buying a home for many years to come. Please read the article for more insight on this issue.

Click here to read the WSJ article on student debt

Quotes

"I intend to live forever, or die trying."

         Groucho Marx

"When you're chewing on life's gristle
Don't grumble, give a whistle
And this'll help things turn out for the best...
And...always look on the bright side of life...
Always look on the light side of life."

           Monty Python's Life of Brian

 

Tony Moeller, CPA

The information listed in this commentary is a compilation of various publicly available sources and is for informational purposes only. It is not a recommendation or solicitation of any particular investment or strategy. A risk of loss is involved with investments in the stock and bond markets.

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