The Equifax data breach brings to light the importance of online security and your information. The Atlanta-based company, which provides data such as credit history in loan processing, revealed that the information of 143 million individuals had been compromised.
Matt Tanaka, our Chief Compliance Officer, recommends you visit the website www.equifaxsecurity2017.com to check if your information may have been compromised. Once at the site, select ‘Potential Impact’ to enter your last name & last 6 digits of your SSN. Secondly, you want to closely monitor your accounts and credit cards for unauthorized activity. Whether your data was part of the Equifax breach or not, this is something you should continually perform.
If your data has been breached, freeze your credit at all three bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and Transunion). Secondly, file your taxes early to prevent a scammer using your SSN for a refund or to apply for a job. Additionally, change your passwords and use two-step verification for your online accounts.
The following are some notes on how our partners, Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade, safeguard your information and account. It is reassuring to know that both Schwab and TD Ameritrade will cover losses due to unauthorized activity. If you would like us to research the protection guarantees of other banks or brokerage firms please let us know.
The following are a best practices summary for protecting your online investment account.
Frequently review your online account information. If you detect any errors or suspicious activity, report it immediately.
Keep your login ID and password confidential.
Keep your contact information up to date so that the custodian can contact you of suspicious activity.
Keep your web browser and operating system up to date and activate the firewall
Install antivirus and anti-spyware; run the program regularly
Be cautious of accessing account information on public computers and public wi-fi
Beware of Phishing emails. These are often in the form of urgent-sounding emails where you might be encouraged to click on a link to update personal information. Do not click links or open attachments from suspicious emails.
Cory Nakamura CFA, CFP®
Chief Investment Strategist and Financial Advisor
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Mosaic Pacific Investment Advisors, LLC is a Registered Investment Advisor in the state of Hawaii. This information is provided for general education and is not considered to be investment advice. Please contact your advisor for specific advice concerning your financial situation. Any rates or projections noted herein are for illustration purposes only and does not reflect current interest rates nor is a forecast of future returns or interest rates. Transactions requiring tax consideration should be reviewed carefully with your accountant or tax advisor. If you would like more information on our firm our ADV Part 2A (Brochure) is always available to you at no cost.