A Buck Will Buy Your Identity
In 2019, Yeske Buie engaged with expert Carrie Kerskie to share with you tips and best practices for keeping your personal information protected in a webinar titled Cybersecurity from All Angles. The webinar caught the attention of staff writer for Financial Advisor Magazine, Joyce Blay, who shared a great article titled “A Buck Will Buy Your Identity” summarizing many of Carrie’s cybersecurity recommendations. We’ve listed a few of those recommendations from the article in this piece and we encourage you watch the entire webinar to ensure you’re doing all you can to protect your cyber identity.
Kerskie said that one of the most effective defenses against new account credit card fraud was a credit freeze, which could not only be used to protect adults, but minors as well.
“Once you post it, it stays there until you remove it,” Kerskie told her audience. “Best of all, since December last year, it’s free and has no impact on your credit account—it just prevents new credit accounts from being opened.”
Kerskie cautioned members of her audience that they had to contact all credit reporting agencies, not just the three most well-known ones.
[Carrie] said that the best passwords to use were the longest ones possible to create. “Think of it as a ‘passphrase,’” she said. “And use the maximum amount of words permitted. Then write it down, putting it somewhere you can find it if you need it.”
The Cost of Avoidance
Kerskie acknowledged that some of the members of her audience might not be as proficient using current technology as others. She indicated that the price for their ignorance could be a costly one.
Contrary to popular belief, Kerskie said, staying off the internet puts people at greater risk of having their identities stolen, not less. Sooner or later, everything about you is going to be reported online if you don’t do it first. For example, she said, if retirees did not set up an online Social Security account, someone else might beat them to it and steal their benefits.
Beware of Juice-Jacking
Kerskie also cautioned against using a public charging station to recharge your personal electronic devices. Instead, she said, clients should buy a portable power stick or backup charger that they can bring with them to recharge their devices. But they shouldn’t plug any device with personal data on it into a USB port that isn’t their own.
“Convenience and privacy don’t live in the same space,” Kerskie said.