Ten Things you can do to Protect Your Accounts from Fraudulent Activity

  1. Protect your account information. If you must e-mail your advisor or others your account number, social security number, or date of birth, be sure to use encrypted e-mail.
  2. Heed the No-Nos:  Do not repeat the same password for multiple sites. Do not use really easy passwords. Do not use your dog’s name followed by the number 1 as your password.
  3. Use a Password manager. Password managers are free tools that you can download to your computer that manage your passwords for you. You no longer have to remember complicated passwords, which frees you from the No-Nos.
  4. Ask your custodian or bank if they offer two-factor authentication. This is a device or app that provides a unique number each time you log in to your account.
  5. Check your credit report annually to ensure no one has taken out credit in your name.
  6. Keep your Social Security and Medicare cards some place secure.
  7. Consider freezing your credit if you don’t plan to take out a loan in the next few years.
  8. Don’t fall prey to phishing scams. If someone calls you on the phone telling you they’ve detected fraudulent activity on your behalf, do not give them your private information. The same goes for someone contacting you over e-mail.
  9. If your e-mail is hacked, change your password immediately and notify pertinent parties.
  10. Encourage your family to do the same – even children’s credit can be stolen.
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