Spring Clean Your Identity Theft Risks

Spring cleaning should include more than de-cluttering your garage and closets. Take these simple steps to reduce your risks of identity theft: Shred – don’t just trash – unnecessary documents with your name, birthdate, address, account or Social Security numbers. Typically, bank deposit slips and ATM and credit card receipts should be shredded as soon as the transactions appear on statements, credit card statements within 45 days, and pay stubs and medical bills after one year. Never simply discard without …

The 411 on Two-Factor Authentication

In an era in which online accounts can be cracked with sophisticated software or a hacker’s ingenuity, taking an extra step when you log in can give you miles in added protection — even when using “strong” passwords. It’s called two-factor authentication (2FA), and it requires both something you know (like a password) and something you have (like a cellphone). Once enacted, after you successfully log in to an online account, you receive a code to your phone, via text …

Sharing Accounts With Adult Children: A Good Idea?

 “I have an embarrassing secret. And if you’re a millennial, chances are you’ve got the same one.” The secret? Journalist Elizabeth Weingarten reveals in her Slate article,  “In Defense of the Digital Umbilical Cord,” that she is on her parents’ cellphone plan and “mooches off” their HBO Go and Netflix accounts. Apparently she was shamed by a Glamour magazine article that chastised that it’s not OK “if you’re 26 and your parents still pay your cellphone bill. Cut the cord on that …

10 New Year’s Resolutions to Prevent Scams

Pledging to drop pounds might be the most popular New Year’s resolution, but consider adding these 10 simple steps to reduce your risk of scams in 2015 and beyond: Get your credit report – three times a year. Only about 1 in 6 Americans check their credit reports annually with each of the three credit bureaus, and 1 in 4 check with only one bureau, AARP has found. Bad move, since everyone is entitled to three freebies per 12 months at AnnualCreditReport.com. It’s …

1 in 4 Didn’t Notice ID Theft for at Least 2 Years. Would You?

Identity theft is fast-moving. Are you asleep at the wheel? The sooner ID theft is discovered, the easier it is to repair the damage. And yet, 1 in 4 people did not know they were victims until at least two years later, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC). That’s more than enough time to destroy your financial life and start a new one on your dime. Sixteen percent of 201 people from 39 states who contacted the ITRC in …