Everyone has questions about money.  Give us two minutes and we’ll see if we can answer yours.  Mike McCormick is a Registered Investment Advisor in Bozeman, Montana. His clients have complicated financial lives that are put in perfect order and kept that way. The information in this podcast is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as financial advice.

Thank you Natalie. 

Your personal information is on the web and there is no way to keep it 100% safe. 

The CEOs of Equifax, Yahoo and Verizon all together in front of Congress in 2016 said we were hacked. (They basically said) Your personal information was taken from us and we were doing everything that we could to protect it for you. And we couldn’t protect it. 

This is a scary fact. What does this mean? What should you do about it? What can we all do about it? Well, this is real. It is scary, and fear is a great motivator. Yes, this is a new kind of risk in your life, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t already managing risk in our lives. You already have strategies that allow you to feel comfortable investing in stocks. You have strategies that allow you to feel comfortable having a teenage driver. You have strategies that allow you to feel comfortable just getting out of bed in the morning   So there must be something we can do to limit the risk and move on with our lives. Our suggestion is to do what you can to limit the risk with good behaviors. Then ensure against that which makes sense. And lastly, have a Plan B iff both of those fail. 

First, good behavior. Of course, use good passwords, long ones, change them, make them sound silly sayings that you had with your best friend growing up, use silly quotes from the movies and exchange different letters. Use password managers.  We know these things, but here’s one that you might not know. Part of the password is attaching that to an email address or a user ID. Your email address or your user ID could not have anything to do with anything else in your life, such as your name. This is another way that you can inexpensively get another layer of security.  

Of course, use double authentication when available and have text go to your cell phone. Or, use the little widgets that are the random number generators. But don’t use Wi-Fi outside of your house. In some cases, it seems like the cellular connections in my neighborhood are even better anyway. Just turn it off, don’t use open Internet. 

Don’t click things you don’t trust. That’s an obvious one. Have backups, backup your important data. If it’s an office situation, of course you have backups. If it’s a home situation by some thumb drives and every once in a while, copy everything onto it and then put him in a drawer. It’ll be a hassle, but at least you’ll have it. 

And then here’s the most important one. Read your statements. This is the behavior that will never go away, because if you catch fraud right away, most likely the bank or the credit card will cover it for you and it will be no blood, no foul. 

Secondly, ensure what makes sense. Insurance can be a great tool in the right applications, but it’s not a great tool in all applications. The field of cyber coverage is relatively new and struggling to keep up with the threats that are out there. However, most umbrella liability policies and general Liability Policies will include some ability to help you out if your identity is stolen, or if you’ve been a victim of some sort of cyber crime. Typically, legal advice and some offsetting the costs of putting everything back together is what you’re looking at. Every policy is different, so educate yourself. 

And lastly, have a Plan B. The Plan B is for when everything goes wrong. This advice is intended to help you feel comfortable, not prepare for doomsday. But have cash on hand. Have a relationship with a local bank that knows you. A person that can vouch for you. Know who you will call if you were to have your computer locked up. Who’s the local computer guru that you would use? And also have a grip on what credit card lines you have out there. Do you have a card at the Department store? Do you have a card with Amazon directly? You need to have a whole list of inventory and know how to lock these things down in an emergency.  

Fear is the number one tactic that sales people used to close a deal and it is worth being scared about cyber crime. But overtime, the rational person becomes more realistic and you realize that you don’t make prudent decisions out of fear. But just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get me! Thanks a lot and Tune In for the next one.

Thank you for turning into the Montana money minute. If you’ve got a question for us, send me an email. I also appreciate any feedback. Have a great day and remember to go easy on yourself. Life’s hard. Let’s make the money part as easy as possible.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email