Your Family’s Business | Protecting Your Sensitive Financial Information

| October 28, 2014

Family BusinessStacy Bush, Valdosta Today Business Contributor:

Financial data theft is a major problem that can affect anyone. Though statistics on this type of data breach are scarce, it’s safe to say that millions of Americans are at risk. Fortunately, there are many ways that you can protect yourself from identity theft and fraud. Most of these actions are common sense, but they’re worth passing along to your loved ones:

1. Be wary of emails or social media messages asking you to log into a financial account. Your bank, mortgage company, investment account, or the IRS will never request personal information by email. Never click on links embedded in those emails; instead, always log into your accounts by manually typing the web address into your browser.

2. Never give out personal information in response to a phone call from someone claiming to represent the IRS or a financial institution. If you get a suspicious phone call, hang up and call the organization directly for more information.

3. Protect your sensitive information by collecting mail promptly and shredding documents containing account numbers, credit card numbers, or your Social Security number.

4. Never use the same PIN or password for multiple accounts or websites. Doing so increases the risk that a single attack could compromise your identity or result in fraud.

5. Monitor your financial and credit card statements carefully to identify suspicious activity. If you find fraudulent transactions, report them to the relevant institution immediately to reduce your financial liability.

6. Check your credit report each year at each of the three reporting agencies. You can check your report for free at AnnualCreditReport.com. If you find fraudulent accounts or activity that you don’t recognize, immediately file a report with all three agencies and place a security freeze on your account to prevent more accounts from being opened.

We take security very seriously and are committed to protecting our clients’ personal information in the following ways:

•We partner with major financial institutions that use industry-recommended encryption to protect your data;
•We never share any personal or financial information without your explicit knowledge and consent;
•We regularly participate in audits of our internal procedures to help ensure that we are always following industry best practices;
•We regularly update our knowledge and attend specialized training about security.

If you’re worried about how you may have been affected by a data breach or have questions about protecting your sensitive personal information, please give our office a call. We are happy to be a reassuring source of information and assistance.


68658e5baf967471f25508d1fe9cc8b0_400x400Stacy Bush has practiced independent financial advising in the Valdosta area for 14 years. Growing up on a farm in Donalsonville, Georgia, he is keen to the financial needs of South Georgia and North Florida families. Stacy and his wife, Carla, live in Valdosta with their four children. You can submit questions about this article to askstacybush@lpl.com

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