Comparing ways to protect ones financial identity

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SagaciousTraveler
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Comparing ways to protect ones financial identity

Post by SagaciousTraveler » Sun May 20, 2018 4:59 pm

Good evening all,

I wanted to see what everyone is doing to best protect their financial profile from identity theft.

I do/have done the following:

-Froze Credit for both Wife and myself (kids are too young). I won't be taking out a loan ever again but I may still need to unfreeze for that eventual 3% cash back card. :D
-File taxes as soon as Federal and State allow me too to avoid someone beating me too it. I wait on Local as I usually owe.
-My bank (Navy Federal) doesn't allow ATM only cards but they do allow you to instantly freeze/unfreeze the debit card. So it remains frozen until I need money out from the ATM.
-All accounts have two factor authentication and I check them regularly.
-I have two checking accounts. One that receives the direct deposit only. Another that I use bill pay, write checks and use the ATM.
-I only use my work computer (while on VPN) when signing into financial accounts. Clark Howard has made an emphasis to buy a Chromebook and only use it for accessing financial accounts. I find that intriguing.

forkhorn
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Re: Comparing ways to protect ones financial identity

Post by forkhorn » Sun May 20, 2018 5:23 pm

2FA on everything (mostly SMS based unfortunately).

I have an email account that is used for nothing but financial accounts. I do not use it for anything else, and I have never even sent email between my regular account and that one. The account is such that even if somehow someone knew the beginning or end of it, they wouldn't know the middle.
That way, even if someone hacks my regular email account, they can't use it to reset passwords, etc.

Also, my security questions are random nonsense. There is no way I want someone to be able to pretend to be me just because they know my mother's maiden name etc.

golfCaddy
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Re: Comparing ways to protect ones financial identity

Post by golfCaddy » Sun May 20, 2018 7:24 pm

forkhorn wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 5:23 pm
Also, my security questions are random nonsense. There is no way I want someone to be able to pretend to be me just because they know my mother's maiden name etc.
That may not be great advice for the average person. If you ever don't remember your password and lose your security answers, it can be a true pain to try to reset the account.

forkhorn
Posts: 134
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:00 pm

Re: Comparing ways to protect ones financial identity

Post by forkhorn » Sun May 20, 2018 8:22 pm

golfCaddy wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 7:24 pm
forkhorn wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 5:23 pm
Also, my security questions are random nonsense. There is no way I want someone to be able to pretend to be me just because they know my mother's maiden name etc.
That may not be great advice for the average person. If you ever don't remember your password and lose your security answers, it can be a true pain to try to reset the account.
I actually posted that question here a while ago (what happens if you lose your security question answers), and apparently, at least with Vanguard, it isn't that big a deal. They just revert to the pre-internet era and you restart everything using snail mail. So as long as the hackers aren't also flipping through your physical mail....

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SagaciousTraveler
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Re: Comparing ways to protect ones financial identity

Post by SagaciousTraveler » Mon May 21, 2018 4:07 am

forkhorn wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 8:22 pm
golfCaddy wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 7:24 pm
forkhorn wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 5:23 pm
Also, my security questions are random nonsense. There is no way I want someone to be able to pretend to be me just because they know my mother's maiden name etc.
That may not be great advice for the average person. If you ever don't remember your password and lose your security answers, it can be a true pain to try to reset the account.
I actually posted that question here a while ago (what happens if you lose your security question answers), and apparently, at least with Vanguard, it isn't that big a deal. They just revert to the pre-internet era and you restart everything using snail mail. So as long as the hackers aren't also flipping through your physical mail....
This is where a Password Management tool would come in handy. I use KeePass, there are plenty of free ones out there so you can keep track of complex passwords and made up security questions.

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Comparing ways to protect ones financial identity

Post by oldcomputerguy » Mon May 21, 2018 5:26 am

golfCaddy wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 7:24 pm
forkhorn wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 5:23 pm
Also, my security questions are random nonsense. There is no way I want someone to be able to pretend to be me just because they know my mother's maiden name etc.
That may not be great advice for the average person. If you ever don't remember your password and lose your security answers, it can be a true pain to try to reset the account.
Write them down and put it in a desk drawer. A bit more trouble but not nearly as much as having your identity stolen.
"I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people; and if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you." (Aaron Sorkin)

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Comparing ways to protect ones financial identity

Post by oldcomputerguy » Mon May 21, 2018 5:29 am

Rent a post office box and have any paper-based financial material sent there. Nothing financial sent to your home address. Anyone can steal anything from your home mailbox while you’re not looking.
"I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people; and if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you." (Aaron Sorkin)

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Top99%
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Re: Comparing ways to protect ones financial identity

Post by Top99% » Mon May 21, 2018 9:49 am

oldcomputerguy wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 5:29 am
Rent a post office box and have any paper-based financial material sent there. Nothing financial sent to your home address. Anyone can steal anything from your home mailbox while you’re not looking.
Great and often overlooked advice related to the risk of physical media as a source of identity theft. Related to this, invest in and use a good shredder (confetti or cross-cut). Also, don't leave media (paper, thumb drives etc.) with personal information lying around in your house, especially if you have 3rd parties (pest control, cleaning services etc) come into your house. It just takes someone 2 seconds with a camera phone to grab personal information off a piece of paper you left lying around. Finally, some emergency rooms / vets require a social security number and a driver's license number. You might consider accidentally transposing a digit. Better would be to scout out ones that don't need this information in advance.
Adapt or perish

ColoRetiredGirl
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Re: Comparing ways to protect ones financial identity

Post by ColoRetiredGirl » Mon May 21, 2018 1:41 pm

SagaciousTraveler wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 4:59 pm
Good evening all,

I wanted to see what everyone is doing to best protect their financial profile from identity theft.

I do/have done the following:

-Froze Credit for both Wife and myself (kids are too young). I won't be taking out a loan ever again but I may still need to unfreeze for that eventual 3% cash back card. :D
-File taxes as soon as Federal and State allow me too to avoid someone beating me too it. I wait on Local as I usually owe.
-My bank (Navy Federal) doesn't allow ATM only cards but they do allow you to instantly freeze/unfreeze the debit card. So it remains frozen until I need money out from the ATM.
-All accounts have two factor authentication and I check them regularly.
-I have two checking accounts. One that receives the direct deposit only. Another that I use bill pay, write checks and use the ATM.
-I only use my work computer (while on VPN) when signing into financial accounts. Clark Howard has made an emphasis to buy a Chromebook and only use it for accessing financial accounts. I find that intriguing.
Check your social security status regularly to ensure no one has filed as you.

Yankuba
Posts: 84
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:45 am

Re: Comparing ways to protect ones financial identity

Post by Yankuba » Mon May 21, 2018 3:09 pm

Set up email/text alerts so you are notified of all account activity (bank, brokerage, credit card).

Hockey10
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Location: Philadelphia suburbs

Re: Comparing ways to protect ones financial identity

Post by Hockey10 » Mon May 21, 2018 5:06 pm

Sign up for Informed Delivery from the USPS. You will get an e-mail each morning with a picture of the envelopes that will be delivered that day.

golfCaddy
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Re: Comparing ways to protect ones financial identity

Post by golfCaddy » Mon May 21, 2018 6:53 pm

forkhorn wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 8:22 pm
golfCaddy wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 7:24 pm
forkhorn wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 5:23 pm
Also, my security questions are random nonsense. There is no way I want someone to be able to pretend to be me just because they know my mother's maiden name etc.
That may not be great advice for the average person. If you ever don't remember your password and lose your security answers, it can be a true pain to try to reset the account.
I actually posted that question here a while ago (what happens if you lose your security question answers), and apparently, at least with Vanguard, it isn't that big a deal. They just revert to the pre-internet era and you restart everything using snail mail. So as long as the hackers aren't also flipping through your physical mail....
That works in some instances: you buy and hold and re-balance every six months at Vanguard. For other financial accounts, where I need weekly access, waiting on snail mail can be a real pain. In one Kafkaesque situation, I had a credit card company not want to allow me to cancel a lost credit card because I didn't have the security questions and answers.

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