In light of the recent data security breach with Equifax, here are a few ways that you can protect yourself and steps to take if you believe your information was exposed.
1. Check your bank statements, accounts and credit reports for unusual activity.
2. Set up 2 factor authentication for online logins when available. For clients with Charles Schwab, 2 factor authentication is available when logging into your accounts. A soft token can be accessed by downloading the app entitled “VIP Access” from the app store. A hard token can be ordered by calling (800) 433.9193. You will need to complete the 2 factor authentication and link your token by calling Schwab technical support at (800) 433.9196.
For clients using Callan’s family office portal, you can set up 2 factor authentication by entering your mobile phone number on the login page, and then enter the code sent to your phone. Type in a recovery phone number, then log in.
3. Consider placing fraud alerts on your credit or freezing your credit. This can be done by calling the credit bureaus and may involve a small fee. Importantly, freezing credit (and unfreezing when a creditor needs to check it) won’t hinder your ability to build credit, yet it will prevent the unlawful use of your credit by another person.
4. If you think you’ve been the victim of a data breach, Charles Schwab has outlined important steps to take in this document.
Data security breaches that are highly publicized can be stressful and nerve-wracking. We are here to help if you have any questions about the potential tips offered above.