Archive for January, 2015

Banks Still Using Social Security Numbers To Identify Bank Account Infomation

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

It’s incredible that banks still use social security numbers as a means of identifying account information. With all that is known about identity theft banks should know better to not use this information in such a way. Criminals can use social security numbers and addresses to compromise account information in an “account turnover”. Although social security numbers are needed to open accounts the information should not be used beyond that point and would be beneficial for everyone, banks and customers if this were the case.
As of last year, only five of the largest banks prohibit the use of social security numbers for identification purposes. Those five are Comerica, Regions Bank, TD Bank, U.S. Bank and Union Bank. According to the report, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Citibank, continue to use Social Security numbers.

Read the whole story here.

3 Cyber Threats to Fear in 2015: Are You at Risk?

Monday, January 12th, 2015

Each year comes with a fresh start, a new outlook, a year full of new possibilities. The new year also comes with new risks. As technology advances so does the risk.

Here are the three potentially biggest threats for 2015:

Do you wear a fit band or use fitness tracker? Entering, recording and storing your personal and health information can put you at risk for your information to be compromised. Just keep in mind, if it is stored electronically hackers could potentially steal your information.

Cyber Criminals will likely continue to strike systems that contain payment data. Malware designed to steal credit and debit card information remains a threat.

Government-sponsored attacks such as the attack against Sony Pictures suspected by North Korea are on the radar this year. Protecting yourself and business against malware continues to be the best defense.

Check out the source

Re Post: A Good Reference to When Its Safe to Shred your Documents

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

Here is a repost from a helpful blog posted last year. With New Year’s resolutions to get organized this is a good reference.

Most people, when asked, say they save their documents and files for seven years. This time frame is a good rule of thumb. But, where on earth can one store SEVEN years worth of documents? Between bills, tax documents, pay stubs, medical records, credit card statements, and other personal information that’s a lot of paper to file and retain for SEVEN whole years. So, when is it safe to shred?

Here is a good guide to follow.

How Long to Keep Documents

Tax documents: Keep tax returns, as well as supporting documents like W-2 forms, receipts, and real estate closing statements for seven years. The IRS may audit you within three years if it suspects good-faith errors; six years if it believes you underreported your income by at least 25%; and unlimited time if you did not file a return or filed a fraudulent one.

Investment Records: Keep as long as you own the securities, plus another seven years. You’ll need them to prove capital gains and losses.
Bank Statements – One month. You just need these long enough to check the accuracy of the transactions. Unless the statement is your only record for a tax-related transaction, there’s no need to keep them longer. Plus, your bank will have them available online.
Retirement Plan Statements –Most, one year, for tax purposes. Keep Roth IRA statements until you retire, to prove you already paid tax on your contributions.
Credit card statements Shred immediately after checking the accuracy of the transactions. These documents are a prime source for identity theft. Unless the statement is your only record for a tax-related transaction, there’s no need to keep them longer. Plus, your issuer will have them available online.
Paychecks – One year, until you receive your W-2.
Bills – One year, for tax purposes.
W-2 Forms – Until you begin claiming Social Security. They’re the best estimate of your earnings and entitlements.

When it comes time to shred, make sure to find a reputable company, one that has good reviews and uses industrial shredders to ensure safe shredding of your personal documents. Home shredders usually only shred papers into strips, making it easy for motivated thief’s to reconstruct the documents.

Check out the source here