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28 Comments

  1. Lots of great advice Mrs Groovy, I have started enabling Two Factor authentication on my accounts and opting into email notifications when my accounts are logged into from a New device.

    Takes little effort to set up security and a loooong painful battle if your accounts do get compromised. I am liking that I can sign into accounts via fingerprint on my phone as well – easier and more secure than a PW

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thanks Mr. AE. I like receiving the notifications too. I also think it’s smart that most institutions send you email notifications when your password is changed, so if it’s not you who did the changing, better hustle on over to your account and take a look. The fingerprint thing is cool. We don’t have that yet. Is that only on an iPhone or can you use an app for it?

  2. Allow me to second the idea of two factor authentication. The major brokerages all offer it, usually for free. You just need to find the right form to request it.

    One additional idea to add onto the credit lock is to regularly check your credit report for errors and fraud. You can do so for free from the governments site annualcreditreport.com

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Glad you find the two factor authentication useful. Great minds think alike – I actually mentioned annualcreditreport.com but it was kind of buried in the Final Thoughts. I don’t like using any of the other websites that offer “free” reports because there’s too much up-selling. Thanks for commenting, FTF.

  3. Mrs G, great advice, timely. Cyber security is escalating as an issue (e.g., Yahoo breach, biggest in history), and it’s smart to take a few steps to protect yourself. I love credit freezes, and have had them in place for a few years. Great peace of mind. Thanks for the great advice!

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thanks, Fritz. We’ve had credit freezes for probably 10 years now. We just temporarily unfreeze, as necessary. And even so, it’s important for us to check our credit reports. Unfortunately, some companies issue new credit cards without even running a check on the social security number provided.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      You are SO a financial grownup, Gary! For my job I simply kept my passwords in a notebook and that worked. But none of the accounts would particularly put me, or my employer in jeopardy if hacked. A password manager takes a little getting used to but after a while, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Thanks for all the great advice, Mrs. Groovy! I NEED a password manager! I’ve known I need something to organize the passwords and keep them secure, but keep procrastinating. I’ve probably spent more time resetting my passwords than it would take to get the manager set up. On my list for Christmas break!

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thanks, Amanda! I know what you mean about all the password resetting. It seems like some of those systems force you to do it every other week! I think you’ll find a password manager very easy to use once you put it in place.

  5. I think all these small simple steps are really important, especially since so much of our daily transactions are done online. I know so many friends who use the same password and pins for their accounts because they are too lazy to come up with new ones. But if they were to be targeted, all their data would be comprised!

    Definitely feel that this is an area we have to all look at, thanks for highlighting it Mrs G!

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thank you, TTW! Yes, laziness plays a part in not paying attention to security. I also think many of us believe we’re immune – until it happens to us.

      Just FYI, a little while back when Home Depot had a huge breach we were notified because we used a credit card during the time period involved. They offered us free credit monitoring. After doing a little research I learned that by using these monitoring services you sometimes put yourself in even more jeopardy. So we passed on it.

  6. Good advice, Mrs. G! I use Lastpass, and I’m hooked on using the password manager. It’s not too expensive for the premium version, which allows you to use it on both your laptop and your mobile devices. And I’m sure the randomly generated passwords help keep things more secure than what I could come up with.

    One thing that really compromises account security is using unprotected and public Wi-Fi. Even if you think you’re using a known source, you may not be (a lot of scammers will name their systems things that look legit.) Yet lots of people will just use any wi-fi system available to save on data, or set their phones to automatically scan for wifi. Not a good idea!

    • Mrs. Groovy

      I’m glad to hear you use Lastpass and are getting value from the premium version, Emily. And thanks for bringing up the point about unprotected Wi-Fi. Mr. Groovy and I had a related “incident” on our recent road trip. We had our laptop with us and he just HAD to look at our brokerage account one night at the hotel. We had already discussed waiting to sign up for Obamacare until we returned home because it would be too dangerous to enter confidential information on public Wi-Fi. So when I saw what was up on the screen I became alarmed and pissed. “What the hell are you thinking” I yelled at him. He got out quickly and I made sure he checked the account and changed our password when we returned home.

  7. I, too, am a huge fan of the credit freeze. In MN the cost is $5 for each credit bureau, but it’s definitely worth the expense.

    Thanks for the great suggestions!

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thanks, Kate. I don’t know why some states charge and others don’t. There doesn’t seem to be any human interaction involved in the process. But it’s still worth it, as you pointed out.

  8. Great ideas. Honestly, we try and minimize the amount of financial info we access online. It still freaks me out a bit. We don’t use Mint or any of that other stuff (a PFblogger faux pas – I know!). And we keep our passwords written down offline, on paper. 🙂

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thanks, Laurie. We’re like you. We don’t use Mint or anything either. We just use an expense tracker Mr. Groovy created and we check our institutions directly on their websites. And we don’t do any transactions or account checking from our cell phones. I can’t even imagine a situation so urgent that we’d have to use our cell phones.

  9. Oh god, don’t talk to me about passwords… I may as well be my great grandmother, for all my password security is worth. But I have frozen my credit with all three credit agencies – and it was easy! I’m going to to fix the password thing. I know I must fix it!

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Ha-ha-ha! Too funny. It’s become so easy to do the credit freeze. I’m glad you have that in place. The password thing – just do it. Get it over with.
      Thanks for commenting!

  10. Such important points! I know we need to look into some kind of Password Manager! Thanks for the encouragementI am glad that we have our credit frozen though! That was a pretty easy process – especially since we haven’t “thawed” it yet!

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thawing is pretty easy too although you’ll need the pass code. I believe mine were sent to me in the mail with written confirmation for each freeze. I think you’ll like the password manager once you give it a try. We use a second monitor next to our laptop which makes it even easier. We keep the password manager open on one screen at all times.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thanks, Chris. It’s odd that we (me, too) get lazy over the simplest of steps. Come to think of it I need to check my credit report!

  11. Thank you for the list Groovey, I already got all 3, done and done. Keepass, 2 step, and all 3 of the credit agencies jotted my name down when I lost my wallet with important info in it. The only one that was not a pain in the butt to call was TransUnion. I’m not sure if that’s worth mentioning but if you have to call one, TransUnion has the best phone support 🙂

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thanks for the tip, Lily. That’s good to know. I try to do everything on line if possible. I may have called one of them once to double check something about temporarily unfreezing a freeze but I don’t recall which one.