Password Protection: Keep Your Finances Protected

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, roughly 16.6 million people were victims of some form of identity theft in 2012. That’s about 45,000 people per day that experienced theft of personal information, bank account access, or total identity loss. As business becomes increasingly automated online, the ability to protect one’s identity becomes much more important. Now, more than ever, is a strong password crucial to keeping assets secure.

Read below on how modern password practices can help keep you safe, and how Telemus Capital is working to keep your finances protected.

Password Protection

As a general rule, the most important elements for a secure password are length and uniqueness. A common misconception is that complexity is the key, as many passwords now need a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols. While this works in theory, it’s not necessarily bulletproof.

The more complex a password is, the harder it is to remember. Writing down a password just makes it easier for others to find, and constant resets are easy to exploit for anyone with access to your email. Add to that the sheer number of passwords that need to be memorized for everyday business and maintaining any level of security becomes difficult.

Luckily, password management services, such as LastPass and Dashlane, have sprouted up that will protect all your password and login information behind one master password. Individual accounts retain their security, and you only need to remember a single password to access all of them at once. Just make sure it’s a strong password, or all that extra security goes right out the window.

Beyond Passwords

Unfortunately, just as security practices become more vigilant, hackers are getting more creative. Even the longest and most complex passwords can be cracked; and, as the security catastrophe in 2014 known as heartbleed has shown, hackers are always finding new ways to get at your information.

In response to the growing need for online protection, new security firms have appeared that focus on protecting your online identity. Telemus has partnered with one such company, LifeLock, to ensure the present and future stability of their clients’ finances. LifeLock’s dedicated team of professionals proactively monitors credit and financial data for potential threats, and alerts you the moment any suspicious activity is found.

LifeLock also guarantees that, should the worst come to pass and your identity is stolen, they will spend up to $1 million to hire experts, lawyers, investigators, consultants and whatever else it takes to help your recovery.

Final Thoughts

Success in today’s economy is more than just hard work; it’s about protecting your identity as well. When next looking over the security of your business, make sure that you’re taking all the right steps towards smart and appropriate protection. Even seemingly miniscule precautions can mean all the difference between future security and financial disaster.

Sources:
http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/vit12.pdf

 

What Surprise Is Lurking in the File Cabinet?


Assess Your Insurance Policies Before It’s Too Late

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Back in the eighty’s and nineties many insurance products were sold as lifetime products that once funded would be there to satisfy the desired original policy purpose. Too often the premiums were paid and the policies were “fully funded” and then filed away assuming that the required funding was satisfied. Now 20-30 years later when the intended need is getting close, insureds are finding out that years of underperforming and volatile equities as well as a low interest rate environment are causing havoc with the value of such policies. Typically sold as “universal life”, these policies were sold and backed by illustrations that showed 8-10% annual returns. However after years of underperformance, the cash values in these policies are being decimated by the conflict of increasing annual insurance cost and lower market returns, resulting in insufficient cash value to keep the policies afloat for the life expectancy of the owner.

What’s Really Going On

In many cases these policies were bought to fund a specific goal such as a specific charitable contribution or legacy need. As an example it has been reported that a small Midwestern college received 25 life insurance policies as part of a capital campaign in the 1990’s and that currently 17 of them will need significant cash infusions to stay afloat due to the underperformance experienced. The problem was so endemic that there was a class action suit that was settled due to the misleading way these policies were sold. The issue is not the polices themselves but rather the unanticipated and lack of communicated risk associated with the unrealistic performance expectations illustrated.

Be Proactive: How Telemus Can Help

If you have older life policies it is critical that you pull them out of the back of the file cabinet and have them assessed and reviewed before it is too late to do anything. The sooner one understands the economic backbone of the policy in question, the easier it is to find a funding solution to the inevitable collapse of the policy. As an independent advisor, Telemus can help you determine a course of action with respect to such policies so as to maximize the ability to still fund your goals and maintain the viability of the policy or its replacement.

Call Andrew Bass or your Telemus advisor to discuss your specific situation.
Contact us at 248.827.1800