Odds are that by now many of you have checked your personal information on the Equifax website to see if in fact you’ve been impacted by the recent hack. Odds also favor that the information you received said you were. I too followed this protocol and learned I was potentially impacted. Initially I was quite intrigued by this whole process as something didn’t feel just right. In fact, when I started digging into the ‘hack checker’ system on the Equifax site, I learned that others were suspicious as well. In fact many folks were quickly learning that any random combination resulted in a notification of someone being ‘impacted.’ (They seem to have since changed this)

https://www.cnet.com/how-to/psa-equifaxs-hack-checker-is-a-hot-mess/

Many are reaching out asking if bank accounts are safe or investment accounts in jeopardy. While you may want to check with your bank directly I am proud to relay the following link which gives an in-depth review of the technology behind our custodian Charles Schwab. I encourage you to review this if you are a client and may have any concerns.

http://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/nn/legal_compliance/schwabsafe

Furthermore, it is important to note that within our walls at Taro Capital / Joule Financial we follow a strict protocol with regards to security measures and client accounts. We uphold strict measures of keeping data secure, including off site backups and significant due diligence with respect to any vendor we utilize to help serve our clients.

When asked personally what I do, I feel it is similar to traveling abroad or in a large city. Always be on guard, which means monitor your transaction history at your bank or credit card company regularly. As soon as you find a concern bring it to your institution’s attention immediately. Never respond to suspicious e-mails and NEVER click on attachments or links from unknown addresses or even people you may know but can’t quite understand why they’ve sent an e-mail. (I will often reply or text the person asking if they just sent something) On occasion I would get a free credit report from one of the credit rating agencies (Won’t be using Equifax again) and if I ever recognize any issues I will call immediately. Finally,  when I travel I traditionally prefer an American Express. I have had my card numbers lifted on several occasions while traveling and find them to the best with customer service, cancellation of cards, sending new ones and monitoring any suspicious activities.

I personally do not subscribe / pay for any ID theft protection service so I cannot speak about those services intelligently.