Entrepreneurs are usually great when it comes to taking care of their business. No doubt with the rise of cyber attacks at companies from Equifax to Uber, any responsible CEO has or is currently working to safeguard any and all data associated with the company. The problem is that we often times forget our own personal assets since we identify so much as and with the business. Here's how to think in an innovative way to avoid this devastating mistake in 2018.
Since an estimated 14 million people were hit with some type of identity theft last year, alone, all entrepreneurs need to have a game plan in place. This is particularly important because business loans and Credit are often tied to that of the owners.
Michael Wright who owns Next Wright Financial Services, a Florida-based company that works to educate clients about the importance of protecting wealth and assets against unforeseen losses, suggests these three things when it comes to protecting yourself from cyber theft.
1. Put a Freeze on your credit. "In this digital age of cyber-theft, it is a good idea to always maintain a security freeze on your credit if you are not actively using your credit," says Wright. He says that process to do is simple and $3 to $10 for each lock with the three credit bureaus, Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. In seven states freezing your credit is actually free. "This can save anyone from suffering a great inconvenience and pain from a personal security breach," Wright explains. "If you do nothing else, do this step."
2. Try and pay cash at gas stations. "Hackers are becoming more ingenious every year and even more brazen. The former trend of targeting gas pumps for lifting credit card information is now back in a big way," says Wright. While we all enjoy the convenience of the swipe and go lifestyle, using good old fashioned cash in some cases can save you a great deal of financial heartache.
3. Check your credit regularly. Many credit card companies will allow you to check your credit for free online. They will give you your current credit score and ratings, a reason for your current score, as well as tips on how to increase or maintain your current score. "This way, you can also review any unauthorized impacts against your credit and submit a dispute to possibly have it removed that can increase your credit score dramatically, depending on how large the impact is," Wright suggests.
If data is the new oil, then the value is nearly immeasurable. Ensure your peace of mind for 2018 and take the best precautions for your lifestyle.