The SD-PFS*Ticker
Vol 8, Issue 3
October 2017

Here we go again

It seems as though we're always talking about the steps we should take to protect our personal information. As we've learned from several recent events in the news, it isn't always about what we do to protect ourselves, but how the companies we entrust with our information are using and protecting it. The recent Equifax data breach, which has affected nearly every U.S. adult who has a credit history, has brought to light the enormous risk involved in having a digital footprint. Below we've included information, some old and some new, about ways to do our best to protect one of our most important assets, our personal identity information.

While it hasn't recently felt like autumn here in Pittsburgh, the calendar assures us that it is fall and time for warm drinks and sweaters. As many locals are fond of saying, if you don't like the weather today, wait until tomorrow, it's bound to be different! As always, please feel free to call us with any questions or comments at 412-697-5331

Your Credit History May Have Been Compromised -- Now What?

You've no doubt read countless stories about the recent events at Equifax. These are the folks we trusted with every detail of our credit; Social Security numbers, birthdays, account numbers and balances, and, according to their former CEO, all of it may have been available to hackers because a single employee at Equifax failed to deploy a software patch that would have prevented the entire problem. That doesn't make me feel better, how about you? 

Anyway, here we all are, wondering what to do next. Our team member, Victoria Rogers, recently wrote,   Equifax Breach - Are You One of the 143 Million Affected? for our website. Eric Henderson, of Schneider Downs' Risk Advisory/Internal Audit Group, authored Equifax Data Breach - How to Protect Your Organization and its Sensitive Data. This article may be helpful if you or someone you know has responsibility for an organization's private information.

Our quick advice is to place a credit freeze on your records using one of the link's in Victoria's article above. It's too soon to know the breadth of this event and it's effect on our information, but as always, it's important to be vigilant about checking your credit reports and paying attention to the activity in your accounts. We've included herein a couple of tools and presentations which might be helpful in protecting your data, and understanding how your information can be compromised.

This link will enable you to  Opt Out of receiving credit and insurance solicitations through the mail.
This link will enable you to create a  Security Freeze with the Innovis credit reporting agency.
This document provides using information for  Protecting Your Identity, Data, and Assets.
This document will help you decide  How to Respond to a Data Breach.

Cyber Security Tip

Remember to check your credit report regularly to check for fraudulent accounts. Review the list and contact companies directly to close any old or unused accounts. You can start here  to get a copy of your credit report for free.

What We're Reading
Soldier Dogs  by Maria Goodavage
Review by: Nancy Skeans

It's a well-known fact that I am a dog lover and an Air Force Veteran, so this book about military dogs was an easy choice for me. The author, Maria Goodavage, is a well-known dog blogger who tells the story of Cairo, the dog who was part of Navy Seal Team 6 that led the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound, as well as the stories of many other military working dogs and their brave handlers. The book includes details about dog selection, training and the relationships between the dogs and their handlers. It was interesting to learn that, like our family pets, these dogs thrive on and live for the praise of their handlers. This story will help you appreciate the role these animals play in our national security, and may even cause you to shed a tear or two.

The Schneider Downs Wealth Management Team

Nancy, Don, Theresa, Vicky, Karen, Beth, Nick, David, Derek, Jason and Amber