233,334 physicians hacked [Certain Times]

The New York Times recently broke news from I.T. firm Hold Security who reported more than 1.2 billion computer users had their login credentials stolen by a Russian hacker ring.

Since there are 7 billion of us here on planet Earth, and half of us don’t even own a computer, it’s safe to conclude that about one third of us Earthlings have been hacked, including one-third of the 700,000 physicians here in the US.

Now, what can you do about it?

Since it’s not clear how the hackers obtained these credentials, the only thing you can do about if—if you want to be 100% safe—is to change ALL of your passwords.

Wow, what a pain.

I mean, you would first have to remember all your passwords, and who can do that, right?

Good internet security is not as hard as you might imagine (and neither is good financial security, but that’s a matter for a later newsletter).

So today, I’m going to give you a few tips that will bring your family more cyber security.

1. Never EVER re-use the password to your email account or your bank account. When hackers do steal credentials like “doctorgupta@gmail.com,” the first thing they do is go to Dr. Gubpta’s email account and try to bust it open. Once they’re in, the next thing they’ll do is try to break into his bank (using the same credentials), which resets passwords via your email. If they get your email, they’ve got everything.

2. Use a password manager like LastPass. Password managers defeat keyloggers (little programs that send your keystrokes—therefore your passwords—to the bad guys) and para-sites (sites that look official but aren’t). They also make it possible to create very secure passwords and store them. (LastPass is endorsed by security expert Steve Gibson, the guy who coined the term “spyware.”)

3. Change important passwords when you set your clock forward or backward for daylight savings time. The easiest way to change a password is to simply add a character or two, which makes the original password about 80 times stronger. (So “wondergirl67” becomes “wondergirl67#”.)

Like financial security, information security takes a bit of time and know-how but it’s worth the effort to keep your family secure.

Wishing you and your family a happy end to a long summer.

W. Ben Utley CFP®
Physician Family Financial Advisors Inc.
Call: 541-463-0899
Be certain.™

PS: I had family in town and a kid in the hospital this week so the newsletter is brief. You can check out this month’s blog post to learn how to save a TON of taxes with a defined benefit plan or find out how to keep from leaving your money behind when you change jobs with this presentation I did for QuantiaMD.