Here are nine steps you can start taking now to make ID security a priority — and a practice:
Security breaches happen every day. The most notable is the massive Target and Niemen Marcus security breach losses which occurred last December, with more than 110 million records compromised. More recently, a February breach of St. Joseph Health System in Georgia and Texas potentially compromised more than 405,000 records. Information was accessed through a single server by hackers from China and other locations. This server stored information for numerous facilities.
And data breaches are not just happening at big companies. More than 600 million personal records are known to have been compromised since 2005, according to PrivacyRights Clearinghouse. This is nearly twice the population of the entire U.S. Although the large companies receive media coverage, breaches are occurring with regularity in small and medium sized companies also.
If you think “it can’t happen to me”, take a look at these sites, which contain detailed information about breaches:
Most information security specialists say that it isn’t a question of “if” a breach will occur, but “when.”
Consider the cost of rebuilding your home to its current state in the event of a total loss. Remember that real estate value (house or mortgage) does not equal the cost to rebuild. Factors to consider when calculating the cost to rebuild:
The cost to replace all of your possessions must also be considered. Don’t just think big-ticket items like furniture and electronics. Factor in clothing, sheets, food, pots and pans, books, and more.
Homeowners policies help protect your home and your belongings, but they are also there to hlep protect you from liability. What if a neighbor slips on your sidewalk and their insurance company sues you to cover the cost of back surgery? Can you afford to cover the legal fees and a settlement?
We should all prepare for emergencies/disasters by documenting our personal property and/or business assets. If your items are documented, there is no time wasted and will help get you back to normal faster. Keep in mind that every item in your home/business has worth, so take pictures and record everything.
The Inventory Process
1. You need …
2. On your paper list every room in your home or business on separate sheets of paper. Examples: kitchen, living room, office, master bedroom, etc.
3. Begin in the kitchen and take pictures of every item. Start with large appliances first and move down to the silverware taking snapshots and recording serial and model numbers as you go. It’s easier if you have help. Open cabinet doors and take a picture of the entire cabinet. Do the same with the drawers. Note: List all items inside and record serial/model numbers if available.
4. Record cost/value of each item. If you have receipts for bigger items, make a copy or scan if possible. Put that information in the notebook and digital file.
5. Move on to other rooms following the same process, keeping in mind to take many pictures. Take a picture(s) of the entire room simply by standing in one corner and snapping a picture then moving to the opposing corner and snap another picture. This shows ownership of items. Optional: Utilize video to show all items in each room.
6. Inventory the attic, basement, garage and outbuildings.
7. Take pictures of the exterior of your home on all sides and landscaping.
8. Make copies or scan all important papers, credit cards, driver’s license, etc. Put these in the notebook and digital file. For a complete list of what to copy or scan, go to the following link for see Home Safe Inventory.
9. Now that you have taken the time to inventory your home, store the information somewhere in a safe place. Make duplicate copies and give one to a trusted friend/family member or place in a safe deposit box at a bank.
A leading cause of house fires is cooking. A fire can happen in an instant. One of the most common causes of cooking fires is oil. If you tend to fry or sauté a lot of foods, a Spatter Guard is a wise investment. Not only does it keep the oil off your clothes and keeps your stove clean, it also prevents the oil from reaching the flame.
If you are given a ticket for speeding, it is likely to have the effect of increasing your insurance premiums now that you’re a high risk driver. How much of an effect will depend on a number of factors, such as how much over the posted limit you were going, your past driving record, and even your age. And while technically it doesn’t matter why you were speeding, you may want to tell your insurance agent your side of the story. Your agent represents you to the insurance company, and may be able to provide a solution that doesn’t result in increased rates.
There are two kinds of speeding, in the eyes of the insurance companies. Going less than 10 miles over the speed limit is often considered a minor violation, and is grouped in with such infractions as failing to signal before a lane change. In many locations, the police will provide a 5 to 10 mile lee-way on the posted speed automatically. You cannot count on this, as the posted speed is legally the fastest speed you should drive on the road. If, on the other hand, you are driving more than 10 miles over the posted speed, you have, as far as insurance is concerned, committed a major traffic violation. This will usually result in an increase of your premiums, but if you have an otherwise safe driving record, you may still be given a break. Remember, though, that most law enforcement agencies consider traveling 15 miles or more over the limit as reckless driving, and the legal penalties become much more severe. In short, drive the speed limit, and you’ll save money.
If you had a safe driving record before getting the ticket, it may be that your insurance company will overlook one speeding infraction if it was below the criminal violation limit. By looking at your age and past driving record, your agent may ascertain that such driving is not a normal occurrence for you, and make allowance for this single mistake by choosing to ignore the ticket. Be warned in advance, though, that this is likely to only work once. If you proceed to get another speeding ticket after being given such a break, it is not very likely that you’ll be spared a second time. Being responsible on the roadways is what makes a safe driver, and if you show, through your actions, that you are not using the proper amount of responsibility, you will pay higher premiums.
The best defense against rising rates due to a speeding infraction is to drive the speed limit. The posted speed was set that way for a reason, and should be obeyed for your safety, and for the safety of others. By speeding through a residential neighborhood, for example, you endanger not only yourself, but possibly even small children and people’s pets. Realistically, you can’t drive fast enough to save more than a few seconds of travel time regardless, and it is much better for all concerned to arrive a few seconds late than to never arrive at all.
Do any of these behaviors sound familiar?
If so, you’re letting aggression get the best of you behind the wheel.
A well-developed business continuity plan helps ensure a business can remain in operation after an unforeseen event. A business continuity plan should include contingencies that consider how to recover should an equipment breakdown occur. For each piece of critical equipment, the plan should identify reliable sources for repair parts and qualified service providers that can assist in repair or replacement. Also, the plan should identify where rental equipment can be obtained; how and where that equipment can be installed; who is qualified to operate it as well as any special license or permit that may be necessary or required. The plan should be well documented and familiar to key management personnel. Finally, the plan should be tested to verify that it can be implemented within the required recovery timeframe and reviewed annually to ensure the plan remains relevant.
Although a business continuity plan is essential, it should be combined with proper insurance, including an equipment breakdown policy. This coverage typically covers repairs or replacements as needed, makes up for lost income due to a business interruption and gets the business back up and running quickly. Insurance agents and brokers who can serve as an expert adviser on insurance products and help clients to identify and manage these types of risks will increase their value to their clients and prospective clients.
The death of a family member triggers an avalanche of paperwork at a time when you’re least equipped to handle it. That’s why my first piece of advice for the bereaved is the most important: Delay all financial decisions for at least six months. During this time, devote yourself to your grief and your family. Spend time with loved ones, not lawyers, accountants, and bankers.
Keep in mind that the vast majority of financial, legal, and tax issues can wait months before they need attention, so don’t feel as though you’re under pressure to make decisions quickly. You don’t even need to open the mail — it too can wait. However, there are a few administrative tasks that should be addressed. Follow this checklist — or ask a trusted friend or key family member to help you go through it quickly and easily.
Reproduced from Ric Edelman Newsletter
Here is the role auto insurance plays should you abandon your car on the road, and return to find it damaged, or discover it’s not where you left it – it’s been towed or stolen: