Daily Dupaco

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Autopilot: A hard price to pay

A few weeks ago, the hard drive in my 14-month-old computer bit the dust. The real sting came when I realized I never backed up any of it.

I’m literally paying the price. Tech specialists are attempting to recover 14 months’ worth of my family’s photos, videos and documents, and it will be several more weeks before I learn whether Operation Recovery is a success.

By not backing up my data, I had unintentionally put my computer on autopilot. It can be just as easy to treat our finances with the same sort of complacency, which also comes with a price.

Todd Link, SVP Risk Management and Remote Delivery“Just as a computer failure can cause headaches, so too can identity theft, card fraud and financial instability,” says Todd Link, senior vice president, risk management and remote delivery at Dupaco Community Credit Union. “Proactive effort on the front side can alleviate a lot of frustration at some point in the future.”

Here are five ways Dupaco can help you remain in the driver’s seat of your finances:

  1. Use Shine Online and Mobile Banking to monitor your balances, transfer funds, run spending reports or set account notifications from wherever you are. 
  2. Request a free Dupaco Money Makeover to get a better look at your total financial picture and learn how to proactively build your savings. 
  3. Protect your personal computer log-in information by downloading and installing Trusteer Rapport, a financial malware-protection software Dupaco offers to its members at no cost through Shine Online Banking. IBM Security’s Trusteer Rapport is specially designed to protect against phishing attacks and malware that aim to steal log-in credentials and financial information. 
  4. Request a free Credit History Lesson to learn how to drive up your credit score. Then, every four months, review your credit by pulling a free copy of your report from a different credit bureau at AnnualCreditReport.com. Watch for errors and activity that you didn’t conduct. 
  5. Make a copy of the front and back of all of the cards you carry in your purse or wallet. Store this information at home in a safe location. In the event you lose your purse or wallet, you will have a copy of the cards, card numbers and phone numbers you need to contact.

“The dangers of putting your personal finances on autopilot are numerous,” Link says, “and include spending beyond one’s means, allowing emotions to dictate spending behavior, failing to have emergency reserve savings, overdrawing accounts, making late payments and ultimately hurting your credit score, which may lead to higher interest rates at a later time.”

By Emily Kittle

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