How to Protect Your PII

Personal Identifiable Information (PII) is any information that can be used to identify an individual, such as their name, address, social security number, or email address. Protecting your PII is essential to maintaining your privacy and preventing identity theft. PII is valuable to identity thieves, who can use it to open credit accounts, take out loans, or make fraudulent purchases. In addition to financial harm, identity theft can also damage your reputation and cause emotional distress. By protecting your PII, you can help prevent these negative outcomes and maintain your privacy.

Here are ten things you can do to protect your PII.

  1. Use strong passwords and change them regularly. A strong password should be at least 8 characters long and include a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
  2. Enable two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your accounts by requiring a code in addition to your password.
  3. Be cautious with email attachments. Do not open attachments from unknown senders or those you weren’t expecting.
  4. Protect your mobile devices. Use a passcode or biometric authentication to unlock your phone and consider using a tracking app in case your phone is lost or stolen.
  5. Be mindful of social media. Limit the amount of personal information you share on social media and be aware of who can see your posts.
  6. Use a VPN. A virtual private network (VPN) encrypts your internet connection and protects your data from potential hackers.
  7. Use anti-virus software. Anti-virus software can help protect your computer from viruses and malware that can steal your PII.
  8. Keep your software up to date. Software updates often contain security patches that fix vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit.
  9. Shred sensitive documents. When disposing of sensitive documents, shred them to prevent anyone from stealing your information.
  10. Be aware of phishing scams. Phishing scams are fraudulent attempts to steal your PII through email, phone calls, or text messages. Be wary of any requests for personal information.

Helping Elderly Family Members Protect Their PII

We know that elderly individuals can be particularly vulnerable to identity theft and fraud due to potential cognitive decline, increased trust in strangers, and lack of familiarity with new technology. Here are some ways to help elderly people in your life protect their PII:

  1. Educate them about common scams. Elderly individuals can be targeted with phone or email scams, such as fake lottery or investment schemes. Teach them to be cautious of unsolicited requests for personal information.
  2. Help them set up privacy settings. If your elderly loved one uses social media or other online platforms, assist them in adjusting their privacy settings to limit the visibility of their personal information.
  3. Monitor their accounts. With their consent, monitor their bank and credit card accounts for any unusual activity or transactions.
  4. Encourage them to check their credit report. Make sure they check their credit report regularly to ensure no unauthorized accounts have been opened in their name.
  5. Set up automatic updates and security features on their devices. Help them ensure their devices are always up to date with the latest security patches and enable features like two-factor authentication.

By taking these steps, you can help your elderly loved ones protect their PII and prevent identity theft and fraud. Additionally, it is essential to have open and ongoing conversations with them about the importance of protecting their personal information.

At Insight, one of our top priorities is protecting our clients’ PII. We collect personal information from our clients to provide appropriate financial and investment advice that best meets our clients’ financial goals. We do not sell or disclose any client information lists to any vendors or telemarketers. The information provided to us is only provided to companies that perform services for Insight, such as client relationship management technology, technical systems consultants and programmers or data processors. To which Insight completes in-depth vendor due diligence at least annually to ensure our clients PII is protected. We restrict access to nonpublic personal information to only those individuals who need to know to provide the services requested by the client. We also maintain physical, electronic and procedural security measures to safeguard all confidential client information. Our employees complete timely cybersecurity training to be up to date on best practices. 

When you implement cybersecurity best practices like using strong passwords, enabling two-factor authentication, being mindful of social media, and using a VPN, you can protect your PII and prevent identity theft. It is also important to educate and support elderly individuals in your life to help them safeguard their personal information. By taking these steps, you can ensure that your personal information remains secure and that you can use technology safely and confidently.


Reviewed by,

Chad Seegers, CRPC®

Chad Seegers, CRPC®

Chad began his career with Sagemark Consulting in 2005 and then became a Select member of Sagemark’s Private Wealth Services which operated as a national resource for financial planners focusing on Advanced Strategies in the High Net Worth marketplace. Chad then began his partnership with Insight Wealth Strategies in 2013 focused on retirement planning primarily with Oil and Gas employees and executives. His primary areas of expertise are retirement, estate, and investment strategies as he serves as Investment Strategist for the financial planning team.

Insight Wealth Strategies, LLC is a Registered Investment Adviser. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Insight Wealth Strategies, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. No advice may be rendered by Insight Wealth Strategies, LLC unless a client service agreement is in place.

Insight Wealth Strategies, LLC (IWS) and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.