Editor's note: In today's Weekend Edition, we're sharing a valuable essay adapted from the August 1 edition of our good friend Dr. David "Doc" Eifrig's Health & Wealth Bulletin. In it, you'll learn about the latest development in a troubling trend that affects hundreds of millions of people, as well as two simple steps you can take to protect yourself...
In June, a company you've probably never heard of made a startling admission...
Marketing firm Exactis revealed that around 340 million individual records were exposed in a data breach. The information stolen contained phone numbers, home addresses, and e-mail addresses. Even more disturbing, it included information related to personal habits and households, including the ages and genders of children.
Every few months, we hear about a new data breach. Someone stole our credit-card numbers... our drivers' license numbers... our addresses... our names... our Social Security numbers... our passport information...
These hacks often involve the personal data of hundreds of millions of people.
Every time we hear another story, we get more and more numb to the news. And even if we do worry, most of us don't take any action.
Those crimes can cost you thousands and thousands of dollars in financial damage. You won't be able to get a loan for a car or a house – you'll have collectors hounding you for the debt. Your credit will suffer and will take years to recover.
Other than avoiding the Internet completely, you can't do much to entirely prevent hacks. But you can take some steps to protect yourself in the event of a hacking...
First, make your passwords "strong and long."
A strong password has a combination of numbers, letters, and symbols (the characters above the numbers on your keyboard) that are nearly random. And don't use the same password for more than one website. If your password from one website is hacked, and you've used that same password on other sites, it's easier for thieves to steal your information from multiple places.
Second, when you can, use "two-factor authentication."
Two-factor authentication requires your password plus another piece of information – like a code sent to an e-mail address or mobile device associated with your account – to log into a website. I love using this feature.
Many companies – including Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon – give you the option of using two-factor authentication, as do many banks, brokerage firms, and credit-card companies.
Of course, it's not just identity theft that keeps us up at night...
What if the institution managing the pension you're counting on vanishes? What if you outlive your savings? What if you simply don't have enough sacked away to retire?
How will you get by over the next 10, 20, or 30 years?
Retirement should be a time to relax and enjoy what you've worked so hard for during your lifetime. It's not the time to worry about bankruptcy filings or becoming another burden to your family.
That's why I wrote a new e-book called Income Revenge. I've sounded the alarm on organizations that don't have our interests at heart. You can't depend on them to save you in retirement – which means you can only depend on yourself.
I'll tell you exactly how to increase your income by getting back at the big guys... from Equifax to Wall Street to Big Pharma. It's time to take what's yours.
Don't just get even... get paid.
Here's to our health, wealth, and a great retirement,
Dr. David Eifrig
Editor's note: There's a good chance your personal information has been exposed to criminal hackers. But don't panic... You can get even with those who allowed your identity to be stolen – the credit bureaus. Doc recently found a little-known way that could entitle you to a payout of $9,000 or more. Watch his presentation right here.