Your retirement accounts may not have the same protections as your other financials. Unlike, say, credit card accounts, if funds are removed from your retirement you may be liable and unable to recoup that money.
It’s even more important to stay vigilant and have strong security protections in place on those accounts.
Here are four ways to lock down that hard-earned money.
- Strong Passwords
You probably hear about the need for strong passwords a lot because it’s one of the most important preventions against fraud. Here are some tips to make your passwords difficult to crack:
- Aim for a password length of at least 16 characters.
- Use a complex mix of letters, numbers, and, when allowed, symbols.
- Never reuse the same password for another site.
- Always keep your passwords to yourself.
- Avoid storing passwords where they can be found by others (like under your keyboard).
- Use a Password Manager
Let’s be honest, keeping track of complex passwords is difficult. Fortunately, there are apps called password managers that can help keep track for you. These applications store all your unique passwords in one place, with a single master password providing you access to them all. Consider setting one up as a sort of lock box for your passwords. Just make sure the app is trusted and verified.
- Multifactor Authentication
Multifactor authentication—sometimes called two-factor authentication (2FA)—is another strong wall to build around your accounts. Whenever you log in, this feature sends a text to your phone with a separate login key—usually a short sequence of numbers. Essentially, crooks will need access to your phone to get past this security setting, which is a high wall to climb. If your financial institution offers multifactor authentication, make sure you have it enabled in your security settings. We offer this extra protection through myCalPERS. Simply log in, select Security Settings under the Profile tab, and follow the directions from there.
- Monitor Your Account Activity
Review your retirement accounts on a regular basis for suspicious activity. If you discover fraudulent behavior, get to work rectifying the situation. Some experts suggest checking your accounts quarterly, others say twice a year. Do what’s comfortable for you and provides you peace of mind.
Find more security tips at Cybersecurity Best Practices.
And watch a quick video about how to check your CalPERS accounts online: