Legal News
January 2018

 

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Critical Tips for Improving Your Cyber Security

2018 started with the announcement of critical hardware-based security vulnerabilities, known as Meltdown and Spectre. These flaws affect almost all known personal and business-class computers and highlight the importance of monitoring your personal cyber security. With a wide range of personal, financial and medical information stored online, taking time to strengthen your family’s online security could save you time, money and aggravation. This article includes basic tips that will provide peace of mind and help reduce risk. If you feel your personal information has already been compromised and you are an IDShield member, make sure that you have enrolled on www.myidshield.com. If you do not yet have an IDShield membership visit www.idshield.comto learn more.

  1. Protect Your Network – Failing to protect your home wireless network is like leaving your door wide open. Password protecting your network is a good place to start, but there are other steps you must take to truly protect your network. You should also change your security defaults and set up a firewall. Click here to learn more about how to secure your home network.

  2. Protect Your Computer – It is critical to update your computer’s operating system and other software. Developers frequently push out patches to protect against newly discovered security threats but if you don’t update your machine will not take advantage of these protections. In addition, utilize antivirus software to protect your computer from viruses, malware and spyware. Update your antivirus software frequently. Be cautious when downloading email attachments. Many spam or fraudulent email attachments contain malicious software. You should also fully shutdown your computer when not in use for extended periods.

  3. Protect Your Cellphone – Current smartphones are more powerful than many home computers were ten years ago. It is important to take similar precautions to protect your cellphone and your private data. This includes locking your phone when not in use, as well as using strong passwords and encryption.

  4. Protect Your Children – Child predators and scammers target children on social networks, gaming sites, message boards and via email. It is important to begin teaching children about online safety early but you should also keep an open dialogue with older children and teens. The National Children’s Advocacy Center offers helpful tips on teaching your children about online safety.

  5. Disable GPS Tagging - Most smart phones and many newer digital cameras use GPS to tag your pictures with the exact location where they were taken. When shared publicly, this information can be used by predators to locate your child within a few feet. An album full of tagged pictures can provide a map of locations where your child might be vulnerable. The best way to avoid this danger is to disable GPS tagging on your smart phone or camera. Check your settings or contact your cell phone provider for assistance if you are unsure how to do so.

  6. Protect Your Wallet – Each year hundreds of thousands of people fall victim to online scams. Familiarizing yourself with common schemes will help protect you and your family. The best rule of thumb to follow is that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. You can read more about online scams at OnGuardOnline.gov.



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Auto Financing: What You Need to Know

Chances are, if you are buying a car you will need an auto loan. While there are many options for auto financing, it is extremely important to understand what you are getting into before you agree to finance terms. Your LegalShield provider law firm is available to help answer questions and review loan terms prior to signing. Your provider law firm information can be located on your LegalShield mobile app or through the “Ask Erin” feature on www.legalshield.com.

  1. Determine your budget before selecting a vehicle or applying for financing. Buying a vehicle you cannot afford may have serious financial consequences. Review your monthly bills and determine what you can safely afford. Anticipate the unexpected, such as job loss or a major home repair; if something out of the ordinary occurs make sure you will still have the funds to cover your car payment.

  2. Understand the difference between leasing and purchasing. Leasing a car is essentially renting the vehicle from the leasing company. You are responsible for damage to the vehicle, are limited to a certain number of miles per year and other possible restrictions. Exceeding your allowed miles or causing excessive wear and tear may incur additional fees. After the lease period is complete the vehicle is returned to the dealership. Purchasing a vehicle means that once you have made the final monthly payment the vehicle is yours to keep.

  3. Save for a down payment. Making a down payment will generally lower your monthly payment and the total amount of interest you pay on your loan.

  4. Check your credit score before applying for a loan. An error on your credit report can increase your interest rate or cause you to be denied for a loan. If you need assistance resolving an error on your credit report, contact your LegalShield provider law firm.

  5. Shop around for the best possible loan. You do not need to receive financing through the dealer; however, dealer rates may be more competitive, offering very low interest rates or cash back at signing. A bank or credit union may also offer favorable interest rates and terms. It may help to receive pre-approval for a loan before you begin shopping for a vehicle.

  6. Know the consequences of defaulting on your loan. Some loans allow the creditor to begin repossession after only one late payment. It is vital to understand the terms and penalties associated with an auto loan default. If your vehicle is repossessed and sold at auction, but does not generate enough to cover the remainder of the loan, you will be responsible for the balance. Some loans also include fees for loan termination, as well as the administrative and legal fees associated with the repossession.

  7. Read the fine print. The terms of an auto lease or loan are written in legal terminology and may be difficult for a non-lawyer to understand. If you need assistance reviewing the terms of your financing, contact your LegalShield provider law firm.



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LegalShield Member Success Stories

More than 45 years ago, we opened our doors to protect people and that is still what we do today for millions of individuals and tens of thousands of businesses across the United States and Canada. Here are just a few of the LegalShield and IDShield success stories that inspire us.

I have had the pleasure of talking to [my provider lawyers] a couple of times since I acquired the benefits.  They are unbelievable!  So helpful.  We also had our Wills and other documents updated and the experience was incredible.  Very thorough.  I mention it to all my clients.  Florida Member, Renae L.

My entire experience with your firm and LegalShield was more than I expected. It creates an opportunity for people like myself, who previously couldn't afford to contact an attorney, to know my rights and laws. I had all my questions answered plus some, plus my phone call was returned quickly. Thank you for offering such a great product, and for explaining things in a way that an everyday average person can understand. California Member, Steven S.

I didn't know how much we would use the service when I signed up, but it has become an invaluable service to my businesses.  I've used my membership, and thus my legal provider, at least five times in the past 12 months alone.  The piece of mind my company has in knowing we are covered for legal services is outstanding.  Colorado Member, Kurk E.

We are inspired when we hear stories from our customers and associates! If you have a story where your LegalShield or IDShield membership helped you--whether it was a small matter or a large one--please share it with us. Click here to share your story.