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Old 03-17-2016, 07:00 PM
eok
 
6,684 posts, read 3,170,335 times
Reputation: 8464

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I get automatic "alerts" of almost everything that happens. When a bank receives money into one of my accounts, I get an automatic alert by email, and verify it against my own records to verify its the amount I was expecting. Whenever a bill is paid automatically, I get another alert. I even get an alert every time I log in to a particular account, so I will know if anyone else ever breaks in to that account. Most bank alert systems don't even have the login alert, but I like to take advantage of it when it's available. Most of my alerts, I can tell by the subject line what it is, so I just mark it read and move on. My email lets me mark messages as read by simply clicking an icon in the subject line of each message. I have my email set up to automatically sort messages into email folders according to who they're from, and the email folders show how many unread messages they have. So I just go through the ones with unread messages, and click the icon on most of them to mark them as read. A quick and easy way to keep track of everything that's happening with all my accounts.

The only hard part is setting up the alerts and the email folder sorting. You have to go through all their alert capabilities and figure each one out and work around the bugs to make it alert you the way you want it to. But it's not really all that hard once you get used to it, and once you accept that fact that most bank software has a lot of bugs and deficiencies you have to understand and work around. Everything you set up, you have to test, and keep working on it till it works right.

If you log in to all your accounts frequently you should have some automatic login software. In the past I used Roboform and tried LastPass, but I ended up using KeePass because it's more flexible and can be more easily adapted to different website quirks even though it's more work to set up, especially if you want to make it as automatic as the others. As an example of what I mean, try using Roboform to log in to Citibank credit cards. KeePass, if you set it up right, handles that much better than Roboform does. KeePass can also do multi-page logins automatically, by using a delay between pages to give the next page time to load before KeePass starts entering the password.

Senior citizens should always be aware that the older they get the more senior moments they're going to have. Make everything as automatic as possible, to reduce the risk that a senior moment could cause a financial disaster or ruin your credit. Some senior moments can be a lot longer than a moment. Such as "oops I forgot to pay the bills" or "oops I forgot to deposit this check and now everything is bouncing." Setting things up to be automatic is a creative activity, because it's creating the setups. Creative activities aren't impacted by senior moments, because you always test everything to make sure it works correctly.
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Old 03-17-2016, 07:22 PM
eok
 
6,684 posts, read 3,170,335 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LookingatFL View Post
My thought is that if someone were able to hack into my Vanguard account and withdraw all of the money...
I understand the point you're making with your whole message, but I just want to make a comment about the issue of a hacker withdrawing money from an account. They can't just login and withdraw money. They have to send the money somewhere. And they have to set up the details of where they want the money sent. Most accounts can easily be set up with "alerts" to warn you that someone is entering new details for where money can be sent. It takes them time to do that kind of setup, before they can use it. So you can always know when someone is trying to steal money from your accounts. And you can contact the financial institution to stop it before it happens. Just make sure you have the right alerts set up.

Nevertheless, your idea is a good one. To only allow transactions to and from a small account, with no links to any other accounts. The only real flaw in it is that it delays all money transfers, by putting an extra leg in each trip. And that can sometimes cost you interest or investing opportunities. But that's a small price to pay for that extra layer of security.
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Old 03-17-2016, 08:22 PM
 
1,227 posts, read 1,259,322 times
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Thanks, eok. I do have alerts on the accounts and I do get emails whenever I move money.

You are correct. It does delay the transfer by 3 days and this does cost me investment opportunities. Sometimes that delay works to my advantage and sometimes not. Every year I seem to earn a whole dime in interest as a result of the money flowing through the transfer account, so there is a tiny bright spot
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Old 03-17-2016, 09:32 PM
 
Location: Houston/Brenham
4,121 posts, read 4,696,387 times
Reputation: 7578
Quote:
Originally Posted by eok View Post
I understand the point you're making with your whole message, but I just want to make a comment about the issue of a hacker withdrawing money from an account. They can't just login and withdraw money. They have to send the money somewhere. And they have to set up the details of where they want the money sent.
And that's the security blanket that works for me.

For example, if you want to setup a Vanguard>bank transfer, you need to have a special form validated at the bank (called Medallion Signature Guarantee). Much much tougher to setup than just fill-in & sign form. That lets VG know everything is on the legit.

Once it's done, then you can simply go online, and make the transfer.

While I believe the chances of someone hacking my VG account are zero, even if they did, they could only have money sent to (1) my bank account, or (2) a check in the mail to my previously registered street address.

That's secure.
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Old 03-17-2016, 10:54 PM
 
1,208 posts, read 706,913 times
Reputation: 2138
I needed to take a RMD from my 401k. I could have received a check in the mail and deposited it at the bank branch, 3 miles away, but I thought it would be so easy to do an electronic transfer. I got charged an electronic transfer fee at both ends $15 and $10. Next time I'll just take the check in the mail.
It also looks like, on some tax documents, I withdrew $10 less than the required amount.
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Old 03-17-2016, 11:07 PM
 
Location: Alaska
5,356 posts, read 16,345,810 times
Reputation: 4023
The only automatic transfer between accounts I have is for our mortgage. All other transfers are manually done as funds are needed. Over the last year, I've written maybe a dozen checks. Most bills are put on a credit card or a manual authorization via ACH. I do monitor my accounts at minimum weekly.
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