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Neighbors of Kane County

Joys and Responsibilities of Medical and Financial Health

We track our medical health with many new devices developed as a result of the many innovations created in our technical age. Whether it is the monitoring of our health activities or the instant checking of our heart rate or our ECG on the watches we wear, many benefits are instantaneously available to us.

The availability of medical research by accessing information over the internet allows us to gain knowledge and explore all aspects of our health. With this information, we arrive at our physician’s office with more specific questions and data than patients were able to do a few decades ago.

To stay in good health we monitor our activity, blood pressure, heart rate, heart rhythms, and weight by using various apps connected to our cell phones, watches, and computers. Today we are experiencing what it is like to track a pandemic, the Coronavirus, with instant knowledge of outbreaks, hospitalizations, and deaths almost as they occur. The ability to have this kind of access to information doesn’t just apply to our medical health. The recent scare that developed with the Coronavirus also is impacting our financial world.

Travel has already experienced some direct impact of this virus. Events where many people gather whether it is a sport arena, a movie theatre, a concert, or an Olympic Games in Japan all have potential impacts on our participation. Nursing homes and schools also have to have contingency plans in case of an outbreak. We are learning that panic will not solve the problem or provide a solution. We need to take sensible precautions and understand our responsibility to wash our hands, not touch our face, and seek immediate help if we suspect we have some symptoms of Coronavirus.

When we think about our physical health in this way, there are also some parallels and similarities to our responsibility to handle our financial health using new technology developed in this new century. Similar to the availability of our modern technical knowledge in relation to health, there is similar access to information about our financial accounts including savings, investments, 401K, and IRA plans. We now have the ability to instantly deposit checks, transfer money, or pay bills as a result of technical advancements in banking and investment applications. Just like our access to health information on our watches, phones, or computers we have the new world of access to our finances. However, this access to financial information doesn’t necessarily make our lives less stressful. There are some general concepts about investing and data security that we need to practice as a result of these new abilities. It is similar to our responsibility to use caution in our responsibility to protect ourselves from a health pandemic.

These are some actions we can take to protect our personal financial world that are needed to implement as a result of these new technologies.

  • Use different and complex passwords for each of your accounts and change them every 90 days.

  • Use sophisticated password management software to keep your passwords on your cellphone and computer.

  • Don’t discard any documents containing account numbers, social security numbers, or passwords in the regular trash. Shred-it or destroy it in some other manner.

  • Don’t give any personal information to anyone you don’t know over the phone. For example, Apple or the IRS will never call or send an email for you to provide personal information over the phone such as asking you to change your passwords or account numbers. Don’t presume that messages like this are legitimate just because the email may have the company logo or looks official. If in doubt, call the company back on a known legitimate number and not a number that was given you in a voice message, on an email, or texted to you.

  • Don’t trust any message that says, “A family member is in trouble and needs you to wire funds” as this is a classic scam.

  • Don’t trust any email from someone who says you’ve inherited funds and asks you to send account numbers or wire personal information so that they can deposit funds into your account.

  • Some scams use the internet to find out names and locations of family members and then claim that a son, grandson, or relative is in trouble and needs some funds. Don’t send anyone money even if you feel it is a real request. Don’t do anything until you first have talked to the family member to discover if they know the whereabouts of the person who is supposedly in trouble. Many scams ask you not to contact any family member or authority like the police. This request is a red flag and is typical of many scams.

  • Don’t leave a book of passcodes open on your desk or unlocked. Keep these items protected just like you would protect any valuable.

The technical world has provided many wonderful opportunities to improve our lives but with these innovations comes the necessity to take more personal responsibility to protect ourselves from new diseases and protect ourselves from the many ways new technical innovations can also harm us.

Article contributed by Scott Lebin