By: John P. Napolitano, CFP®, CPA, PFS, MST

Your personal and private information is online - whether you use the internet or not. In either case, there are some basic rules that we all should follow to protect the privacy of everyone that we connect with online. Some seem so obvious, yet they are still the leading causes of breaches and other internet security issues.

Even if you’re not online ever, you are not completely safe. Most of your financial information and accounts are online, whether you’ve accessed them or not. If you choose not to use them, make sure that you shred all information mailed from your institution about how to access your accounts online.

First is to have different user names and passwords for each site. This is something that everyone typically says that they are aware of, but few actually practice this safety measure. It appears as if professional hacking groups have already hacked enough data and private information to have a lifelong shopping spree or fund their devious acts. It is speculated that hackers have hacked data from many different sites, and devote much of their attention looking for similarities or patterns in many of your personal accounts. These patterns are typically with repetitive passwords or user ID’s.

Read more in the Patriot Ledger.

John P. Napolitano CFP®, CPA is CEO of U. S. Wealth Management in Braintree, MA. Visit JohnPNapolitano on LinkedIn or The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax advisor. John Napolitano is a registered principal with and securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through US Financial Advisors, a Registered Investment Advisor. US Financial Advisors and US Wealth Management are separate entities from LPL Financial. He can be reached at 781-849-9200.