Multi-colored post-its with different passwords covering a computer monitor.

Streamline and Simplify Passwords

It’s one less stressor!

The more we use mobile technology, the more passwords we accrue. It’s not unusual for an individual to have more than 20 different sites — bank, social media, Netflix, home security — that she routinely enters. Add to this borage of passwords the lack of cohesiveness between websites. One password might require lower and upper case and numbers and punctuation, and another asks for your childhood street address.

How does one simplify the technology puzzle and avoid getting overwhelmed by too many passwords? Here are five steps to follow to keep the letters, numbers and punctuation that make up your internet profile easier to recall and more secure.

Step 1: Use passphrases instead of passwords

Many experts suggest length is key to preventing a hack. The longer the password, the better, even upwards of 20 characters. Use a phrase that is easy to remember such as a favorite cheer for a sports team or something that is second nature in response to you. Some examples might be I-need-my-coffee-at-8AM! or GoBadgerBasketball1984.

Step 2: Use a password manager

How many of you have snapped a photo of your passwords or a photo of a driver’s license to remember information. What happens when your cell phone is gone? Can you access this information? There are hundreds of password managers that can be utilized both via desktop or laptop and smart phone. Although the inputting passwords up front might take time, it’s the sense of organization that is the reward. It’s best not to use the same password for every site. It’s also nearly impossible to remember a different password for each site.

A password manager allows you to use one code to access all of your other codes. This helps secure credential storage as well. The manager can assist in synchronization across multiple devices.

Step 3: Use Two-Step Verification

This is also known as two-factor or multi-factor authentication. This means that a password and a secondary smartphone code are required for access. This might be something such as a finger print, face identification or other tech-savvy options. These are much more secure and nearly un-hackable. Individuals should enable this security whenever possible, especially for financial, email, and other secure and/or private accounts. This can also be enabled with a password manager.

Step 4: Do Your Research

Stay up-to-speed on current online hacks and breeches of data that have occurred. A good resource is https://haveibeenpwned.com to see if any of your online accounts have been compromised. This could be a healthy routine to visit the site once a month to check in on all online accounts and data that you want kept private.

Another easy safety device is to set up alerts on your phone or through Google, Yahoo, etc., that alert you to current scams or if any of your information has been violated. There are thousands of security breaches daily, and don’t panic if you are contacted; it does not mean your information has been compromised. Do your due diligence and determine if you need to go to your password manager to update information.

This information might seem overwhelming; however, being knowledgeable and proactive about passwords and data is crucial to a healthy cyber profile. Technology is constantly advancing. Use these nuances to your advantage. Streamline passwords and stay tech-intelligent.

Graphic Celebrating Steven Blackwell's promotion to Agency Manager for Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee

Celebrating Steven Blackwell’s promotion

Denver, Colo. – Alliant National Title Insurance Company, a unique title insurance underwriter that partners with independent agents to improve their competitive position, announces the promotion of Steven Blackwell as Agency Manager for Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee.

Steven has more than 25 years’ experience managing client relationships, training and customer service. His experience includes managing multiple responsibilities and priorities over three states. He is also a Licensed Title Agent of Alabama.

In his new position, he is responsible for daily operations in the Ala., Miss. and Tenn., Steven is the also the primary customer liaison for agents in the three states for agency operations, policy production and closing protection documents.

He provides regulatory compliance guidance, with continuing education, coordination, accreditation and reporting. Additionally, he is responsible for special projects such as organizing corporate sponsored functions including seminars, webinars and agent social functions.

“I look forward to taking on the new duties as Agency Manager for Alliant National for three states,” says Blackwell. “My experience in previous positions has shown me that the company continues to recognize talent and supports its employees throughout the company.”

“We are delighted that Steven was recently promoted to Agency Manager,” says Tracey Webb, Senior Vice President and Southeast Regional Manager. “He has been with Alliant National for more than two years and his contributions to the advancement of our team have proven he is worthy of this position. We congratulate Steven on his promotion and look forward to his continued success and growth with our company.”

Visit alliantnational.com for additional information.

MEDIA INQUIRIES

Cathie Beck
Capital City Public Relation
e : cathie@capitalcitypr.com
p : 303-241-0805

ABOUT ALLIANT NATIONAL TITLE INSURANCE COMPANY

The Independent Underwriter for The Independent Agent® – Alliant National believes in empowering people to thrive.

The company protects the dreams of property owners with secure title insurance and partners with 500+ trusted independent title agents as a licensed underwriter in 25 states and the District of Columbia, with annual revenues exceeding $126 million.

Ceramic piggy bank with autumn leaves in the background

Businesses: Consider Preparing Financially for Fall

Along with change in season comes change in spending habits

The beginning of this decade has taught us that nothing is and will ever be as predictable as life before COVID. This holds true for every characteristic of personal habits, including finance. What people once valued and invested in quickly shifted in spring 2020. Family, money and where time is spent become the three most popular priorities in American lives.

Undoubtedly, how cash reserves are managed in the office has changed as well.

Fall always signifies a time when individuals and businesses rethink finances and begin to prepare, much like other mammals, for the long winter. Do you need to hold onto money for holiday, family reunion or home/office improvement? COVID has altered most plans for typical autumn and winter activity, so how does one prepare financially for fall during the pandemic?

Here are four steps to review, plan, and hopefully successfully achieve during these uncertain times.

Pay Off Debt

This is always the number one piece of advice a financial expert will give you if you come into funds and have debt. If you have any surplus of money from lack of vacations, going out or get togethers, look at refinancing or paying down debt. Rates are extremely reasonable and many banks and credit unions are willing to work with individuals.

For small businesses there are numerous debt relief programs that are now more critical than ever during COVID. The top tips to pay off debt for a company — create a monthly budget, decrease spending, consolidate debt, negotiate with lenders and increase business (if possible) — are still the same, pandemic or not.

Load the Emergency Fund

In the most uncertain of times, prepare for the most uncertain of experiences. That vacation that didn’t happen, the summer wardrobe that wasn’t purchased; use these types of funds to now fund your emergency fund. If it’s $100 or $10,000, it’s always usable. Then, set the goal for each quarter during the pandemic to grow the emergency fund. This will leave you with less stress which could help keep you healthier.

Reorganize Holiday Plans

There is a good chance that you might not be able to visit family for the typical Thanksgiving, Christmas and Winter Holiday. Instead of flying, you might be driving. Instead of a racking up a large bill at the grocery for the 30-person New Years’ Eve dinner you usually host, reprioritize your holiday plans and spending.

Make a target goal of saving 10 to 15 percent of your usual holiday travel and food budget for emergency funds. If you are longing to travel, but know you cannot fly or drive to your destination this year, look into booking discounted travel for the future with refundable deposits – scooping up numerous COVID offers from airlines and hotels in the process.

When purchasing and shipping presents (still sending office gifts?), don’t forget to send in bulk and do it in advance to save even more money. Things will be surcharged and possibly shut down. Reorganize when you do things and do not waste money on last-minute items.


For a small business, the holiday party was often a year-long highlight with significant others even joining in on the cheer. Don’t forget to reprioritize office holidays as well with restrictions in place. Invest in employees and their needs this year, whether that is more family time, flexibility or a monetary bonus. Open the lines of communication about this season to help understand the needs of the business and its employees.

Home Improvement/Business Office Projects

HGTV has turned everyone into a DIYer (Do it yourself-er). In summer 2020, Home Depot, Ace Hardware, Lowes, etc., were running out of spray paint, brushes, etc., due to the home improvement surge.

Now is the time to be financially responsible with home projects or business office upgrades. Don’t invest in something that might be trendy during COVID but would serve no other purpose once life returns to a normal pace.

Be thoughtful in your approach. What is a good value and what could detract from your home or office? It’s always a good idea when thinking of undertaking a major DIY project to consult your real estate agent.

Adding an outdoor grill and patio area is lovely, but you don’t need to go overboard and buy three types of smokers and enough seating for three dozen. Be reasonable and appreciative of the renovation or addition.

Likewise, office spaces need less space in 2020 and likely beyond as workers adapt to working from home, a trend likely to stick around post-pandemic. Is it really necessary to invest in office art, new chairs or an upgraded kitchen? Likely not. Maybe a new espresso machine is more in the budget and realm of reason.

Spending and financial habits were drastically changed upon the emergence of COVID. Don’t fall victim to a personal financial pandemic as well. Prepare for the change in season with a change in financial attitude.

Patrick Hagler Receives the 2020 Philanthropy Award October Research at NS3

BRAVO!

Patrick Hagler Receives the October Research 2020 Philanthropy Award at NS3.

Denver, Colo. – (Sept. 2, 2020) Patrick Hagler, State Council-Georgia, Alliant National Title Insurance Co., has received the 2020 Philanthropy Award from October Research, LLC. The award was presented today at the 2020 National Settlement Services Summit (NS3).

The Philanthropy Award honors professionals in the title, underwriting, lending and settlement services industries for exemplary accomplishment in the area of philanthropy.

“It’s an honor to recognize Patrick Hagler for his philanthropic work outside of the office,” October Research CEO and Publisher Erica Meyer said. “We were impressed at his dedication in helping the homeless, specifically the youth, in his community.”

Currently, Hagler runs a non-profit called Loving Hands of Hope, which focuses on providing homeless teens and young adults with essential items such as clothing and hygiene kits. He is a long-time supporter of Lost and Found Youth Atlanta, an organization that facilitates counseling and other services for homeless young adults. He also volunteers with their 24-hour hotline that helps children find places to sleep and access to hot meals.

Other non-profit work includes volunteering at the Dr. Anise Mabry Foundation’s diploma program, Chris 180, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Backpack in the Park. Lastly, Hagler is a Toy Party volunteer for the Kid in All of Us organization.

Receiving this award is incredibly meaningful to me,” says Hagler, commenting on the accolade. “I was deeply affected when I started doing this work five years ago. You see people who are just looking for a little bit of compassion. Devoting some of my time to spreading warmth, love and hope is the least I can do, and I am humbled to have that work acknowledged by October Research and others in my field.”

Read More About Loving Hands of Hope.

About NS3

NS3brings together more than 700 professionals from across the country for an educational experience unlike any other. For three days a roster of expert speakers and noted industry veterans share their experience with their partners across the real estate transaction.

NS3 2020 offers multiple educational tracks focused on innovation, compliance and cybersecurity. Attendees return year after year to earn CE/CLE credits, learn about the latest strategies to advance their businesses and to stay current on regulatory developments.

Alliant National distinguishes itself from competitors by combining strong underwriting capability with independent agents’ in-depth knowledge of local markets. The result is a nationwide network with deep roots in local communities, and a wealth of expertise that is flexible, nuanced, and continuously growing.

Visit alliantnational.com for additional information.

MEDIA INQUIRIES

Cathie Beck
Capital City Public Relation
e : cathie@capitalcitypr.com
p : 303-241-0805

ABOUT ALLIANT NATIONAL TITLE INSURANCE COMPANY

The Independent Underwriter for The Independent Agent® – Alliant National believes in empowering people to thrive.

The company protects the dreams of property owners with secure title insurance and partners with 500+ trusted independent title agents as a licensed underwriter in 25 states and the District of Columbia, with annual revenues exceeding $126 million.

Graphic welcoming John Kotleba and Karen Tucker as Georgia Agency Managers

Southeast Region Grows Stronger

Alliant National Title Insurance Company is pleased to announce the hiring of Karen Tucker and John Kotleba as Georgia Agency Managers.

Karen Tucker brings more than 20 years of experience and knowledge to Alliant National. She was previously an AVP, Senior Sales Executive and top salesperson for a major underwriter, and an Office Manager for a large real estate firm. Her past experiences have enriched her understanding of processes and workflow, allowing her to assist agents in efficiently growing their business.

“Karen’s strong marketing skills and extensive network within the industry will be invaluable in expanding our presence in Georgia,” says Tracey Webb, Alliant National Senior Vice President and Southeastern Region Agency Manager. “We are excited to have Karen as part of our growing team of professionals representing Alliant National.”

“I am so excited to be a part of the Alliant National team and to work with such well-respected professionals in Georgia,” says Tucker. “It already feels like home!”

John Kotleba brings nearly 20 years of experience to Alliant National. He has held a variety of previous roles, including State Manager; Vice President, National Commercial Account Executive; and Sales Manager and Chief Operations Officer for various title companies and underwriters. His years in the title insurance industry will be essential in his new responsibilities at Alliant National, which will include identifying new law firms to partner with for their title insurance and business needs.

“I am honored and thrilled to join Alliant National,” says Kotleba. “Becoming a part of such a diverse, passionate and accomplished group of professionals is incredibly satisfying. I look forward to applying my years of industry experience to drive growth and achieve success for our agents.”

“We couldn’t be more excited to have John join the Alliant National team,” says Webb. “His longstanding commitment to fostering positive, empowering and collaborative relationships with agents will undoubtedly contribute to the ongoing growth and development of our presence in Georgia.”

Visit alliantnational.com for additional information.

MEDIA INQUIRIES

Cathie Beck
Capital City Public Relation
e : cathie@capitalcitypr.com
p : 303-241-0805

ABOUT ALLIANT NATIONAL TITLE INSURANCE COMPANY

The Independent Underwriter for The Independent Agent® – Alliant National believes in empowering people to thrive.

The company protects the dreams of property owners with secure title insurance and partners with 500+ trusted independent title agents as a licensed underwriter in 25 states and the District of Columbia, with annual revenues exceeding $126 million.

This blog contains general information only, not intended to be relied upon as, nor a substitute for, specific professional advice. We accept no responsibility for loss occasioned to any purpose acting on or refraining from action as a result of any material on this blog.

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