In March of this year, hackers released personal information of celebrities, including Michele Obama’s supposed Social Security number. What followed were a string of warnings about the prevalence of cyber crime and an equally long string of advice on how to protect your information.
More and more people are using the very convenient on-line tools available to shop, bank, and pay bills; which means that your sensitive information needs to be protected more today than ever. It’s important to be diligent and careful, because prevention is always better (and easier) than repair.
Both Internet security companies and law enforcement agencies give the same basic list of steps to protect your identity:
- Do not use unsecured Wi-Fi for any online banking. This means free Wi-Fi accounts, like those available at hotels and coffee shops, can be hacked and give thieves access to your sensitive information. If you use wireless Internet at home make sure that you have password protected your account.
- If you receive an email, that appears to be from your bank, credit card company, or other financial institution, that is asking your to “verify” your account number, Social Security number, or any other personal information, please call and verify that the request is legitimate.
- Keep your computer, phone and tablets current with the latest patches and updates
- Make sure your computer is configured securely
- Choose strong passwords for your computer, phone, and tablet - and keep them safe
- Protect your computer with security software
- Shield your personal information
- Ignore unsolicited on-line offers. If they sound too good to be true, they probably are.
- Review your bank and credit card statements regularly.
- For a complete list of steps, recommended by the FBI Cyber Crime Division, please go to http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud/internet_fraud
The Internet has made many of our daily tasks much easier and taking these steps will make it safer as well. You have worked hard to save for retirement and we believe that it is worth protecting. Navigating Your Retirement, with Sound Financial Strategies Group, has an online component as well. We have a highly secure portal on our website that can be used to access your personal account, and we will never contact you via email asking you for your personally identifiable information.
If you ever have any questions regarding your online account, please call the office. You can reach us at 877-462-3744.
Investment Advisory Services offered through Sound Financial Strategies Group, Inc. (“SFSG”), a Registered Investment Adviser. Certain representatives of SFSG are also Registered Representatives offering securities through APW Capital, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC, 100 Enterprise Drive, Suite 504, Rockaway, NJ 07866 (800)637-3211. SFSG and APW Capital are separate and unrelated companies.
The opinions voiced in this article are for general information only. They are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual and do not constitute an endorsement by APW Capital.
Posted on Mon, June 3, 2013
by Sound Financial Strategies Group