Some say that the best defense is a good offense.
The threat of cybersecurity breaches always exists, but with the concerning situation that’s developing daily in Eastern Europe, Americans are more concerned than ever about data hacking. From school to business to financial records, online access to information offers great efficiencies. However, the importance of safeguarding your personal information cannot be overstated, particularly in times of unrest. It’s imperative to have a solid defensive strategy in place from the moment you create a new account in order to protect your personal information from potential hackers or spammers. Although it can seem overwhelming to know where to begin, taking a few proactive steps (a good offense) can go a long way to protect your information.
#1 IF YOU ARE NOT EXPECTING IT – VERIFY BEFORE ACTING ON IT.
This includes emails, text messages, website popups, and phone calls that ask you to provide personal information, click a link, or open an attachment. Scammers often try to create a sense of urgency, rushing you toward opening a link or attachment. In turn, that can trigger a download of malicious software to your device meant to steal personal or financial details. Instead, stop and verify the sender’s (or caller’s) authenticity before acting.
For example, if you receive a seemingly urgent email from your bank saying, “Click here now to avoid paying account fees!” reach out to your bank independently using trusted contact information (e.g., the phone number listed on your account statement), and ask them to confirm the legitimacy of the request.
#2 USE A PASSWORD MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE, LIKE DASHLANE™ OR LASTPASS.
This free software generates complex passwords for your accounts, stores them in an encrypted database, and autofills them into websites when you sign in. It helps users avoid easily guessable passwords or reusing the same password across multiple accounts.
#3 ADD TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION (2FA) TO YOUR ACCOUNTS FOR AN EXTRA LAYER OF SECURITY, WHERE POSSIBLE.
Two-factor authentication is simple but effective. The first factor is your usual password, and the second factor is commonly a text with a code sent to your cell phone. Requiring something you know (your password) and something you have (your cell phone), two-factor authentication helps keep your account secure if your password is compromised. The extra security is especially useful for critical financial accounts. Accordingly, all investment accounts held with Ambassador Advisors offer two factor authentication; if you would like assistance adding it to your accounts, please contact Ambassador and the team will gladly guide you through the process.
It’s important to have your defensive strategy already in place before hackers try to attack your personal accounts. That way, you can have peace of mind in knowing that your accounts and your information are safe and well-protected.
Any opinions expressed in this forum are not the opinion or view of American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. (APFS) or American Portfolios Advisors, Inc.(APA) and have not been reviewed by the firm for completeness or accuracy. These opinions are subject to change at any time without notice. Any comments or postings are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute an offer or a recommendation to buy or sell securities or other financial instruments. Readers should conduct their own review and exercise judgment prior to investing. Investments are not guaranteed, involve risk and may result in a loss of principal. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investments are not suitable for all types of investors. To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purposes of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. Each tax payer should seek tax, legal or accounting advice from a tax professional based on his/her individual circumstances.
This material is for informational purposes only. Neither APFS nor its Representatives provide tax, legal or accounting advice. Please consult your own tax, legal or accounting professional before making any decisions. Information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable and are subject to change without notification. The information presented is provided for informational purposes only and not to be construed as a recommendation or solicitation. Investors must make their own determination as to the appropriateness of an investment or strategy based on their specific investment objectives, financial status and risk tolerance. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Investments involve risk and the possible loss of principal.