In a year when news has been dominated by hackers and email breaches, it’s not surprising that the majority of Americans are concerned about cyber security. Below are some online essentials compiled by our friends at Charles Schwab:
SAFEGUARD EMAIL ACCOUNTS
• Be very cautious when viewing unsolicited email.
• Do not click on links or pop-up ads in unsolicited emails.
• Know that many scams involve hacking emails and impersonating the account owners to gain access to sensitive information and /or money.
BE STRATEGIC WITH USERNAMES AND PASSWORDS
• Make passwords strong with at least 8-12 characters; include upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols.
• Change your passwords often and use a password vault or manager.
• Never use confidential data or information that is easily found about you online in your usernames, passwords or security questions.
LIMIT WHAT YOU SHARE ONLINE
• Be very selective about what you share on social media and with whom you share it.
• Set privacy and security settings on web services and devices to your comfort level for sharing.
• Surf safely.
• Use only trusted networks, APPs, and computers.
• Know that secure websites start with HTTPS, and NOT HTTP.
• Never click on links or attachments from unknown sources.
PROTECTING YOUR MONEY
• Review all your financial statements when available and immediately report anything suspicious.
• Never send personal identifiable or account information via unsecure channels like email, chat or text.
• Be aware of our firm guidelines for client verification and funds disbursement requests.
HTG Investment Advisors has responded to cyber risk by investing in more secure technology including two-factor authentication for our employees’ online access, password protecting sensitive information that we email to third parties, requiring client confirmation of third party wires, and encouraging clients to use our personal financial website vault to deliver sensitive documents to us.
Safety of your financial information is of the utmost importance to us. HTG Investment Advisors and your custodians are actively working to protect you from unauthorized account access and keep your personal information safe.