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5 Cybersecurity Best Practices

Keep Your Financial Information Safe Online

With an increasing amount of personal financial information available online, it is more important than ever consumers follow the right precautions to ensure the security of their private financial information. Below are five proactive cybersecurity best practices to help keep your information safe.  

Establish Strong Passwords

Create passwords eight or more characters long that include capital letters, special characters, and numbers. Ensure your password isn’t a dictionary word, popular phrase, or common password that could be easy for someone to crack. Additionally, never reuse the same password twice. This way, if someone were to uncover one of your passwords, they would not also have access to your other accounts.

Avoid Public Wi-Fi  

Connecting to free, unsecured Wi-Fi networks poses a number of serious security risks. Never make any financial transactions, shop online, or log in to bank accounts over a public Wi-Fi network. Hackers can set up their own Wi-Fi networks, name them as the hotel or airport where you are located, and monitor all of your activity once you are connected.

Prevent Phishing Scams

Phishing scams are phony email messages that often appear to come from a legitimate company or banking institution. They attempt to steal the recipient’s valuable personal information by asking them to click on a link, download a file, or provide a password. It’s important to always use caution and check for misspelled words, the sender’s email domain, and grammar errors to help spot these types of emails.

Lock Your Devices

Ensure each of your devices, such as your tablet, smartphone, and laptop have strong password-protected log-in screens. This way, if they are ever lost or stolen, it will be more difficult for someone to access your personal information. Additionally, always log-off when you are finished with an online session.

Use Multifactor Authentication

Always use multifactor authentication when available as an added layer of protection for your personal information. This will require more than one method of authentication of credentials in order to confirm your identity upon log-in or when making a transaction. For example, multifactor authentication could ask for your password as well as an additional pin number the website’s server sends to your cellphone or email address on file.

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Check the background of this financial professional on FINRA's BrokerCheck