Education

CyberSecurity – Tips to Prevent Fraud

Cybercrime and fraud are serious threats and constant vigilance is key. Cyber criminals exploit our increasing reliance on technology. Methods used to compromise a victim’s identity or login credentials – such as malware, phishing, and social engineering – are increasingly sophisticated and difficult to spot. A fraudster’s goal is to obtain information to access to your account and assets or sell your information for this purpose.

While our firm plays an important role in helping protect your assets, we also want to arm you with the information and tools to protect yourself and help secure your information. This checklist summarizes common cyber fraud tactics, along with tips and best practices. Many suggestions may be things you’re doing now, while others may be new.

How we can work together to protect your information and assets

Safe practices for communicating with our firm

  • Keep us informed regarding changes to your personal information.
  • Expect us to call you to confirm email requests to move money, trade, or change account information.

What you can do

  • Be aware of suspicious phone calls, emails, and texts asking you to send money or disclose personal information. If a service rep calls you, hang up and call back using a known phone number.
  • Never share sensitive information or conduct business via email, as accounts are often compromised.
  • Beware of phishing and malicious links. Urgent-sounding, legitimate-looking emails are intended to tempt you to accidentally disclose personal information or install malware.
  • Don’t open links or attachments from unknown sources. Enter the web address in your browser.
  • Check your email and account statements regularly for suspicious activity.
  • Never enter confidential information in public areas. Assume someone is always watching.
Exercise caution when moving money
  • Leverage our electronic authorization tool to verify requests. Featuring built-in safeguards, this is the fastest and most secure way to move money.
  • Review and verbally confirm all disbursement request details thoroughly before providing your approval, especially when sending funds to another country. Never trust wire instructions received via email.
  • Adhere to strong password principles.
  • Don’t use personal information as part of your login ID or password and don’t share login credentials
  • Create a unique, complex password for each website, Change it every six months. Consider using a password manager to simplify this process.

Maintain updated technology

  • Keep your web browser, operating system, antivirus, and anti-spyware updated, and activate the firewall.
  • Do not use free/found USB devices. They may be infected with malware.
  • Check security settings on your applications and web browser. Make sure they’re strong.
  • Turn off Bluetooth when it’s not needed.
  • Dispose of old hardware safely by performing a factory reset or removing and destroying all storage data devices.
  • Use caution on websites and social media.
  • Do not visit websites you don’t know, (e.g., advertised on pop-up ads and banners).
  • Log out completely to terminate access when exiting all websites.
  • Don’t use public computers or free Wi-Fi. Use a personal Wi-Fi hotspot or a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
  • Hover over questionable links to reveal the URL before clicking. Secure websites start with “https,” not “http.”
  • Be cautious when accepting “friend” requests on social media, liking posts, or following links.
  • Limit sharing information on social media sites. Assume fraudsters can see everything, even if you have safeguards.

“As the world is increasingly interconnected, everyone shares the responsibility of securing cyberspace.” ― Newton Lee, Counterterrorism and Cybersecurity: Total Information Awareness

Total Investment Management, Inc. offers this commentary strictly to educate, inform and share our thoughts on the markets. Nothing here should be construed as investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

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