We consider security to be a partnership between us and our clients. Taking some basic, preventative steps can help make your personal information more secure.
Here are five steps we recommend clients take to help prevent identity theft and be more secure:
- Review your annual credit report. There is no charge for this and it can be done online at annualcreditreport.com. Check your report for errors or accounts you don’t recognize and correct any problems right away.
- Regularly shred any documents that have your name and address on them.
- Review monthly statements for all of your accounts.
- Be critical of email messages. Ask: if this was an emergency would this person be emailing me? Are these links trustworthy? Do I trust this sender?
- Educate yourself. Onguardonline.gov is a website managed by the Federal Trade Commission and offers excellent resources for multiple audiences including parents, kids, small business owners, and educators.
Additional security measures to take:
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 email accounts and impersonating an account owner to gain access to sensitive information and/or money.
Be strategic with usernames and passwords
- Avoid keeping a list of written passwords near your computer.
- Make passwords strong with at least 8-12 characters, include upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols.
- Change your passwords often or use a password vault.
- Never use confidential data or information that is easily found about you online in your user names or passwords.
- Use two-factor authentication whenever possible.
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.
- Use only trusted networks, apps, and computers. Avoid doing any online banking on shared computers or public networks.
- Know that secure websites start with https, and NOT http.
- Never click on links or attachments from unknown sources.
Protect your money
- Review all your financial statements when available and immediately report anything suspicious.
- Never send your personal identifiable or account information via unsecure channels like email, chat, or text message.
- Be aware of our firm guidelines for client verification and funds disbursement requests.