Protecting Your Financial Information Online

September 3, 2019

Financial Media Exchange (FMeX)

KnowledgeSHARE

Many clients have asked our opinion about how to protect their personal information when online. While we are not cyber experts, we have learned a great deal about the topic. We are happy to share this Financial Media Exchange (FMeX) article with you as a great source of information on this important topic!

More consumers are conducting financial transactions online and may become vulnerable to tracking, hacking, identity theft, phishing scams, and other cyberspace risks. While nothing can guarantee complete safety on the Internet, understanding how to protect your privacy can help minimize your exposure to risk.

Here are some ways to safeguard your information:

Read privacy policies.

Before conducting any financial transactions online, carefully read the privacy policies of each institution that you plan to do business with to find out how secure your financial information is. If you do not understand the legal jargon, email or call customer service to request a simplified explanation of the privacy policy.

Avoid using weak PINS and passwords.

When deciding PINS, passwords, and other log-in information, avoid using your mother’s maiden name, your birth date, the last four digits of your Social Security number, or your phone number. Avoid other obvious choices, like a series of consecutive numbers or your home town. Also, do not use the same PINS and passwords on multiple sites.

Look for secured web pages.

Use only secure browsers when shopping online to safeguard your transactions during transmission. There are two general indicators of a secured web page. First, check that the web page url begins with “https.” Most urls begin with “http;” the “s” at the end indicates that the site password will be encrypted before being sent to a third-party server. Second, look for a “lock” icon in the window of the browser. (It will not be in the web page display area.) You can double-click on this icon to read details of the site’s security policy. Be cautious about providing your financial information to websites that are unfamiliar. Larger companies and well-known websites have developed policies to protect the rights and financial information of their customers. So, resist the temptation of providing personal information to unknown companies.

Keep your operating system up-to-date.

High-priority updates are critical to the security and reliability of your computer, and offer the latest protection against malicious online activities. When your computer prompts you to conduct an update, do it as soon as possible.

Update antivirus software and spyware.

Keep both your antivirus and your spyware programs updated regularly.

Keep your firewall turned on.

A firewall helps protect your computer from hackers who might try to delete information, crash your computer, or steal your passwords or credit card numbers. Make sure your firewall is always on.

Do your homework.

As the Internet continues to evolve, new risks, along with additional protective measures, will be revealed. However, it is up to you to safeguard your financial information online through education and awareness.

Want to Learn More?

Feel free to contact our Wealth Strategies group if you have questions on this estate planning topics or would like help connecting to an estate attorney.

Robert Katz, CFP® – Partner, Director of Wealth Strategies – 617.986.5145 

Michael Syer, CFP® Wealth Strategies Advisor – 617.986.5157

 

Content Disclaimers

This commentary/ article has been published or selected for distribution by Bainco based on current events and/or topics of interest. It contains the current opinions of the authors as of the date of publication. All opinions are subject to change at any time. This material has been distributed for informational purposes only and is not meant to convey a current or past recommendation, investment advice of any kind, or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell securities or investment services.

Material in this publication, including market forecasts and forward-looking statements, is original and/or derived from proprietary and non proprietary sources Bainco deems to be reliable; Bainco does not, however, warrant the completeness, accuracy or timelessness of the information obtained from these sources. The opinions and statements set forth do not consider the investment objectives or financial situation of any particular individual or group of individuals. Readers will need to consider their own circumstances before making an investment decision and are cautioned to consult their own tax and investment professionals with regard to their specific situations.

Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.