A Cyber-Security Primer for Investors
John Heywood, 16th century playwright, famously coined the phrase “Give them an inch, and they’ll take a mile.” He had no way to know at the time that his quote would aptly describe the vigilance required to keep cyberattacks on your finances at bay.
Cyberattacks are increasing both in frequency as well as in sophistication. As technology infiltrates all areas of our day-to-day lives, it presents openings for criminals who want to compromise our security, our finances, and even our very identities.
We’ve assembled seven areas you can focus on to ensure the highest possible level of protection against the continuing onslaught of cyberattacks targeting your finances:
- Embrace two-factor authentication (2FA): 2FA adds an extra layer of security to your accounts by requiring you to enter a code in addition to your password, often via a text message or automated phone call. This can help prevent unauthorized access to your accounts.
- Use antivirus and anti-malware software: Install reputable antivirus and anti-malware software on your devices to protect against viruses and other malicious software.
- Keep your software up-to-date: Yes, those pop-up update alerts on your computer can be annoying, but they are also very important. Make sure to regularly update your operating system, web browsers, and other software to patch any security vulnerabilities that may have been discovered.
- Limit access to sensitive information: Limit access to sensitive information to only those who need it, and ensure that it is properly secured. No sharing of passwords, online profiles, or account access information.
- Use strong passwords: Be creative and avoid using the same password for multiple accounts. Consider using a password manager to generate and securely store unique passwords.
- Be cautious of phishing attacks: Phishing attacks can trick you into giving away sensitive information or downloading malicious software. Be wary of suspicious emails, links, and attachments.
- Use secure networks: When accessing sensitive information, use a secure network such as a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or a trusted Wi-Fi network. VPNs encrypt your internet traffic and disguise your online identity, making it more difficult for criminals to track your activity and steal your data.
By following these steps, investors can minimize their risk of becoming a victim of cybercrime and protect their investments and personal information. As always, please reach out to your Cornerstone advisor with any questions.