Contributed by: James Brown
It is not just Personal Information Identifiers such as a social security number that the bad guys are after. Personal information like your email address, mailing address and preferred store is a sample of some of the information that can be used for identity theft. More devices are connecting to the Internet; more companies are experiencing data breaches; more cyber-attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated and we all have a larger cyber footprint. The Center for Financial Planning, Inc. and Raymond James protects the information we have about you and offer some best practices on how to protect your data.
Some of the ways the Center for Financial Planning, Inc. protects:
- Encrypted drives
- Secure access
- Encrypted messaging
Some of the ways Raymond James Financial protects:
- 24/7 Real-time Monitoring
- Dedicated Analysts employing 74 security solutions to provide protective services
- Enhanced authentication and encryption for Raymond James Financial services transactions
Take a holistic approach. Make sure that your computer is receiving the latest updates from manufacturers. Many of the software and hardware vendors will release fixes to security holes that are found in the products as soon as they are discovered. Also, use a personal firewall to prevent unwanted traffic from entering or leaving your computer. Backup your data because sometimes, things just go wrong.
Consider two-factor authentication. Many web sites offer two-factor authentication. It usually takes the form of entering a password and a one-time code that is sent to your phone. It is a little extra work to log in to the site but adds a significant layer of protection.
Use strong passwords and change them often. Hackers are smart and they use tools that can easily break through an account that uses a word that is in the Dictionary. Consider using a phrase rather than a word and substitute some of the letters for characters (such as @ for the letter a). Never use the same password across sites. If you use a lot of different web sites, consider using a password manager.
James Brown is an IT Manager at Center for Financial Planning, Inc.®
The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete.