09/14/2015: Cybercrime is a Growing Threat
Going online has become so popular that a majority of Americans now say they would have more trouble giving up the Internet than giving up television (although that may be because they can stream their favorite TV shows via the Internet).
Taking the good with the bad
An ounce of protection
- Protect your accounts: Choose strong passwords that incorporate letters, numbers, and symbols and, just as importantly, do not use the same password for all of your accounts. If you’re prone to forgetting passwords, keep a password list in your safe or invest in security software that will track passwords for various sites and allow you to access them with a single password.
- Look for security: If you make purchases online, be sure you have a secure connection. Look at the website address. If it starts with ‘https’ or shows a green box with a padlock, typically the connection is secure. It’s also essential to equip your computers and mobile devices with security software.
- Set account alerts: Many banks, financial institutions, and credit monitoring agencies offer alerts to notify consumers when changes occur with their accounts. These alerts often are email notices.
- Be wary: Be wary when using free Wi-Fi. It’s generally not a good idea to access financial accounts or password-protected sites on shared networks (free Wi-Fi gives you access to a shared network) because it is possible for hackers to track your actions.
- Control your data: Facebook may ask you to complete your profile every time you visit, but you really shouldn’t. It’s smart to limit the personal information–birthdays, pet’s and best friend’s names, addresses, and other data–you share on social media websites. This information can be used to answer security questions and gain access to accounts.
- Read your bills: A lot of people pay their bills electronically and never take time to review the charges. No matter what type of payment option you employ, it’s critical to review every charge. Unexpected charges could be accidental, or they could be evidence that your data has been stolen. If you find a mistake, report it right away.
- Use the HCM Client Vault: The HCM Client Vault is a secure way to store important documents that you want to keep protected. The dashboard provides up-to-date information about your portfolio. Client Services can safely send applications and other documents back and forth to you via the vault and you can store your account statements, tax returns, estate documents, and any other important files securely in your vault.