This month we attended the latest installment of the Charles Schwab 2018 Solutions workshop in San Francisco.
One area that seemed to have significant attention was cybercrime prevention. Schwab’s admonition is to “assume it’s fraudulent until it’s proven not.” They discussed several ways in which individuals can avoid becoming a victim of the various ways in which hackers infiltrate and severely disrupt a client’s financial life.
1. Avoid Dirty WiFi. This would come in the form of a public network, such as those in coffee shops and airports. It’s typically fine to utilize these networks for purposes of general internet surfing, but one should never input and/or access sensitive information without proper supplemental security measures such as a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
2. Be Aware of Shoulder Surfing. This can also occur at coffee shops and other public areas, but it mostly occurs commuting to and from work on trains, busses and ferries. In fact, Schwab has seen a noticeable increase in client problems when they have accessed sensitive information while using public transit. You don’t have to grow eyes in the back of your head, but it is important to be cognizant of your activity as you begin and end your day.
3. Evade Credential Replay. In an age where just about everything requires a username and password, it’s easy to cut corners and use the same login credentials for all types of accounts. Failing to use a password generator like Dashlane or LastPass (or at least to vary your passwords for different websites) creates a potential treasure trove for hackers. Once they obtain credentials for one account, they’ll quickly attack others with the hope of unlocking them. Schwab says this is one of the most commonly used methods and is easy to avoid.
4. Dealing with phishing emails. Everyone receives unfamiliar emails. Still, people get tripped up. This is because hackers are getting smarter in disguising their intentions. Their goal is to get you to click-on a link that releases malware into your system. They can then access your emails and other personal information. To avoid this, the best approach is to have your guard up against any unrecognizable emails, especially those that are asking you to click a link, download an attachment, or reply with sensitive account or social security numbers.
While much of cybercrime prevention has become common knowledge, cybercriminals haven’t stood still, so their methods are constantly evolving. By remaining conscientious of the various ways in which they try to infiltrate our lives and by “assuming it’s fraudulent until it’s proven not,” we can all gain greater peace of mind.
For more information on ClearRock’s approach and attention to the safety and privacy of client information, click here or give us a call.
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