As our military protects us from threats around the globe, a new danger is impacting our lives on a daily basis. This danger poses a larger risk than any of us might be aware of.
“The diverse threats we face are increasingly cyber-based. Much of America’s most sensitive data is stored on computers. We are losing data, money, and ideas through cyber intrusions. This threatens innovation and, as citizens, we are also vulnerable to losing our personal information.” James Comey, former FBI Director
The headlines are everywhere. Just last week, the ‘Wanna Cry’ ransomware cyber-attack impacted more than 200,000 computers in 150 countries. On May 17th Mary Jo White, the chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), stated that cybersecurity is currently the largest risk facing investors and our economy.
According to Cybersecurity Ventures, cyber crimes cost companies and individuals $400 billion in 2015 and will reach $6 trillion by 2021.
Realistically how are the average individuals expected to protect themselves and their family? These suggestions might be obvious, and sometimes difficult (how many passwords do I have to create?!) but in today’s busy world, it’s easy to forget or say ‘I’ll take care of that next time’. Here are a couple basic points that the SEC shared in a recent Investor Alert from April 26, 2017.
- Use different passwords for different accounts.
- Avoid using public computers and Wi-Fi networks to access financial accounts.
- Change your passwords frequently and don’t have easily accessible information in them (for example date of birth or address).
- Be careful when clicking on links from suspicious sources.
We also want to make our client’s aware of the security measures that we take as a firm to protect your classified information. We are 100% compliant with the SEC’s ‘Red Flag Rules.’ Our ITPP (Identity Theft Prevention Program) protocol is designed to detect, prevent and mitigate any online threats. All emails with client or investment information are encrypted and password protected with cutting edge technology. We can assure you that as a firm, we are committed to providing our clients with the highest level of online security and protecting their valuable information and assets! If you have any questions or would like more information we encourage you to contact us.
The Wambolt & Associates Team