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Ways to Help Protect your Financial Data in 2023
To kick the year off on the right foot, we wanted to share some of the most effective measures you can take this year to protect your financial data. Some of our list will be reminders you’ve heard before, and others will be new ideas. Here are our suggestions as you tighten up your personal protection plan for 2023:
- Enable Two-Factor Authentication: We know it can be a pain, but two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of verification (e.g., a code sent to your phone) and your password. It’s worth it.
- Use anti-virus and anti-malware software: Make sure that your device has anti-virus and anti-malware software installed and that it is kept up to date.
- Don’t use public Wi-Fi: Public Wi-Fi networks are often unsecured, making them easy targets for hackers. Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks for sensitive financial transactions. An alternative to using public Wi-Fi is using your cellphone hotspot for a secure connection.
- Be wary of phish!: Scammers often use phishing emails and text messages to trick people into giving away their personal information. Be wary of unsolicited messages, and never click on links or enter personal information into a website unless you are sure it is legitimate. Treat email as guilty until proven innocent.
- Secure your device: Use a 6-digit passcode or biometric (fingerprint) to lock your mobile device, don’t share your device with anyone, and only install apps from the official app store.
- Use a password manager: A password manager can help you create and manage strong, unique passwords for all your accounts, making it easier to protect your personal information.
- Use strong, unique passwords: Use a strong, unique password for all your financial accounts and change them regularly. Avoid using easily guessable information such as your name, kids’ birthdate, or pet names.
- Avoid communicating sensitive information over email: Share sensitive information like logins, account numbers, and birthdates only in secure portals or using safe links.
By taking these steps, you can help keep yourself protected while online. If you are curious about how we protect your information here at Hill Investment Group, call me at 314-448-4023.
It’s 9am – Do You Know Where Your Money Is?
One of our team members recently received a check from a past employer. Why? A class-action suit. His former employer was found misbehaving – managing their employees’ retirement plans for their gain rather than for their employees’. As a result, the firm paid up, returning a small portion of inappropriate fees and lost returns. What a joke! This kind of dirty dealing is way too common, and at HIG, we invite you to rage against this machine. Vote with your wallet, choosing ONLY independent, fiduciary advice. Check out this list of the 10 Most-Fined Financial Services Firms. What you see may surprise you!
Turn Your Kid into a Password Superhero
We have talked in the past about how to keep your information safe online, but what about your kids’? In this era of Zoom classrooms, kids are more in charge of their cyber safety than ever before, and parents are sick of remembering and retrieving passwords. What’s the solution?
Below we’ve distilled some wisdom shared recently in this Wall Street Journal article.
- Tell them why – Passwords stop others from using your computer or pretending to be you over the internet.
- Long is best, and silly beats the rest! – Use a silly sentence as a password. Silly sentences are easy to remember and hard to guess. What’s the silliest sentence you can think of?
- Secrecy and consequences – Only you know your secret code. If you lose or forget it you might not be able to play with your friends. Trusting an adult with your password is ok.
- No peeking – Passwords are secret. Before and while you enter your password, make sure no one is watching.
- Check for the little padlock – The little lock in the address bar shows you have a secure connection, and it’s safe to enter your password.