Broker Check

Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft

| June 13, 2019
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In today’s world- where data breaches are common occurrences- it is crucial to understand the digital risks that could be faced. Remember back to November 2017, Uber confirmed they have been hacked with a breach that compromised the email addresses and phone numbers of 57 million riders and drivers?1 Or in September 2018 when Facebook attackers stole access tokens for 30 million user accounts?2 Just last week the Wall Street Journal published an entire section on rising cybersecurity risk and how companies are adapting (https://www.wsj.com/news/types/journal-reports-technology). Experiencing identity theft can be traumatic and financially painful. It’s important to be proactive in formulating a cybersecurity strategy.

The human element of cyber risk

Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting systems, networks, programs from digital attacks. It provides multiple layers of protection that are spread across computers, networks, data and programs with intentions to keep all information secure from hackers and computer misusage. While big hacks make the headlines, the biggest risk to most networks and individuals does not come from the “evil” hackers on the internet, but stem from users themselves “leaking” data accidentally.

Protecting your information

Protecting your personal and financial information is critical when it comes to surfing the web. It’s common for the average internet user to put a series of personal information online, whether it be through social media, online shopping, or internet banking. There are several tips you can consider when it comes to protecting your personal information:

  • Keep software up to date
  • Avoid phishing scams- beware of suspicious emails and phone calls
  • Practice good password management
  • Never leave devices unattended
  • Protect sensitive data
  • Install anti- virus protection
  • Back up your data

An extra layer of identity protection

Some companies offer credit protection services: such as LifeLock, Identity Guard, and Identity Force. They aim to help protect your identity, as well as assist you in recovering if you’ve experience identity theft. There are many alternative services that vary in price to fit your budget.

We urge our clients to take identity protection seriously, as failing to do so could introduce another risk to their financial life.

  1. “Uber concealed massive hack that exposed data of 57m users and drivers” The Guardian 11/22/17
  2. “Facebook hacker stole login information for 50 million accounts” The Verge 11/28/18

Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Financial planning offered through M Financial Planning Services, a Registered Investment Advisor and Separate Entity.

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