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How to Protect Your Finances from a Cybersecurity Attack

Do you think your financial accounts are at risk for a cyber attack? 

If you answered “yes,” you’re already on your way to helping protect yourself. Being aware that the threat is real is the first step, as you can then keep best practices in mind when it comes to your cybersecurity. Unfortunately, many people don’t take this threat as seriously as they should, potentially making them prime targets. With advancing technologies and new techniques, hackers can find a way into your accounts when you least expect it, stealing your money without leaving a trail. 

The good news is, you hold the power to prevent these people from breaking into your data and help keep your accounts safe. To help protect you, we have a few tips that you can follow to proactively protect your finances from a cybersecurity attack. 

Use Complex Passwords (and Update them Regularly) 

One of the most important ways to keep hackers from accessing your accounts is to use complex passwords. Stay away from common words or names, as those are easily guessed, and be sure to use upper and lower-case letters, as well as numbers and symbols. In addition, you should never use the same password for two different accounts. If you are unsure that you can keep up with passwords on your own, try a password manager. Most sites will also allow you to set up two-factor authentication, so you would enter your username and password, as well as get a text to your phone or an email, so that you could verify your identity. When offered, opt into this extra security measure, as it may just be what stands in your hacker’s way. 

Never Open Suspicious Emails

Phishing emails are, unfortunately, very effective. Hackers will create fake emails that look exactly like an email from your employer, bank, or other official entity. Often, when you click a link in a phishing email, it will give your computer a virus, allowing the hacker to access your files. Other times, the email will ask you for your login credentials, account number, or other confidential information. Don’t fall prey to this tactic! 

Here are a few ways that you can identify a phishing email: 

Keep Your Antivirus Software Up to Date

A good antivirus program will be your first defense against a cybercriminal, as long as you keep that program up to date. Open the software regularly to ensure that it doesn’t require any updates or scans that you need to approve. Though you may be busy, and your first instinct might be to deny the update until later, consider approving the updates as they come available. This could save you in the long run. 

Beware of Potential Scams

Scams via social media, text, email, and phone calls are everywhere. Never give your information out unless you are certain that the contact is legitimate. If something seems suspicious, assume that it is. If you aren’t sure, call the organization that is supposedly trying to contact you and verify with them that the communication is legitimate.

Work with a Financial Planner that Takes Cybersecurity Seriously

It is crucial that everyone connected to your financial accounts is doing everything they can to help protect your information. At Southwestern Investment Group, our advisors and staff are aware of the threats out there and follow all security best practices. Contact Southwestern Investment Group today to schedule a consultation!

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