In today’s ever-evolving world of technology, staying safe online can seem like a daunting task. We’ve gotten many questions recently about cybersecurity, and how clients and colleagues alike can protect themselves against fraud, identity theft, and phishing scams. We wanted to review three easy, actionable tips to help you ensure you’re as protected as possible
Tip 1: Nobody Will Call You
Often, scams happen over the phone. A seemingly well-meaning person representing the IRS or your bank will call to request identification confirmation, or something similar. The number one rule to remember here is that nobody will call you. Whether it’s from the IRS or your bank, no single representative should call you with questions about your account, or your taxes.
If you don’t recognize a number, but they’re saying they represent an organization you recognize, ask if you can call them back. Go to the company’s website (the IRS or your bank’s) to look up their customer service number and call to confirm. Don’t call back the number you don’t recognize.
Even if a call or text is coming from your actual bank, they shouldn’t feel frustrated by the fact that you want to confirm. This is a standard procedure. Remember: it pays to think twice and slow down before giving away your information!
Tip 2: Use SchwabSafe® To Protect Your Finances
At FPC Wealth, we leverage Schwab for many of our clients’ investing accounts and financial information. Luckily, Schwab has a system called SchwabSafe® to protect your identify and financial information. Schwab uses state-of-the-art technology to encrypt your login and accounts. They also have a team of cybersecurity experts available to assist and ensure your information stays safe. However, they can’t be responsible for keeping you 100% safe online! There are several things you can do to help:
- Set up Voice ID for passwords. Through Schwab, you have the ability to set up Voice ID to log into your accounts. This is a safer version of authenticating your identity.
- Enable two-factor authentication. Many people feel that two-factor authentication is a pain, but it can truly help to secure your account! Set up two-factor authentication wherever you can, receiving an authentication code to either your phone or email.
- Set up security alerts. You need to know if someone is accessing your account without your permission. Security alerts can flag unusual account activity, or when someone tries to sign in to your account from an unknown device.
- Check your accounts regularly. If you are familiar with how much is in your account, or what activity is recent, you’ll be able to notice if something is incorrect and report it quickly.
Tip 3: Be Skeptical and Report Suspicious Activity
It’s easy to dismiss small charges or account activity, especially if you’re not in the habit of checking your accounts regularly, or if you share an account with a significant other. We encourage you to be skeptical of anything you don’t recognize and don’t be afraid to call your financial planner or your Schwab representative to confirm whether charges are accurate. For more information visit SchwabSafe® by clicking here.
Ask Your Advisor
If you’re worried about cybersecurity or want to check on suspicious activity, we’re here to help. Contact your financial advisor at FPC Wealth with any questions you may have. Even if we aren’t the correct security contact, we can direct you to the right group to help alleviate your concerns. Reach out to us by clicking here.