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Online Security

Enhancing Online Security – Guidance From StrongBox Wealth During Cybersecurity Awareness Month

In this digital era where cyber threats perpetually loom, safeguarding your financial assets and personal information is paramount, especially for individuals with financial assets who are often prime targets for cybercriminals. It is reported that one in three Americans have their data breached each year. October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month and an appropriate time to review several vital steps needed to fortify your online security. Consider these ways to defend your identity, protect your financial well-being, and diminish the likelihood of being compromised.

Implement Robust Password Protocols
• Frequent Changes: Adopt a habit of changing passwords every 3-6 months to diminish the risks of unauthorized access. Most hacking-related breaches are due to weak or stolen passwords.
• Password Manager: Utilize a secure password manager like LastPass to manage complex and unique passwords across multiple accounts without the need to memorize them.

Deploy Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
• Enable MFA on all accounts where possible, particularly those related to financial dealings, to add an additional layer of security by requiring a secondary verification step (e.g., a temporary code sent to your mobile device). MFA blocks the overwhelming majority of cyberattacks.

Institute Diligent Email Practices
• Verify Sender Details: Hover over links in emails to preview the URL before clicking and corroborate the sender’s email address to avoid phishing schemes. Be certain of legitimacy before clicking any links, icons, or QR codes. Approximately 1.2% of all e-mails are malicious.
• Email Encryption: Utilize email encryption tools to securely communicate sensitive data.

Employ Virtual Private Network (VPN) Usage
• Engage a VPN to encrypt your online activity, shielding your data from cybercriminals, especially when utilizing unsecured networks, such as public Wi-Fi in hotels or restaurants.

Adopt Secure Online Shopping Habits
• Prioritize purchasing from well-known e-commerce platforms like Amazon and direct company websites. Be particularly wary of ad-driven purchases on social media, as these platforms often host deceptive ads.

Ensure Regular Digital Hygiene
• Cache Management: Regularly clear your browser’s cache to remove stored personal information that could be exploited if a breach occurs.
• Software Updates: Consistently update software and applications to shield against vulnerabilities that cybercriminals could exploit.

Your financial safeguards are interlinked with robust online security practices. Our guidance here serves an initial informative purpose and is not exhaustive. Reach out to us if you need additional ideas or assistance in tailoring a personal online security protocol. As your wealth advisor, StrongBox Wealth is committed through policy, procedure, and ongoing vigilance to protect your identity. During Cybersecurity Awareness Month, let’s dedicate time to preemptively reinforce your digital defenses with a design to reduce the possibility of cyber threats becoming a reality for you.

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