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Protecting Yourself and Your Personal Information

Cybercriminals are always looking for new ways to steal your data, and they become even more brazen during a time of crisis. Learn what you can do to protect yourself from ongoing cyberthreats.

Use Strong Passwords

  • Create strong and unique password phrases that are at least 10 characters long using uppercase, lowercase, alphanumeric, and special characters. For example: tH35Ky1sN0T81uE! (Theskyisnotblue!)
  • Don’t use common words or personal information, like name or date of birth.
  • Use a password manager to generate strong passwords that will be stored in a secure vault, so you’ll only need to remember one.
  • Change your password at least every 90 days.

Safeguard Your Accounts

  • Be proactive—monitor your accounts regularly for unusual activity, especially during the holiday season.
  • Set up fraud alerts on all your accounts and promptly report unauthorized transactions.
  • Enable multifactor authentication or two-factor authentication to reduce the risk of your account being compromised.

Secure Your Device

  • Use passcodes and utilize lock screens on your mobile devices and computers.
  • Don’t store bank account information or passwords on your mobile devices.
  • Use antivirus and antimalware software and keep it updated.

Avoid Phone Scams or Social Engineering Attacks

  • Beware of callers who create a sense of urgency and pressure you to comply with demands.
  • Never disclose login credentials or personally identifiable information over the phone.
  • Ask probing questions to identify unknown callers and their intentions.
  • Avoid malicious software downloaded on your system and don’t click on unknown links to “verify” your information, especially those requesting financial information or passwords.

Watch Out for Phishing Attempts

  • Never click on any unknown links within emails, especially those asking to verify personally identifiable information.
  • Ignore emails with urgent requests requiring an immediate response.
  • Avoid poorly written emails that include suspicious attachments or links.
  • Beware of communications from a public email domain, such as Yahoo! or Google, or a misspelled name, such as “Commonwaelth.”

Use Public Wi-Fi with Caution

  • Avoid sending personal information on a public wireless network, like those in a coffee shop, library, airport, hotel, and other public places.

Report Suspicious Emails

  • Notify your email provider, such as yahoo.com, gmail.com, or any other providers.

If you have questions about how to help secure your personal information, please reach out to me. Click here to view my calendar and schedule an appointment that is convenient for you!

Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network,® Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser. © 2020 Commonwealth Financial Network

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