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How to be Secure in a Digital World

It is cyber security month and scams are an ever increasing topic of importance when discussing how to protect our financial and personal assets. From cell phone calls, text messages, and emails, fraudsters are using more and more innovative ways to steal passwords and personal information, putting your financial accounts at risk. 

Don’t kid yourself…these criminals do their homework.

The highest class of scammers can hack correspondences, bring up seemingly personal information to trick you on the phone, or send you messages from (almost) recognizable emails. However, there are ways to protect yourself and ways to be prepared.

Do your own research.

Although fraudsters have various tactics, one way to protect yourself is confirming the information they present to you. 

Example: If you receive a call or text asking if you made a specific purchase, the scammer will often pose as your financial institution or from the company where the alleged purchase was made. They will likely ask for personal information. NEVER give personal information out over the phone or text. Your financial institution will NOT contact you asking for information in this way. Instead, call your bank from a known number (NOT the one the text or call provided for you) and report the situation.

Whether over call, text, or email, if the inquiry is regarding personal or financial information, double check the source. Call a known number connected to your bank or financial institution. Whatever you do, DON’T panic. Oftentimes fraudsters will tell you that the issue is “urgent” and “needs to be handled immediately”. Their stories will try to elicit a reactionary response from you that makes you overlook your cyber security safety steps. 

Protect yourself ahead of time.

It is important to recognize scams when they are happening, but it is also essential that you protect yourself ahead of time. 

  1. Create unique, hard-to-guess passwords. Do your best to not repeat passwords on different websites, particularly sites that contain sensitive personal information. 
  1. Keep your login credentials confidential. No financial institution should ask for your password over the phone. If you ever doubt who you are speaking with, call the institution from a known number and confirm. 
  1. Don’t rely on unknown phone numbers and websites. Don’t assume that the phone number or link presented in an email or text message is authentic. Initiate your own contact by seeking a published phone number or website to ensure that who you are talking to is legitimate. 
  1. Report suspicious texts and phone calls. If you are ever uncertain, don’t click a link or download anything. Even if the name on an email signature is familiar, check to make sure that the email address is legitimate. 

Don’t let fraudsters get the upper hand.

Be informed, prepared, and calm when handling uncertain situations. Double, or even triple, check your sources when finances are involved.

If you would like to talk further on how you can protect your assets, reach out! We are available at (480) 214-9596 or info@scfinancialservices.com, we offer a 30 minute no obligation consultation to assist you with these questions. 

Also, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn to be updated when we post our next article on a financial planning topic.

Thank you!