Are you worried about getting your identity stolen? Are you doing everything you can to make sure that your financial information is safe?
As your accountant, BWTP P.C. takes every precaution to ensure the safety of your financial information. Even the most strict security procedures cannot prevent all instances of identity theft, mainly because the majority of the vulnerability lies with you.
Here are some quick tips that will assist you in the prevention of identity theft:
Always Use Secured Networks When Accessing Financial Information
Logging into your bank account over a local coffee shop’s Wi-Fi is not recommended. These hotspots have lowered the security to make it easier to access the connection without much trouble. Consequentially, this gives the opportunity to individuals that can access your connection. Encrypted wireless networks or your mobile carrier network are recommended instead of unsecured networks.
Be Aware of Exactly What You’re Downloading
Take precautions on what information you download. Free software and files from an unknown source should be avoided. These programs and files can contain malicious software that can access your other files on your computer. This spyware, after being installed and run, can access your sensitive information and relay it to the host site. Download from trusted sources and making sure you have current anti-spyware software will help prevent these intrusions.
Do Not Fall for the Convincing Email Phishing
“Phishing” is the activity of defrauding an online account holder by posing as a legitimate company. Most of the time it is easy to spot a phony email trying to get pieces of sensitive information. Be wary of what institution the emails are coming from. Typically, no financial institution will ever ask for a PIN, password, or other sensitive information through email. Take the 30 seconds to research the sending if there is any suspicion. Also note, the IRS will always mail you a letter, they will NEVER contact you first through email or by phone.
Keep Your Passwords Secret and Make Them Strong
Do not keep your passwords stored on your computer and make sure they are strong and kept safe. If it is necessary to write the passwords down, keep them in a secure, private location. Using a combination of letters, numbers and symbols will also increase the security of your information. Avoid using easily-guessed information or details about yourself for passwords and PINs.
Be Sure to Shred
When disposing of any financial information, shredding the documents to avoid the dumpster-divers can be an easy deterrent. On top of being wary of emails and phishing, old-school dumpster-diving is still a threat today. Shred any documents that you are getting rid of to add another layer of security for your private information.
Please do not hesitate to call Clint Carder at (314) 576-1350 if you have any questions or concerns about the security of your financial information.