Your money is in a digital vault. What if someone you don’t know has the password?
As many aspects of our lives and businesses operate online, endless breadcrumbs of information populate our digital paths. Various forms of online activity, such as posting vacation photos on our social media profiles or logging into accounts on public wifi, leave footprints that can be followed. If unguarded and spotted by the right hacker or cybercriminal, these trails lead directly to some of our most important assets: our wealth, investments, personal information, and data.
In this article, we talk about common cybersecurity threats. Let’s look at the specifics and how you can protect your assets and wealth from cyberattacks.
Crime In the Age of Digitization
Cybercrime is a spectrum of malicious activity that targets computer systems, data systems, or private information with the intent to wreak havoc or reign in a profit for the hacker. Cybercrime is conducted by individual hackers or organizations with advanced and well-organized hacking operations.
Types of crime range from:
Theft of financial data
Theft of corporate or business data
Source: International Monetary Fund
Online Activities That Make You Vulnerable to Cyberattacks
Hackers use a wide variety of data to piece together the key to your assets. According to Security Magazine, a leading study in the realm of online hacking suggested that a hack happens every 39 seconds.
How does this happen?
Hackers target various sets of activities and look for specific types of information. Sometimes, attacks are first conducted with automated scripts seeking out vulnerabilities on thousands of computers. Then, they go from there.
Private information shared publicly
People inadvertently volunteer information via social media and public accounts which can be used by hackers to choose targets and begin piecing together information.
Email fraud via social engineering tactics
Hackers can deploy various techniques like emulating someone you know to get you to open an email, click a link, or take some action that leaves your device unprotected. If you are a public figure or high-net-worth individual, it can make your accounts more targeted.
Public wifi use
The luxury hotel lobby’s wifi—although password protected—is no real barrier to experienced hackers. Using your private computer, logging in to private accounts via wifi in, say, a luxury location or airport lobby, can present an easy opportunity.
How to Protect Your Wealth and Your Assets from CyberCriminals
So, how do you minimize the risk to your assets and private accounts?
Here are some common safeguards:
Avoid public Wifi use without a VPN. Especially when logging into your email, banking, or other financial accounts. A VPN (virtual private network) is a type of encrypted tunnel that protects digital information. It masks your IP address and makes it harder to breach your network connection.
VPNs offer protection while you make online transactions and safeguard online banking or personal information on your device. There are many VPN options available that can be installed on your device via free download or subscription service.
Develop safety protocols when working with financial transactions. If you or your financial manager are about to engage in a major transaction, having a way of double verifying emails and communications can be an effective safeguard.
Be proactive about monitoring your accounts. Understand where your assets are held and be proactive about the monitoring process. You can set up alerts every time a transaction is made.
Have a conversation with your financial advisor or representative. Discuss steps they are taking to protect accounts. According to the Financial Services Information and Analysis Center, there is a rise in cybercrime that targets retirement accounts. Research from Digital Shadows indicates that cybercriminals have their eyes on wealth management companies as global assets they manage are projected to grow by up to 5.6%. Find out how your money is being managed and protected.
Work With a Wealth Management Company That Prioritizes Account Security
Your data is your business. Your wealth and assets are a result of what you have built and worked for. Protect it with the right measures. Financial planning and strategy are a big part of securing your future, but security has become a major component of that as well.
This material prepared by TrinityPoint Wealth is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to serve as a substitute for personalized investment advice or as a recommendation or solicitation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. Opinions expressed by TrinityPoint Wealth are based on economic or market conditions at the time this material was written. Economies and markets fluctuate. Actual economic or market events may turn out differently than anticipated. Facts presented have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. TrinityPoint Wealth, however, cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of such information, and certain information may have been condensed or summarized from its original source. Materials herein were prepared by AGI Marketing. TrinityPoint Wealth and AGI Marketing are not affiliated.