Protecting Yourself Against Cybercrime

That’s my three-year old grandson Maddox installing a firewall on his computer system to protect against the danger of malware, viruses, worms and hackers!

Of course it’s not really that easy! But read on for some practical steps anybody can take to protect against cybercrime.

Last spring I hosted a lunch on cybersecurity for financial advisors of high net worth clients. My expert speaker was a Vice President from Rubica, a leading company in the cybersecurity field. He pointed out that cybercrime was much more dangerous than some irritating pop-ups on your PC…think technology-based identity theft.

Your e-mail or cell phone is hacked and you or your advisors are impersonated. With your personal data compromised, criminals can access credit in your name (which will not likely result in a financial loss, but will be a big hassle to clear up), or they can engage in fake bills, wire-transfers and financial purchases that could result in financial loss.

Anti-virus software helps against common viruses, but is not foolproof and is useless if your password is hacked. A credit monitoring service like Lifelock can’t hurt, but it’s “after the fact” notification…not really a line of defense. According to Rubica, here are some simple lines of defense anybody can put into place:

  • Mix up your passwords using a password manager like Last Pass, 1Password or Dashlane.
  • Have two secure home Wi-Fi networks. Use one for your financial and other important business transactions. Use a different one for when your kids’ friends come over and ask, “hey, what’s your Wi-Fi password?”
  • Be careful with public Wi-Fi. In at least one hotel the hotel-branded Wi-Fi service offered was a complete fake. And to add to the insult the hackers charged for it (easily getting credit card info). Consider using your cellphone (which is harder to hack), or use your cellphone to create a personal hotspot.
  • Freeze your credit with the four agencies (Equifax, Transunion, Experian, Innovis). You’ll then only allow credit access if you provide your code. Freezing is more effective than credit reporting because it prevents access in the first place.

High net worth individuals that do lots of financial transactions on the internet may want to consider comprehensive cybersecurity protection from Rubica. Rubica is a human-based, adaptable solution that protects your internet access, communications, information and devices. They do it all for you….their fees start at $3,000/year. Details and contact information on Rubica are available here, or you can call me and I’ll put you together.

Stay safe out there, and make it a great day!