Malware software, smartphone mistakes, and Trusted Contacts...this issue provides tools and techniques to keep you safe.
The first 3rd of 2018 has been about recovery and renewal for us. After finally getting a new roof (great work by Ion and his team at Affordable Rooftec) we have been updating the inside of our home/office. Please come by and see us soon.
Howard's calendar this month includes:
Best Anti-Malware Software in 2018
What is Malware? Do you have enough protection for your devices? What measures should you take in case of emergency or a missed update?
Are You Making These Security Mistakes with Your Smartphone?
It’s tough to remember how we managed our daily lives without smartphones. How did we get around town without quick access to Google Maps? Pay our bills on time before we had credit card and banking apps? Or let someone know we were running late without text messaging?
Because completing tasks on smartphones is so easy, we tend to overlook the sensitivity of the data we store on them. And that could be a recipe for disaster. To help you safeguard your confidential data, we’re sharing five mistakes that most of us make when using our smartphones, along with some simple fixes that you can put in place today.
1) Not auto-locking our phones or using passwords
Most smartphone users don’t password-protect their devices, making information vulnerable if phones are lost or stolen.
What can you do?
Change your settings to require your phone to lock after a certain period of inactivity. This way, you’ll have to enter a password to get back in.
Set a strong PIN or password. Although having a password is the most basic form of security, it will serve as a first line of defense, giving you the opportunity to remotely wipe or track your phone if it is lost or stolen.
2) Connecting to public or unsecure Wi-Fi networks
Public Wi-Fi networks pose a major security risk. Cyber criminals connected to the same network can view your activity and any information you send over the network, including usernames, passwords, account information, credit card information, and e-mail messages.
What can you do? Turn off auto-discovery if your phone has that function! If you need to go online, just use cellular data instead of connecting to an unsecure network.
3) Using out-of-date apps and software
Outdated apps and mobile operating system software leave your phone open to security vulnerabilities.
What can you do?
Keep apps up to date. This mitigates risks by patching up holes that hackers could exploit to access your data. Most smartphones have an automatic update option for apps; use it!
Update your mobile OS software as soon as you are notified that an update is available.
4) Staying logged in to apps that store your financial information
What can you do? Don’t stay logged into apps, and clear your device’s browser history regularly.
5) Clicking on links sent through unsolicited texts or e-mails
Cyber criminals have crossed over from the desktop to the mobile world. They now deploy their phishing attempts through text messages or e-mails, hoping that you’ll click on their bogus links and provide them with your credentials or financial information.
What can you do? Just as with you desktop or laptop, be wary of clicking links and downloading attachments on your smartphone—don’t do it. Viruses can infect smartphones, too.
What the future holds
As more of us use mobile devices to communicate and transact business, more of our information will be out there tempting hackers to steal it. Don’t let your smartphone lull you into a false sense of security. Follow the simple advice shared here to help ensure the security of your personal data.
Trust Contact Authorization
New financial industry rules - designed to combat financial exploitation - now require that we ask you if you would like to add a trusted contact person ("TCP") whenever you open a new account or make changes to an existing account.
A TCP is someone at least 18 years of age whom we, or representatives of Commonwealth Financial Network®, the firm with whom we partner to manage your financial life, are authorized to contact and disclose information to about your account(s) in situations where:
We are unable to reach you for a period of time and need to confirm your current contact information or inquire about your health status
We may need to identify a power of attorney, successor trustee, or guardian
We have concerns you may be suffering from diminished capacity
We have suspicions you may be the victim of financial exploitation
All advisors are now required to ask their clients if they would like to add a TCP in an effort to combat the rampant problem of financial exploitation of vulnerable individuals. Although you are not required to provide one, we believe it is in your best interest to do so, regardless of your age or current circumstances, to help protect your assets now and in the future. We want to be prepared to help you if we notice signs of behavioral changes that lead us to believe that your ability to make sound financial decisions may be compromised. Please be assured that your designated TCP will not have authorization to provide us with trading or money movement instructions, and we will always attempt to first discuss any concerns we have with you directly.
No action is required of you at this time, but if you would like to add a TCP to your account(s), please call our office at (954) 424-2487.
If you have any questions or comments about the information shared here, please feel free to call us at (954) 424-2487 or e-mail email@example.com.
Additional information about H. A. Kramer & Associates, PA is available on the SEC’s website at www.adviserinfo.sec.gov. Click on Investment Adviser Search then select Individual and search for Howard Kramer - CRD #1742120, or by searching under the Firm, H. A. Kramer & Associates, P.A. - CRD #141751.
Financial Planning offered through H. A. Kramer & Associates, PA, a Florida Registered Investment Adviser, are separate and unrelated to Commonwealth.
Securities and Fee-based Asset Management offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser.
Fixed Insurance products offered through CES Insurance Agency.
Howard Kramer, CFP®, AIF® is a financial and life advisor located at 941 SW 88th Terrace, Plantation, FL 33324.