Broker Check
Steps You Can Take to Prevent Cyber Attacks

Steps You Can Take to Prevent Cyber Attacks

February 29, 2024

As a financial advisor, my main focus is guiding clients toward their financial goals while effectively managing and preserving their wealth. The growing frequency of cyber attacks has expanded the scope of safeguarding your wealth into areas we may not have considered before. It is now crucial to take proactive steps to protect yourself and your financial assets, especially in the online world. In this post, I provide practical tips and best practices to help safeguard against cyber attacks. Implementing these measures helps you reduce your risk and create safety for your personal and financial information.

Password Manager 

Having a password manager helps to securely store and organize all your passwords, allowing you to create strong and unique passwords for each of your accounts. This reduces the risk of having your accounts compromised due to weak or reused passwords. Additionally, a password manager helps streamline the login process and eliminate the need to remember multiple passwords. Sites like LastPass and 1Password are two options to consider.

VPN 

Using a VPN enhances online privacy by encrypting your internet traffic and masking your IP address. This helps to protect sensitive personal and financial information, such as login credentials and online banking transactions, from being intercepted by cybercriminals. A VPN should be used all the time on your iPhone, iPads, laptops, and other devices. Some good options for a VPN service include ExpressVPN and NordVPN.

Encryption 

Encrypting storage devices, such as laptops and external hard drives, helps protect the confidentiality and integrity of stored data. If the device is lost or stolen, encrypted data will be unreadable without the proper decryption key, reducing the risk of sensitive information falling into the wrong hands. Apple computers have FireVault installed on them which encrypts the information on the Mac. To enable FireVault follow these easy steps.

Firewalls

Using a firewall helps increase overall network security and reduce the risk of data breaches and cyber threats. Essentially, they help prevent unauthorized applications, programs, and services from accepting incoming connections.

Anti-Malware

Anti-malware programs help protect against a range of threats, including viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware, and other forms of malware that can cause harm to your computer or steal sensitive information. Regular use of anti-malware programs helps prevent system slowdowns, crashes, and other issues caused by malware infections, providing a critical layer of security for any computer or device. Some options for anti-malware protection include Malwarebytes and Avast.

Update Software 

Regularly updating software programs ensures that security vulnerabilities and bugs are fixed, protecting the software and any sensitive data it may handle. To increase your computer’s performance and lower the risk of attacks, keep your operating systems, software, and anti-malware programs updated.

Update Hardware

Using modern hardware can also help provide the best security advancements against cyber threats. Hardware includes routers, Wi-Fi, computers, phones, laptops, etc. 

Cyber Hygiene

Cyber hygiene refers to basic practices and habits to maintain the security and privacy of personal and sensitive information when using technology. To protect yourself, be more cautious about clicking on links that come to your email, which can be “phishing” attempts to get you to click on a fake link so the hacker can obtain your username and password. 

Public Wi-Fi and Cell Signals

Using public Wi-Fi networks can be risky because they often lack encryption and proper security measures, leaving sensitive information vulnerable to interception and theft by cybercriminals. Cell signals can also be spoofed by creating a fake cell tower, allowing an attacker to intercept voice and data communications, steal sensitive information, and even manipulate GPS data. To lower these risks, if you need to use public Wi-Fi, be sure to use a VPN.

Choosing the Right Devices 

The next time you are in the market to buy a new laptop, cell phone, or tablet, take the time to learn about the security and protection features your new device offers. Generally, Apple products tend to be more secure than others. However, the biggest weak spot in terms of security is human error! Many hacks rely on people making careless mistakes and revealing usernames, passwords, or other access to personal information.

Shield Your Wealth

We understand that not everyone may be familiar with the topics mentioned above. However, if safeguarding your personal information and financial accounts to protect yourself from cyber attacks is a priority, our team at Wellstone Wealth Management might be able to help educate you on your options and best practices. Feel free to contact us.

By creating a life-centered financial plan with your lifestyle in mind, Wellstone Wealth offers a Return on Life (ROL) alongside a return on your investments. If you need guidance on how to preserve your wealth and build financial safety, feel free to contact me at 503-594-1210 or info@wellstonewealth.com. Let us get started on enhancing your online security today.

About Greg

Greg Allen is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, Life-Centered Financial Planner, Managing Member, and second-generation owner of Wellstone Wealth Management, a life-centered financial planning firm that takes a unique Return on Life (ROL) approach to help their clients live the best life possible with the money they have. With over 20 years of experience, Greg holds fast to his mission of helping clients plan their finances around their lives, instead of the other way around, resulting in fulfillment, confidence, and a meaningful life. Greg also provides a caring, trusted long-term relationship and life-centered financial behavioral counseling. He specializes in working with people who have recently retired or are close to it (typically five years or less) and relates well to corporate executives and upper-management couples who often have complicated financial pictures and need help maximizing their wealth, reducing their taxes, and preparing for retirement so they can maintain their ideal lifestyle. 

When he is not helping his clients find meaning and purpose, you can find Greg spending time with his friends and family, especially his wife, Sandy, children, and grandchildren. As a native Oregonian, Greg loves the outdoors, visiting the Oregon Coast, and retreating to their family cabin in the mountains. He enjoys staying involved with his church, reading, watching sports, and anything to do with exercise and wellness. To learn more about Greg, connect with him on LinkedIn.

Information provided herein is provided by Wellstone Wealth Management, LLC. This information is for general informational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Information was compiled from third-party sources believed to be reliable and accurate but cannot be guaranteed. Investment advisory services are offered through Wellspring Advisors, Inc., an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Neither Wellstone Wealth Management, LLC nor Wellspring Advisors, Inc render any legal, accounting, or tax advice. All investments involve risk, are not guaranteed, and may lose value. We recommend that all investors consult with a qualified adviser to assess your personal situation before implementing any strategy.

Please remember to contact your advisor when your financial circumstances or objectives change. Your advisor may recommend adjustments to your financial planning and investment strategies to better suit your current situation.