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Cybersecurity: How to Protect Yourself Online

Cybersecurity issues are a constant threat to all of us—as individuals and in our businesses and organizations. These threats require constant vigilance as criminals find new ways to infiltrate online systems.There are many ways to stay safe on the internet, whether you are making a business transaction or sharing a social media update.

Internet Safety tips for protecting yourself online:

1. Safeguard your email accounts.

  • Before opening an unsolicited email, make sure you know it’s from a reputable source.
  • Do not click on links or pop-up ads in unsolicited emails.
  • Be aware that many scams involve hacking email accounts and impersonating account owners to gain access to sensitive information and/or money.

2. Be strategic with user names and passwords.

  • Make passwords strong with 8-12 characters. Include upper-case and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols.
  • Change your passwords often or use a password vault.
  • Never use personal information that is easily found online in your user names or passwords.
  • Use a password manager, such as: LastPass, Password Safe or for portable apps, KeePass and keep anti-virus software up-to-date.

3. Limit what you share online.

  • Be selective about what you share on social media.
  • Set privacy and security settings on web services and devices to match your personal comfort level for sharing information.

4. Surf the internet safely.

  • Use only trusted networks, apps and computers.
  • Keep in mind that secure website URLs begin with https, not http.
  • Never click on links or attachments from sources you don’t know.

5. Protect your money.

  • Review financial statements when they become available, and report anything suspicious immediately.
  • Never send personal or account information through unsecure channels like email, chat or text.
  • Know the guidelines from your financial institution, wealth manager and others for verifying client information and requests for disbursing funds.

Here at Windward Wealth Strategies, we regularly review cybersecurity threats and inform our clients of issues as they arise. We also work with our primary financial custodians, Fidelity Investments® and Charles Schwab®, to review ways to protect our firm’s data and provide you, our clients, with cutting-edge resources for protecting yourself online.If you have cybersecurity concerns and would like to know more about how to protect yourself online, give us a call!