Tips for Preventing Cyber Fraud
Cyber fraud is a serious threat and constant vigilance is key. Yeske Buie takes our role in helping protect your assets very seriously, and there’s also action you can take to protect yourself and help secure your information. With the help from our team at Schwab, we share this checklist that summarizes common cyber fraud tactics, along with tips and best practices. Many suggestions may be things you’re doing now, while others may be new. We also cover actions to take if you suspect that your personal information has been compromised. As always, if you have questions, we’re here to help.
Cyber criminals exploit our increasing reliance on technology. Methods used to compromise a victim’s identity or login credentials – such as malware, phishing, and social engineering – are increasingly sophisticated and difficult to spot. The goal of a cyber fraud criminal is to obtain information to access to your account and assets or sell your information for this purpose. Fortunately, criminals often take the path of least resistance. Following best practices and applying caution when sharing information or executing transactions makes a big difference.
How we can work together to protect your information and assets.
Safe practices for communicating with the Yeske Buie team.
- Proactively keep us informed regarding changes to your personal information.
- Expect us to call you to confirm unusual email requests to move money, trade, or change account information.
- Feel free to establish a verbal password with our firm to confirm your identity or request a video chat.
How Schwab protects your account.
Schwab takes your security seriously and leverages protocols and policies to help protect your financial assets. Below are actions you can take and resources to assist you in keeping your account safe:
- Confirm your identity using Schwab’s voice ID service when calling the Schwab Alliance team.
- Use two-factor authentication, which requires you to enter a unique code each time you access your Schwab accounts.
- Review the Schwab Security Guarantee, which covers 100% of any losses in any of your Schwab accounts due to unauthorized activity.
Here’s what you can do to protect your accounts.
- Be aware of suspicious phone calls, emails, and texts asking you to send money or disclose personal information. If a service rep calls you, hang up and call back using a known number.
- Never share sensitive information or conduct business via email; accounts are often compromised.
- Beware of phishing and malicious links. Urgent-sounding, legitimate-looking emails are intended to tempt you to accidentally disclose personal information or install malware.
- Don’t open links or attachments from unknown sources. Enter the web address in your browser.
- Check your email and account statements regularly for suspicious activity.
- Never enter confidential information in public areas. Assume someone is always watching.
Exercise caution when moving money.
- Leverage Schwab’s electronic authorization tool to verify requests. Featuring built-in safeguards, this is the fastest and most secure way to move money.
- Review & verbally confirm all disbursement request details thoroughly before providing your approval, especially when sending funds to another country. Never trust wire instructions received via email.
Adhere to strong password principles.
- Don’t use personal information as part of your login ID or password and don’t share login credentials.
- Create a unique, complex password for each website. Change it every six months. Consider using a password manager to simplify this process.
Maintain updated technology.
- Keep your web browser, operating system, antivirus, & anti-spyware updated, and activate the firewall.
- Do not use free/found USB devices. They may be infected with malware.
- Check security settings on your applications and web browser. Make sure they’re strong.
- Turn off Bluetooth when it’s not needed.
- Dispose of old hardware safely by performing a factory reset or removing and destroying all stored data.
Use caution on websites and social media.
- Do not visit websites you don’t know, (e.g., advertised on pop-up ads and banners).
- Log out completely to terminate access when exiting all websites.
- Don’t use public computers or free Wi-Fi. Use a personal hotspot or a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
- Hover over questionable links to reveal the URL before clicking. Secure websites start with “https”.
- Be cautious when accepting “friend” requests on social media, liking posts, or following links.
- Limit sharing information on social media sites. Assume fraudsters can see everything.
What to do if you suspect a breach.
- Call our office (800-772-1887) or your Schwab Alliance team (800-515-2157) immediately so that they can watch for suspicious activity and collaborate with you on other steps to take.
- Request our “How to Respond to a Data Breach” flyer for more information.
- StaySafeOnline.org: Review the STOP. THINK. CONNECT™ cybersecurity educational campaign.
- Protecting Kids Online: Focused on online security for kids, from the Federal Trade Commission.
- FBI Scams and Safety provides additional tips, https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety.