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Steel Valley Raymond James Event on Cyber Security and Identity Theft Encourages Online Safety

As technology becomes ever more involved in our daily lives, cyber security increases in importance and identity theft remains as present as ever.

On September 14, 2016, Steel Valley Investment Group of Raymond James held a Cyber Security and Identity Theft discussion aimed at educating clients and the public.

While times have changed, theft remains an issue. For example, in 1996, merchants took in $13 billion in bad checks, but in 2012, global credit card fraud reached $12 billion.

Why has this changed? In a room of 50 people each carrying a smartphone, there is more computing power than all of Europe in the 1970s. Each individual phone has more technology that it took to land a person on the moon.

To visualize the full impact of the problem, just look at Norse’s live cyber-attack record from across the globe.

Who is responsible for these attacks? Crooks, spies, hacktivists, insiders & partners. The attacks range from well-organized attempts, to nation states looking for political gain, to bad people who do bad things.

Their goal is simple: to profit from you, by either directly stealing money or by stealing data to sell. Sadly, you no longer need to be a tech expert to do this yourself and websites exist to broker services to hack for you or to package and sell the stolen data.

So, what can you do to protect yourself? Let’s look at both areas.

Cyber Security

  • Always lock your electronic devices with passwords, and keep their software updated- including your operating system and antivirus software.
  • Use multiple emails, and one specifically only used for financial transactions- and we don’t mean online shopping!
  • Only use trusted computers for any information sensitive web use. Opt out of emails lists you no longer want, and backup your data.
  • Remember, Microsoft will not call you to tell you your computer is infected.

Identity Theft

  • Pay attention to your account statements (bank and insurance), and ensure there are no errors.
  • Check your credit reports: Equifax, Transunion and Experian all offer free reports once every 12 months, stagger then so you receive a report every 4 months. Report any errors right away.
  • Use credit cards and not debit cards as you have more protection.
  • Eliminate potential problems- cross shred sensitive documents, mail all bills into a secure postal drop box, and if you receive a questionable call- hang up and call the company back on a number you know is correct.
  • Remember, the IRS will never call you to report an issue; they will mail you a letter.

How Raymond James helps protect you:
We stop approximately 114 attacks per month. We use a multi prong approach to safeguard your data with us, detect any breach as quickly as possible and that have a plan in place to correct issues promptly. We encourage you to visit our privacy and security page for the full disclosures.

Please visit the following websites for more information:

Raymond James public site for Privacy and Security

Filing a complaint with the FTC

Report identity theft and get a recovery plan with the FTC

Get your free credit report

Register for Do Not Call

Get scam alerts

How to set up a Google alert to protect your Privacy

The opinions expressed are those of the writer and subject to change at any time. Information contained herein was received from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy is not guaranteed.

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