Earlier this summer, Charles Schwab hosted an event about cybersecurity and the importance of prevention to protect personal information. Retired FBI Special Agent Jeff Lanza, of The Lanza Group, was a speaker at the event and provided his audience with some very helpful tips and information about Simple Safeguards: Preventing Identify Theft. Jeff’s two-page handout provides an overview of myriad actions you can take to protect your information and your identity.

Below are some of the things everyone should do to prevent identity theft and protect their sensitive personal information. To view the whole document, please click here: Cyber Security Handout.

Protect Your Personal Information:

– Don’t carry your social security card and don’t provide your number to anyone unless a legitimate request

– Be aware that most Medicare cards use the SSN# as the Medicare number so be sure to also protect your card

– Never email financial account numbers or bank wiring instructions

Protect Your Documents:

– Shred your sensitive trash with a cross-cut or micro-cut shredder

– Don’t leave outgoing mail with personal information in your mailbox for pickup

Be Vigilant Against Tricks:

– Never provide personal information to anyone in response to an unsolicited request

– Never reply to unsolicited emails from unknown senders nor open their attachments nor click on their links

Protect Your Communications:

– Keep your computer and security software updated and protect your Wi-Fi with a strong password

– Don’t conduct sensitive transactions on a computer that is not under your control

Protect Your Digital World:

– Use strong passwords with at least eight characters including upper and lower case, numbers and symbols

– Use different passwords for various accounts and encrypt the file where you store passwords

– Consider using password management programs such as Keeper, LastPass or Dashlane

A popular program for malware removal is Malwarebytes

Social Networking Security Reminders:

– Login directly, not through links

– Sign out of your account after you use a public computer

Some Current Threats:

– Fake Notification E-Mails

– Suspicious Posts and Messages

– Money Transfer Scams

For more information, visit Jeff Lanza’s website www.thelanzagroup.com

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Ryan Patterson, Client Services & Operations