The recent “WannaCry” ransomware attack brought cybersecurity back to the forefront for many clients, and some may have a heightened interest in what we are doing to ensure your assets and your information is secure. Keeping your information secure from criminals is a top priority for our firm. To better protect you and your accounts from cybersecurity threats, we continuously review security procedures to ensure that we are following best practices recommended by the custodians, financial institutions, and industry experts with whom we work.
While we feel we are taking clear and actionable steps in our own firm’s security measures, cyber fraud continues to escalate, is becoming more sophisticated, and is ever changing. These threats take various forms, including email scams (e.g., phishing), where criminals obtain investors’ identity and use that information to commit various forms of wire fraud. For your convenience, we have compiled a document that describes these phishing scams and other tactics that we believe investors should be aware of.
As a fiduciary to your financial accounts, we are encouraging our clients to embrace a series of measures to help protect their identity and mitigate potential security risks. Our investor protection checklist outlines some best practices for investors across six key areas to help you:
- Manage your devices
- Protect all passwords
- Surf the Web safely
- Protect information on social networks
- Protect your email accounts
- Safeguard your financial accounts
Please carefully review this checklist with all members of your household. We also ask that you do the following:
- If you change a current address, notify us so that we can update our records.
- If you suspect that your email account has been compromised, call us immediately.
- If you suspect that your Fidelity account has been compromised, call us immediately. If it’s after business hours, call us at (206) 623-6722 and call 1-800-FIDELITY (1-800-343-3548) and ask for the Customer Protection Team to inform them of suspicious account activity.
Beyond these measures that you should take, what are we doing on your behalf? Here is a list of some of the key areas we emphasize as part of our firm’s Data Security Plan:
- Work only with best-in-class third-party providers/partners such as Fidelity (custodian), eMoney (financial planning), Redtail (CRM), and BlackDiamond (performance reporting).
- Utilize strict money movement authorization practices, including verbal confirmation for any outgoing transfers
- Use secure email services (ShareFile) and cloud storage providers (Box.com).
- Engage in comprehensive training & monitoring of all firm employees.
- Encourage clients to utilize eDelivery of financial documents in order to reduce the opportunity for mail fraud and unauthorized access to your information
- Maintain business continuity plans, alert procedures, and a data security team.
- We are the first to acknowledge that some of these processes and procedures and best practices can feel like a burden on you. However, we believe this small burden is a price worth paying for the safety and security of your hard-earned assets and privateinformation.
Do not hesitate to contact us with questions or concerns about how we protect your accounts or the steps you and your family can take to better protect yourselves and mitigate risk.In some ways, what we have shown here is just scratching the surface of what we do and what’s needed from you in this rapidly changing environment. We are proud to partner with experts in the financial services and information systems industries to continually deliver practical expert advice and to keep our operations in line with accepted best practices. As always, we appreciate the opportunity to help you achieve your financial goals.