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Cybersecurity: Keeping your online data safe

Posted by Brad Bridgewater on Apr 22, 2016 11:59:22 AM
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cybersecurityYou work hard to meet the financial needs of the present and future. As a pilot, this means flying hundreds of thousands of miles to build that life and future. While you are preparing for and during retirement, it’s important to take steps to protect yourself and your hard-earned savings.

Identity theft occurs more frequently every year. This happens not only through broad data breaches that you see in the newspapers, but in everyday instances that arise when individuals fail to enable cybersecurity methods to protect themselves.

What Is Multifactor Authentication?

Multifactor authentication serves as a powerful safeguard against identity theft. You can enable it with your financial accounts or even with your email. When you activate it, it requires you to provide not only your username and password, but a separate security key as well. This typically consists of a number sent as a text message to your cell phone, with a one-time key for you to enter before you can log in. Stealing your username and password thus does no good for a would-be thief unless that person has possession of your cell phone as well.

How It Protects You

Every second matters in cases of identity theft. This becomes particularly problematic for pilots who are traveling for large portions of the day. You may have no way to learn of suspicious account activity for hours, allowing a great deal of damage to occur. When you enable multifactor authentication for your financial accounts, the cybersecurity benefits are probably obvious. You can prevent someone from accessing your checking account, your credit card information, or your investment account unless the same person not only gains access to your username and password, but also takes possession of your cell phone.

Unfortunately, your financial accounts themselves do not provide the only point of entry for criminals. When you enable cybersecurity to protect yourself, you should remember to protect your email as well. Identity thieves who access your email can see contact information for your family and friends and account information saved in electronic receipts. They can start reaching out to stores and people to gather more information, until they have enough to target your bank information and gain access to your money.

Keep Your Money Safe

Gmail, Yahoo, and most major email providers provide multifactor authentication, but you need to make a positive election to enable it. The extra step takes a little more time and makes it a little less convenient, but when balanced against the security of your investments, credit history and savings, it becomes a small price to pay. Protecting your email with this effective cybersecurity option helps prevent the backdoor access that undermines direct security of your financial data. While no cybersecurity step is completely foolproof, multifactor authentication creates additional obstacles to discourage anyone that might be trying to gain access to your money.

Check with your account providers to see if multifactor authentication is available for your online accounts.

For more information on keeping your financial accounts secure, schedule a complimentary consultation with Retirement Advisors of America.

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Disclaimer: This blog is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as individual investment advice. Actual recommendations are provided by Retirement Advisors of America following consultation and are custom-tailored to each investor’s unique needs and circumstances. The information contained herein is from sources believed to be accurate and reliable. However, Retirement Advisors of America accepts no legal responsibility for any errors or omissions. Investments in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds may increase or decrease in value. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Any of the charts and graphs included in this blog are not recommendations for the purchase and sale of any security. 

Topics: Financial Planning