Protecting Your Online Security

May 19, 2017

lockWith recent reports on the WannaCry vulnerability, you may be concerned about the security of the websites and online services you use.

Be assured that Odlum Brown’s systems remain secure and have not been affected by this type of malware.  We constantly monitor and update our defenses as part of our commitment to protect your information.

It is always a good idea to be vigilant about cyber security. Here are some tips on what you can do to protect your online identity:

  • Protect your computer.
    • Ensure that you have an anti-virus program installed on your computer.
    • It is important to install any security-related updates recommended by your software provider(s). You can reduce the risks of malware or ransomware by keeping your software, applications and operating systems up-to-date. For example, if you use Microsoft Windows, be sure to run “Windows update” on a regular basis or turn on the automatic update feature where possible.
  • Never act on or respond to unsolicited emails. “Fraudsters” will often forge emails (i.e. unexpected invoices, job offers, awards or alerts) that contain links to fake websites designed to acquire your information (also known as “phishing”). Don’t respond to suspicious emails requesting personal information that could compromise your account. Never open attachments or click links from sources with which you are unfamiliar. If you are prompted to check your account, instead of clicking any links, it is better to log on directly from the official website or call the company to confirm the request.
  • Report any strange account activity. If you suspect that your email(s) or personal information has been compromised, please contact your Investment Advisor or Portfolio Manager immediately.
  • Safeguard your passwords. It is good practice to choose a password that is difficult for others to guess but is easy for you to remember. Try to avoid using the same password for multiple sites as “hackers” will often attempt to apply usernames and passwords from one website to gain access to another site. Keep your passwords private and update them on a regular basis.
  • Protect your personal information.
    • Sifting through your paper trail is one way an identity thief can obtain your information. Be sure to shred documents that may contain confidential information (such as old receipts, bank statements, notices of assessment or credit applications) before recycling them.
    • Be careful what personal information you share online. With the prevalence of social networking sites and chat forums, the seemingly harmless details you disclose online (such as your birthday) may allow “fraudsters” to impersonate you.
    • Make it a regular practice to clean out your email inbox and sent folders. These are common places where “hackers” would look for ways to exploit your information.
    • Remember to log off and close your web browser. This will prevent others from accessing your information after you have stepped away from your computer.

For additional resources on cyber security, visit Get Cyber Safefrom the Government of Canada.

The information contained herein is for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide financial, legal, accounting or tax advice and should not be relied upon in that regard. Many factors unknown to Odlum Brown Limited may affect the applicability of any matter discussed herein to your particular circumstances. Individual situations may vary.

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