OB Report
May 2019
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5 Tips for Being Cyber Safe

Cyber imageData security is very important to us at Odlum Brown and we regularly participate in security training and software upgrades to protect your data. Here are a few tips for how you can improve your cyber security at home:

1. Protect your email account with a strong password

A major portion of cybercrime thefts are linked to hackers gaining control of an email account. With control of your email account, a cybercriminal has the ability to impersonate you and make requests for products, services and fund transfers. In addition, your email account can be a treasure trove for access to your personal identity information. To protect your email account, make sure your password is strong and has a minimum of 10 characters. A good practice is to use a passphrase from a sentence you can easily remember.

Here is a simple passphrase example based on a Sun Tzu quote: “In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.” You can then add a number sequence such as “1600” and a special character “?” that you will remember. The resulting password for this example would be: 1600?Itmoctiao

Many email account providers also provide multi-factor authentication to verify your identity for account use verification. This will provide you with more assurance that your email account is safe. For example, if someone tries to change your password, it will be more challenging for them as they will need to have more bases covered such as access to your mobile phone, a secondary email address, etc.  In addition, you are alerted when an attempt is made to alter your password. If this option is available to you, you should take advantage of it; it’s both simple and convenient to activate.

2. Be careful with WiFi public hotspots

Avoid doing business or submitting any of your credentials over public WiFi. Also, do not download software applications over public WiFi. LTE Mobility services are a better option if you need to do business when using mobile.

3. Keep your computer and mobile device updated

Today’s operating systems from companies such as Apple and Microsoft are developed with security and data protection as a core deliverable. New vulnerabilities are constantly being identified and updates are being released to address them.

4. Beware of phishing

If you are being asked to do something or to provide personal information, be very careful. Verify the request is legitimate by making your own inquiry to confirm the person or agency making the request is not being misrepresented. Also, ensure you understand why the information or action needs to be taken. For more information on phishing, visit odlumbrown.com/phishing.

5. Home Internet

Change your default home router administrator and network access passwords for WiFi. Many home routers come equipped with a default user name and password that cybercriminals will attempt to use.

If you have any questions about how Odlum Brown protects your data, please do not hesitate to contact your Portfolio Manager or Investment Advisor.

For additional resources to enhance your cybersecurity awareness, please visit:

http://www.getcybersafe.gc.ca/index-eng.aspx or

https://www.sans.org/security-awareness-training/ouch-newsletter