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  • Writer's pictureDoug Lagerstrom

Password Protected | More Complicated Than It Sounds

As computers and smartphones in particular and the internet in general proliferates in our society the threat to your financial security has evolved as well. Gone is the risk of bank robbers stealing your cash. The FDIC has eliminated that threat to your savings. Smart credit cards (those with the chips) are making it more difficult for thieves to get access to your credit in that manner. Even identity theft, as a way of getting your funds, is changing through the use of cyberspace.

The latest way thieves are trying to get to your money involves fraudulent wire transfer requests. By hacking your email, usually through an unsecured public Wi-Fi connection, criminals use sophisticated search tools to locate financial email to or from your financial advisor. They then email a wire request to the financial advisor requesting the funds be urgently sent to a bank overseas. Because the email comes from your address the advisor may believe it is a legitimate request.

How do we address this issue? Unfortunately, the best way to protect you is for us to enact additional security protocols. When you request a wire transfer to an unrecognized (one to which you have not previously transferred funds) bank account, you will get a phone call from a supervisor at Kovack Securities before the transfer can be sent. Additionally, all emails we send or receive that contain account numbers are processed though special encryption software that needs to be decrypted by the receiving email address.

My Login passwords to websites containing your information are more sophisticated and often require capital letters, numbers and a special character to log in. Many require this password to be changed quarterly. All this extra work is a real hassle. However, if you have ever been the victim of identity theft you know just how inconvenient that can be. A little precaution ahead of time, however inconvenient it may be, can often save great headaches down the road. And help secure your investments as well


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