With cyber security being increasingly important, we have listed a few tips to safeguard your financial information and online accounts.
- Here is a link to our record retention guide:
Regularly download any pertinent financial information such as bank statements, credit cards, financial statements of your business, and your tax returns. Make sure after you download there is a backup somewhere. Ideally, you have an auto backup feature whether it’s to a server for a larger business, zip drive, or a cloud service storage. Be sure that any physical backups are kept off-site and not at the same location.
- Log into your bank accounts daily, especially for your business accounts. Check on your transactions making sure everything looks good.
- Have Multi-Factor Identification (MFI) on everything – bank accounts, credit card accounts, retirement accounts, etc.
- Who needs your Social Security number and when should you refuse to give it out? Your social security is the key to your identity. Your best protection is to only give it out when absolutely necessary.
- You are doing something that is reportable to the IRS or your state’s tax department; and/or
- You are engaged in a financial transaction that is subject to the Customer Identification Program. This is a provision of the USA Patriot Act which requires financial institutions to verify your identity
Many organizations ask for your Social Security numbers out of habit. Some want to use it as your identification number or to be able to collect if you don’t pay them. Don’t automatically give it out when asked- stop and think. Inquire why they need it.
- Be careful with opening emails and texts with unknown links. Hackers have become very good at imitating official agencies and businesses. Whether it’s the IRS or the State of Wisconsin and you receive something funny or if you are in doubt, DO NOT click on it. Touch base with the sender over the phone to confirm or talk to your IT administrator.
- If you or someone you know has been hacked and their information was compromised, contact the agency where it occurred. They should be covered with a cyber insurance policy.
If you own a business, have a cyber insurance policy in place. The hackers and the ransom of your information can be catastrophic if you don’t have this insurance. They have trained professionals that will lead you through the process of dealing with your situation and guide you and your team to resolve it.
- Please review this article on protecting your information with the state of Wisconsin by click here
- If possible, do not keep your passwords stored on your computer. If you choose to make sure your computer and phone both have password protection, they cannot get into it.
These tips will support in safeguarding your information and make you feel safe knowing you’ve covered your bases.