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18 Cyber Security Tips for 2018

cyber security

18 Cyber Security Tips for 2018

Here are 18 helpful cyber security tips for 2018 to keep your electronic data and devices safe.

  1. You are an attractive target to hackers. Don’t think, “It won’t happen to me.”
  2. Lock your computer when you are away from it. Even a few minutes is enough time for someone else to destroy or corrupt your information.
  3. Avoid unintentionally installing spyware on your electronic devices; never click on links within pop-up windows.
  4. Be wary of free downloadable software; you may be exposing your computer to spyware programs by downloading programs from questionable websites.
  5. Install both anti-virus and anti-spyware software on your computer, and make sure they are compatible.
  6. Take a little time to review, understand and use the privacy settings on social networking sites.
  7. Turn off the option to automatically download attachments in emails.
  8. Be wary of unsolicited attachments in email, even from people you know.  Many viruses can “spoof” the return address, making it look like the message came from someone else.
  9. Use different passwords on different systems and accounts.
  10. Don’t use passwords with personal information that can be accessed or guessed; use capital and lowercase letters, numbers and characters.
  11. Report spam email messages.
  12. Never click on a link in an email from someone you do not know.
  13. Stay safe when shopping online. Only do business with reputable vendors. Some cyber attackers create malicious websites that appear to be legitimate; always verify the site before supplying any personal or financial information.
  14. Never plug an unknown USB drive into your computer to try to identify or locate the owner.
  15. Monitor your accounts (email, social media, banking, etc.) for any suspicious activity. If you see something unfamiliar, it could be a sign that you’ve been compromised.
  16. Disable Bluetooth when you’re not using it, to help prevent hacking.
  17. Hackers have strategies for attacking devices through public Wi-Fi. Keep firewalls enabled at all times; turn off file sharing when using  public Wi-Fi.
  18. Remember you can be a victim of cyber crime offline, too.  If someone calls asking for sensitive information, say no. Call the company directly to verify before giving out information.

Sources: Department of Homeland Security; Heimdal Security; Cisco

By |January 3rd, 2018|Current Affairs|

Ease Financial Burden of Funeral Planning

gravestones and funeral planningLosing a loved one is never easy. To make matters worse, it’s difficult to make major financial decisions when you’re feeling overwhelmed and heartbroken. Funerals can be a significant expense. The average cost is about $10,000 according to the funeral-pricing site Parting.com. Thankfully, understanding the different expenses, knowing your options and planning ahead can help ease both the emotional and financial burden of funeral planning.

“In the best of all worlds, you or a loved one will have included funeral arrangement wishes in your estate planning,” said Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, senior vice president at Charles Schwab. “That can save a lot of guessing, and money, for the people you leave behind.”

She recommends putting your preferences in writing and giving copies to family. Since the will is often not found or read until after the funeral, putting these preferences or instructions in your will is not advisable.

Tips to Ease Financial Burden of Funeral Planning

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the federal funeral rule allows funeral providers to charge a basic services fee that customers have to pay. The basic services fee includes services that are common to all funerals, regardless of the specific arrangement. These include funeral planning, securing the necessary permits and copies of death certificates, preparing the notices, sheltering the remains, and coordinating the arrangements with the cemetery, crematory or other third parties.

If budget is a concern, understand that you’re not legally required to purchase optional goods or services from your funeral provider. There are other businesses that may offer a lower price for things such as transportation, flowers, caskets, urns, facilities for memorial services, and more.

The FTC has an online guide that can help you plan manage your funeral planning and budget. www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0301-funeral-costs-and-pricing-checklist.

 

Image courtesy of tiverylucky at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
By |November 20th, 2017|Current Affairs, Estate Planning|

Stay Connected to Your Financial Goals

Life happens – family, work, school, fitness, illnesses and the list goes on. As you get tugged in many directions at once, how can you stay connected to your financial goals and dreams? In this brief video, Lupe Camargo explains the role a financial planner can play in helping you stay on track, even when your daily life tries to derail you.

By |November 6th, 2017|Financial Planning, Video Blog|

Bank Account Boosts Financial Literacy

Does your child need a bank account? In a word, yes. Learning to manage money may just give her a global competitive advantage over her peers when she becomes a young adult. A recent study suggests that having a bank account boosts financial literacy in teens. This brief video provides interesting details.

 

 

Video Transcript

Does your child need a bank account? In a word, yes. Learning to manage money may just give her a global competitive advantage over her peers when she becomes a young adult. A recent study suggests that having a bank account boosts financial literacy in teens.

According to results from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), one in five U.S. high school students (22 percent) lack basic financial literacy skills. The study evaluates the financial literacy of teens from 15 countries. China ranked number one overall, followed by Belgium and Canada. Chile, Brazil and Peru ranked as the bottom three.

American teenagers have made no appreciable gains in financial literacy in the three years since the previous PISA in 2012, when the U.S. ranked ninth among the countries studied. The Russian Federation and Italy showed measurable gains in average scores over that time, while Poland, the Slovak Republic, Australia and Spain showed measurable declines.

One data point of the study offers a potential bright spot for American parents. Among U.S. students, 53 percent reported that they have a bank account; and students with a bank account scored on average 42 points higher than students without a bank account. This suggests a simple and practical step parents can take to help boost financial literacy in their children, according to Ted Beck, CEO of the National Endowment for Financial Education.

“Get your child involved with a bank or credit union by having an account and learning to manage it during their teenage years,” he suggests. “We shouldn’t assume kids receive this education in schools. We need to step up and involve our children in regular, meaningful interactions with money.”

If you’d like help setting up an account for your child, talk with your personal financial planner or give us a call at Perspective Financial Services.

By |October 9th, 2017|Current Affairs, Video Blog|