data security

From Charles Schwab

If you think about the growing role the Internet plays in our financial lives, it’s easy to get nervous — but there are signs that an ever-vigilant public is waking up to online threats and adopting better data security practices.

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, the total number of data breaches fell 23% from 2017 to 2018. A considerable improvement from the years before, which saw a 45% growth in breaches between 2016 and 2017.

To build upon this promising news, a few straightforward steps can help protect your investments online and help prevent identity theft.

Consider these 5 internet safety tips to help protect your personal information while online.

Internet Safety Tip #1: Use unique passwords

One of the simplest ways to keep your personal information secure is by varying passwords. According to the 2019 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, well over half of hacking-related breaches leveraged stolen credentials.

Varying your passwords will help make it tougher for cybercriminals to use credentials stolen from one site to access your data on another.

Internet Safety Tip #2: Vary your usernames

The principle is the same as with passwords: Using different logins, especially for financial apps, can provide an added layer of protection. Avoid using your primary email address as your username whenever possible.

Internet Safety Tip #3: Verify your identity

Use two-step verification to help protect your personal data online. This is one of the most secure ways to log in to your app or device.

As the name suggests, “two-step verification” requires two steps to log into an account. For example, an app may require you to provide your password in combination with your thumbprint or a passcode sent via text to your smartphone.

Internet Safety Tip #4: Use private internet connections

Before opening a financial app or making a purchase online, find a private location where onlookers cannot see your screen and make sure you’re connected to a private, secure Wi-Fi access point.

Internet Safety Tip #5: Keep your information up-to-date

Update your contact information and enable alerts on all your financial apps to ensure you receive timely notice of suspicious account activity, allowing you to react more quickly to unauthorized use.

The bottom line

Implement these simple safety measures to help secure your financial information and guard against someone stealing your identity.

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About LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute

Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC (LRPC) Monday Morning Minute is crafted to provide decision-makers with important information about the economy, investments and corporate retirement plans in a format that allows a reader to consume the information in less than 60 seconds. As an independent, objective investment adviser, LRPC has access to many sources of research and shares the best and most relevant information with its readers each week.

About Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC

Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC (LRPC) is a Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based independent, objective Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) providing investment advisory, fiduciary compliance, employee education, provider management and plan design services to employer retirement plan sponsors. The firm specializes in Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) strategies for retirement plans and is a pioneer in the field. LRPC currently has contracts in place to provide consulting services on nearly a half billion dollars in plan assets. For more information, please contact Robert C. Lawton at (414) 828-4015 or bob@lawtonrpc.com or visit the firm’s website at https://www.lawtonrpc.com. Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC is a Wisconsin Registered Investment Adviser.

Important Disclosures

This information was developed as a general guide to educate plan sponsors and is not intended as authoritative guidance, tax, legal or investment advice. Each plan has unique requirements and you should consult your attorney or tax adviser for guidance on your specific situation. In no way does Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC assure that, by using the information provided, a plan sponsor will be in compliance with ERISA regulations. Investors should carefully consider investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. The statements in this publication are the opinions and beliefs of the commentator expressed when the commentary was made and are not intended to represent that person’s opinions and beliefs at any other time. The commentary does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC and should not be construed as recommendations or investment advice. Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC offers no tax, legal or accounting advice and any advice contained herein is not specific to any individual, entity or retirement plan, but rather general in nature and, therefore, should not be relied upon for specific investment situations. Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC is a Wisconsin Registered Investment Adviser and accepts clients outside of Wisconsin based upon applicable state registration regulations and the “de minimus” exception.