Equifax, a national consumer reporting agency, has announced an extensive cybersecurity incident involving unauthorized access to consumer information.
Adding to our tendency to consume information quickly is the increasing focus by many application and game developers on ways to continuously engage us, getting us so hooked on a new app or game that we can’t bear to put our phones down, and we feel compelled to read every message. “Better to be discriminating about what items you respond to than to put your information in jeopardy,” says Dinga.
Another behavior that can put your personal information in jeopardy is the natural tendency to trust other people with whom we feel a connection. “This is where social engineering plays a huge role,” says Dinga. He defines social engineering as an opportunity for people to extract information from you to use against you. “They tap into your instincts to be friendly and socialize, then collect information they can use to engineer an attack,” he explains.
According to Dinga, “Social engineering can happen anywhere. You can be at a golf course or at a supermarket. In the past, you might have had innocent conversations. But now, because information is so valuable, people will use social engineering to target you and your data.”
“For example, let’s say you’re in a public place while talking with your colleagues about a new investment. Your adversaries may pick up non-public information that they can use for their own profit. Or you could be chatting with someone and mention that you are taking a vacation in two weeks. If you also mention where you live, they can come back and burglarize your residence.”
If an email seems suspicious, delete it without opening any attachments or links within it.
Avoid clicking on standalone links even if they appear to be from a friend. (“Most friends and coworkers will not send a bare link without some explanation around it,” says Dinga.)
1 - Source: 2017 Identity Fraud Study, Javelin Strategy & Research. https://www.javelinstrategy.com/sites/default/files/17-1001J-2017-LL-Identity-Fraud-Hits-Record-Highs-Javelin.pdf
The opinions expressed and information contained in this article are given in good faith, may be subject to change without notice, and are as of the date issued. The accuracy and completeness of this information is not guaranteed. Since each client’s situation is unique, please review your specific investment objectives, risk tolerance and liquidity needs with your advisor before a suitable investment strategy can be selected.