Banking on Solid Cybersecurity
Identity theft occurs when criminals are able to procure the personal information of victims through deception. As a result, wealthy individuals tend to be key targets. But scammers do not discriminate; almost half of Americans experienced financial identity theft in 2021, resulting in an astounding $5.8 billion in losses.1 Imposter scams, such as government benefits applied for/received and credit card fraud, accounted for 60.2% of cases.2
While the numbers may seem alarming, there are ways to minimize cyberthreats. Banks are deploying a number of robust measures to combat the rise in cybercrime. But before we delve into what’s being done, it’s important to understand what you need protection against and how it can impact your wealth.
The most common ways cyberattackers gain access to sensitive financial information include ransomware, phishing, vishing and smishing. The last three are a special kind of cybercrime, categorized as social engineering attacks. While you have likely come across these terms before, here’s a brief refresher:
In each circumstance, cybercriminals attempt to trick victims into revealing account information that can lead to their assets. That’s why it’s important to bank with an entity which has the necessary cybersecurity infrastructure to protect your wealth.
The first step of practicing cyber safety is to stay vigilant. Here are a few tips:
Next, it’s important to thoughtfully manage your passwords for online banking and services. You’re likely aware of some protective measures, like refraining from password sharing and not leaving them where they can be discovered (such as a post-it note on your computer or a slip of paper in your wallet), but it might be wise to read our checklist of best practices, which provides everything you need to know about safe password management.
While many providers offer compelling banking services, consider speaking with your financial advisor to select one that offers an extra layer of protection against security breaches. A little preparation can go a long way. One of the things we do at BNY Mellon Wealth Management is offer free identity protection with our Total Wealth Checking Account. While we believe complimentary identity protection is an essential component of proactive cybersecurity for you and your family, our full suite of preventative measures is what truly differentiates the banking experience that we offer.
1 Insurance Information Institute: Facts + Statistics: Identity theft and cybercrime. Feburary 22, 2022.
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