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When it comes to personal information, you can’t be too careful. Because we depend on technology to manage many aspects of our daily lives, it’s important to remain vigilant.  


Here are eight things you can do to avoid falling victim to cybercrime:


Use strong passwords with a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, punctuation marks, and special characters, and change them every three to six months. Don’t use the same passwords for different applications and websites.


Don’t log in to financial accounts on public computers, and don’t visit financial sites through public Wi-Fi networks. Information you send and receive over these networks can be intercepted by others.


Set up multi-factor authentication (MFA) to add another layer of protection to your normal password. This includes a biometric, authenticator or text-based code that needs to be entered to access a password manager you have enabled on a particular device (i.e., Apple’s password manager).


Don’t use public phone charging stations or sync your phone with rental cars. Cyberthieves may be able to access your phone number, contacts, call logs, text messages and GPS history when you plug in.


Don’t answer unsolicited phone calls. Let them go to voicemail. If it appears to be an important call from your bank or credit card company, call them back using a previously verified number (i.e., one you’ve used to communicate with them in the past).


Don’t overshare on social media. Even a seemingly innocent photo of a boarding pass when you’re on vacation can be used to access sensitive information, such as your address and credit card details.


Don’t instinctively click on links, scan QR codes or respond to emails, social media posts and text messages. Even if they appear to come from people you know, it’s possible they are being impersonated.


Bookmark important websites and only access those sites via the bookmark. This ensures you always land in the right place.


Additional precautions


With today’s technological advancements, particularly in artificial intelligence and deepfake technology, there are even more reasons to practice heightened vigilance. At a high level, deepfake video technology can be used to impersonate reputable individuals, including those you might follow on social media for financial guidance. Here are a few tips to help gauge the authenticity of such a video:


Pay attention to the cheeks and forehead. Does the skin appear too smooth or too wrinkly? Is the agedness of the skin similar to the agedness of the hair and eyes? Deepfakes are often incongruent on some dimensions.


Pay attention to slurring. Deepfake audio scams will have voices that may slur certain words as the technology struggles to create words and phrases the real subject did not say in the voice samples.


Listen for background noise. Listen to the recording carefully. Is it crisp and clean, or is there the sound of static? Deepfakes may have extra noise in the background.


Your security is always top of mind


Digitization opens a world of possibility, but it can also lead to vulnerability. BNY Mellon’s cybersecurity program is designed to prevent and effectively respond to cybersecurity threats as well as the multifaceted nature of cyberattacks. It protects the security, integrity and delivery of information, so that we can support the objectives of our company and clients.


With cybersecurity best practices in mind, BNY Mellon offers solutions and services that keep our clients and their assets safe. That’s why our Total Wealth Checking account, exclusively available to BNY Mellon Wealth Management clients, offers a complimentary IDXTM membership, granting access to a myriad of identity theft and privacy protection services for you and your family.[i] For more information about our Total Wealth Checking account and IDX protection, please contact a member of your relationship team.






[1] Identity theft and monitoring services provided by Identity Theft Guard Solutions, Inc. d/b/a IDX, a ZeroFox Company


BNY Mellon Wealth Management conducts business through various operating subsidiaries of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation.

Banking services are provided by BNY Mellon, N.A., Member FDIC.


The information in this paper is as of May 2024 and is based on sources believed to be reliable but content accuracy is not guaranteed.


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