You may have invested in the latest, state-of-the-art technology to help run your practice efficiently, but if you aren’t paying attention to how secure your information is, it may all be in vain. After all, who’s a better target for identity thieves than a financial advisor? John Napolitano, of U.S. Wealth Management, recommends ways to protect yourself from viruses and hackers.

  • Installing a firewall can help protect your network from Internet intruders, but they aren’t fool proof. “Make sure that your technology consultants have a written security plan that you are comfortable with and can publish for clients who inquire about it,” he recommends.
  • Antivirus software is easy to install, and can be set up to regularly scan hard drives and e-mail for viruses. A less well-known security system is an intrusion detection system; it works with your firewall to detect unwelcome traffic and ensure visitors are valid.
  • Keep your computer secure from attacks closer to home by turning it off or password-protecting it when you step away from it. Don’t use your birthday as a password. Blocking access to your computer is great, unless anyone can guess how to get in. Use an obscure password with a mix of letters, numbers and special characters, and change your password regularly.

Having the tools to protect your computer is only the first step to protecting your practice. Don’t forget common sense measures like putting locks on file cabinets and shredding sensitive paperwork.