How much time do you spend thinking about data security?
Probably not enough, given the cyber-centered world we live in. Attacks on data continue to be in the headlines. In the past several months we have heard about issues at retailers like Target, Neiman Marcus, Michaels and others. What does this have to do with advisors and their technology? At a minimum they remind us that we too store and access sensitive client data. The crooks are not giving up, so let’s review actions that you should take to better protect your firm and your clients.
We must begin with a review of password requirements and best practices. It still amazes me that “123456” and “password” are among the most common passwords, according to SplashData. This is no joke, and I hope those passwords were not used to access financial information and critical business tools. Do you really want to make it extra easy for criminals to guess your login information? More complex passwords (upper and lower case letters, numbers, special characters, etc.) do make a difference in helping protect your information.
I understand that keeping track of all your passwords can be a challenge. Therefore, consider using a password manager program like Dashlane, RoboForm or iCloud Keychain. Remember, it is not a security plan if you simply believe that your login credentials will not be compromised so you figure, “Why bother with complexity?” If this is you, consider the extra work involved and potential loss if your credentials are compromised versus following these best practices to begin with.