813.254.9500 admin@johnboyerinc.com

I hope this finds you and yours doing well. As your trusted financial planner, we continually strive to ensure your financial well-being remains safeguarded against all potential risks in the world of technology. Today, I’d like to draw your attention to a growing concern that affects us all in this digital age: cybersecurity.

In recent years, the rise of technology has undeniably transformed the way we manage our finances. From online banking to digital investments, these advancements have brought convenience and efficiency to our lives. However, with these benefits come inherent risks, particularly in the realm of cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity refers to the practices and measures taken to protect electronic data from unauthorized access, theft, or damage. In simpler terms, it’s the shield that guards your digital assets against potential threats lurking in the vast expanses of the internet.

Why is cybersecurity important, you may ask? Cybercriminals employ increasingly sophisticated techniques targeted to gain unauthorized access to sensitive information such as financial records, personal data, and more. The consequences of a cyber-attack can be severe, ranging from financial loss to reputational damage and even identity theft.

Considering these potential risks, it’s crucial for all of us to be proactive in enhancing our cybersecurity awareness and adopting best practices to mitigate these threats. Here are a few simple steps you can take not just with your accounts at Schwab but your entire financial household:

Safe practices for communicating with our firm:

  • Keep us informed regarding changes to your personal information. While we love email, we are always on guard with email, and we would prefer a phone call if something is more than a simple request!
  • Expect us to call you to confirm email requests to trade, move money, or change account information.  We will not just assume it’s you and we will never accept trade or money movement requests via email. They will always be verbally confirmed.
  • Don’t trust it’s us in email!  If you receive an email from us that just doesn’t seem right, don’t believe it’s from us CALL US!

How Schwab protects your account:

Schwab takes your security seriously and leverages protocols and policies to protect your financial assets. The following are actions you can take to reinforce these efforts. If you need assistance to set up your voice Id and two factor, Schwab can assist you with that directly as your advisor will NEVER have access to your voice ID, passwords, or any other security information beyond what was provided when the account was established.

  • Confirm your identity using Schwab VOICE ID service when calling the Schwab Alliance team for support. (You can call Schwab Alliance to set this Voice ID up).
  • Use two-factor authentication, which requires that you enter a unique code each time you access your Schwab accounts.

Keep your technology up to date:

  • Keep your web browser and operating system up-to-date and be sure you’re using appropriate security settings. Old software, operating systems, and browsers are more susceptible to attack.
  • Download the Schwab App!  Your Schwab mobile app will always be the most secure way to access your accounts as well as to make sure you’re not using an out of date browser or operating system.
  • Install anti-virus/anti-malware/anti-spyware software on all computers and mobile devices.
  • Do not use free or found USB thumb drives—they could be infected with viruses or malware.
  • Turn off Bluetooth when it’s not needed, to protect against individuals gaining access to your devices using Bluetooth connections.
  • Don’t donate old computers, tablets or phones.  Find a local establishment that will properly destroy the devices and insure that your info doesn’t land in the hands of someone with ill intentions.

Be cautious with public networks (WIFI)

  • Avoid using public computers. If you must use one, go to the browser settings and clear the browser history (cache) and cookies when you’re finished.
  • Use only wireless networks you trust or that are protected with a secure password.
  • Use your personal Wi-Fi hotspot instead of public Wi-Fi.
  • Do not accept software updates if you are connected to public Wi-Fi.

Be strategic with your login credentials and passwords

  • Do not use personal information such as your Social Security number or birth date as part of your user ID.
  • Create a unique password for each financial institution with which you do business; use passwords that are long and contain a combination of characters, numbers, and symbols. Consider using a password manager to create, manage, and store passwords that are unique and secure.
  • Do not share your passwords.
  • Use two-step verification whenever possible.
  • Update your passwords every quarter!

Be sure you’re on a secure website

  • Check the URL to see whether it’s a secure connection. Secure sites begin with https rather than http and are generally considered safer.
  • Check the address bar for site validity indicators whenever you log into a Schwab website. Some browsers use green text or security symbols to indicate a secure and verified site.
  • Download apps only from Google Play or Apple’s App Store.
  • Do not visit websites you don’t know—such as those advertised in pop-up ads and banners.
  • Log out completely to terminate access when you’ve completed a secure session, such as for online banking or a credit card payment.

Beware of phishing (emails that appear to be real, but are not)

  • Do not click on links or attachments in emails and text messages if you question the validity of the sender. Instead, type the real web address, such as https://www.schwaballiance.com, in your browser or use the Schwab mobile app!
  • Hover over questionable links to reveal the site’s full URL and see where the link really goes. Do not click on links that don’t match the sender or don’t match what you expect to see.
  • Be suspicious of emails that have grayed-out Cc: and To: lines—they may have been sent to a mass distribution list.
  • Check the sender’s domain name in the email address,such asjohn.doe@schwab.com, to see if it matches what you would expect to see.
  • If you suspect that an email appearing to be from Schwab is a phishing email, forward it to phishing@schwab.com.
  • If you have questions about an email from Schwab or personal information you entered about your Schwab account after clicking an email link, call us immediately at 813-254-9500 or the Schwab Alliance team at 800-515-2157.

At JBI. we are committed to helping you navigate today’s digital world and your financial interests against potential cyber threats. If you have any questions or concerns regarding cybersecurity or would like personalized guidance on securing your digital assets, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Your security and peace of mind is our top priority.

Thank you for entrusting us with your financial journey. Together, we can build a more secure future.

Warm regards,