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As a financial advisor, your job requires you to collect—and therefore have server or computer access to—a wide range of sensitive information and details about your clients and prospective clients. This includes personal data like names, emails, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, account numbers, and more.


Email breaches are becoming increasingly common, and can result in private data exposure, legal ramifications, financial losses, and reputational damage for targeted organizations no matter what their size. That’s why it’s critical for those of us in the financial services industry to do more to prevent access and outmaneuver hackers.


Things you can do:


1) Train employees to spot telltale signs of phishing campaigns


Train your entire staff not to open suspicious-looking emails or to click on links sent via email that look in any way unusual. If they do receive a questionable email from what looks like a legitimate party, if there is any question at all about the email’s veracity, instruct your staff members to call the sender on the phone to verify verbally that they actually sent the email message in question.


2) Block and report


Block and report suspicious email addresses that send spam email.


3) Never share credentials


Make sure you and your staff never give out emails, passwords, or any other credentials to callers or via links requesting sensitive information. Hackers are getting more sophisticated, so extreme diligence is required, especially in our industry.


4) Change your email passwords


If someone on your staff does click a link and their email gets compromised, change their email password immediately and inform your email database that you may have been compromised. Warn your clients, prospects, and partners not to open any suspicious emails from the email address or addresses that have been breached and encourage them to change their email passwords just to be on the safe side.


5) Systematize the changing of passwords


Changing passwords on a regular basis is recommended for both your business and your personal email accounts, as is up-to-date security software and firewalls to protect your network.



Recent cybersecurity attacks


Small, medium, and large companies in every industry sector are being targeted more frequently, and some hackers are even demanding ransom payments in exchange for not exposing data.

Here is a list of some recent data breaches in the U.S.: