Safety First

E-mail account hacking seems to be on the rise, based upon recent activity.  We rely so heavily on e-mail that it is easy to forget basic security precautions we should all take.  Here are four simple suggestions:

  1.  Never provide confidential information via e-mail.  E-mail accounts are vulnerable to hacking.  For example, you could have an e-mail in your Inbox that references an account number.
  2. Use strong passwords.  What is a strong password?  A strong password includes capital letters, numbers, and special characters.  I like to use lengthy phrases that include all of those items.
  3. Do not click on embedded links in unsolicited e-mails.  Hackers are clever people.  They can easily replicate the logo for your bank, making you think the e-mail is legitimate.  Pick up the phone and call the institution if you are uncertain.
  4. Use security software.  Install a personal firewall, anti-virus, and anti-spam software.  And do not forget to run regular scans.

Be safe out there!

Cristy Freeman, AAMS
Senior Operations Associate

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An Ounce of Prevention

You are sitting at your desk.  You need to share information with a colleague one floor up from your office.  Do you pick up the phone, or do you send an e-mail?  Most likely, you send an e-mail.  What would we do without this super convenient form of communication?  It is hard to remember how we functioned without it. 

Use of e-mail is so common that it is easy to forget how unsecure it is.  Sure, it is fine to use e-mail for conversations about your dog’s latest antics.  Should you send confidential information, though?  Not unless the e-mail is secure.

A few months ago, we implemented an encrypted e-mail system, smarshEncrypt.  Some of you may have received encrypted e-mails from us and setup logins through Smarsh. 

We use the encrypted system to transmit personal information such as account statements.  If you have a login setup with Smarsh, you can view the e-mail and reply to us in a secure forum.  This is extremely helpful whenever you need to send us copies of statements or other sensitive data. 

Unfortunately, you cannot use this service to send e-mails to other individuals.  We encourage you to be extra careful in your e-mail communications.  Never e-mail someone data that you would not want the whole world to see, unless you know for certain the e-mail is encrypted.  As Benjamin Franklin said, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Cristy Freeman, AAMS
Senior Operations Associate

P.S. Here’s a suggestion if you have difficulties receiving encrypted messages: Check your spam or junk folder. A few clients found messages sitting in those types of folders.

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