The entire BSW crew gathered this past Tuesday, March 4th, for an internal workshop on safeguarding client assets and fraud detection/prevention. The session was led by Eric Cadwallader from Schwab, who briefed the BSW team regarding hacking attempts on personal email accounts and best practices (both within BSW and Schwab) to safeguard client assets. Over the past several years, fraudsters have been increasingly targeting public email accounts (such as Gmail, Hotmail, etc.) and hacking into these email accounts to gain access to confidential financial information and, in some cases, to pose as clients in email correspondence with advisors to request fraudulent money transfers.
To prevent these attacks, BSW strongly recommends the following:
1. Regularly delete ANY emails containing account information, wiring instruction, signatures, or statements from your public email account (such as Gmail, Hotmail, etc.); and do not store ANY such correspondence in public email accounts.
2. Choose a robust password to public email accounts and change it regularly! Here’s a helpful tool to check your existing password and/or build a new, stronger password: http://www.passwordmeter.com/
BSW is committed to rigorously safeguarding client assets and has implemented several security protocols, including:
1. Verbally verifying any third-party wires or distributions out of your account with you via phone. As such, you may receive a call from BSW and/or Schwab to confirm such distributions — THANK YOU in advance for taking the time to do so!
2. Continuing to gravitate the delivery of authorizations, forms, and statements to the BSW Vault.
3. And, coming soon, implementing new verification tools — such as secure e-Signatures and special one-time-use verification codes.
If you have any questions about these efforts or would like to discuss how to better strengthen your personal data security, please contact your Client Service Manager or Advisor — we are happy to help!
-David Wolf, Chief Investment Officer & Managing Principal