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Cyber Security Tips

Cyber Security: 3 Tips for Protecting your Digital Identity

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Affordable, seamless, unbiased financial advice is our thing. But in order for blooom to provide this experience to the masses, we rely heavily on technology as a digital platform.

In an increasingly digital world, there is little else higher on our list of priorities than having policies and procedures in place at blooom to provide a service that’s as safe and secure as we can for our clients.

While we’re focused on our own cyber security as a business, we know that responsibly maintaining your own digital life can seem pretty daunting. The reality of our world today is that there are unfortunately people and entities that spend their time trying everything they can to capitalize on any mistakes you might make online. 

So, while there are always risks to just about any online activity, let’s talk about some of the simplest things you can do to help protect your online financial accounts today…


#1 Diversify your passwords

If you had to make a guess, how many passwords do you think you have at the moment, for all the products and services in your life? 20? 50?…

According to recent research from password manager NordPass, the average person today has 70-80 passwords! That’s a lot to keep track of.

Obviously, the easiest way to remember all these passwords is to come up with something simple that you can use for every account you have. But this also happens to be one of the surest ways for you to expose your accounts to those that want to do you harm financially. 

The solution? Consider using a password manager to create and store all of your passwords securely. Rather than trying to come up with passwords you can remember easily on your own, password managers will generate complicated passwords that are nearly impossible for cyber criminals to figure out. And it stores them for you so signing in is never a headache. This is one of the top online security practices recommended by experts.


#2  Don’t click!

Between emails, texts, chats, and direct messages on social media, most of us spend a good chunk of every day opening, reading, and responding to digital messages. But the majority of these messages tend to be unsolicited spam. 

99% of consumers check their email every single day. And more than half of those emails were spam in 2019. That’s about 107 billion spam emails sent globally. Every. Single. Day.

Scammers have become very good at baiting us into opening messages, reading them, and convincing us there is action needed, either by clicking on an embedded link, or by responding with personal information

Learn to be very skeptical about any email from a sender you don’t recognize, especially if that email contains a link or request for personal information. If you think it may be legitimate, consider reaching out to the service directly to make sure it actually came from them.


#3 Add an extra layer of protection

Chances are you’ve been required to, or at least given the option to, enable something called two-factor authentication (aka 2FA or multi-factor authentication, MFA), for many of your online accounts. This is becoming especially common for accounts related to our finances. 

If you’re unfamiliar with 2FA/MFA, this added layer of protection makes it very hard for bad actors to access your accounts. It involves a process of directly sending you a random and temporary access code on a device you have chosen, like your cell phone, immediately after your username and password have been entered. This means that even if an unauthorized person or entity obtained your login credentials somehow, they would not be able to get in without this temporary code sent to YOU.

In blooom’s world of managing retirement accounts for our clients, we are encouraged to see that most of the top 401k and IRA providers now offer or require account holders to use 2FA/MFA when logging into their accounts. This additional step can feel like a hassle at times, but we hope that understanding just how well it can protect your accounts from unauthorized access, can help you breathe easier. And when the time comes for blooom to rebalance your account(s) and keep you on track toward your retirement goals, you can rest assured that the process is there to protect you and your accounts.


Be safe out there!

Keep in mind that any time you decide to update your login credentials for an account blooom is managing for you, make sure you also update this information within your blooom profile. If you ever receive an email that appears to be from blooom, but looks suspicious in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact our support team to confirm it was actually us. 

The digital world can be an intimidating and somewhat dangerous place these days, but taking just a few simple steps can make all the difference in protecting your identity and your financial assets online. 

Published on October 28, 2020