Why I’m thinking carefully about using Social Media

Cybercrime keeps changing. “Cybercriminals have discovered that investors now routinely rely on e-mail to authorize personal advisers to execute financial transactions. Search engines and social networks have made finding and profiling potential victims, and their advisers, easy.” Cybercrooks fool financial advisers to steal from clients – By Byron Acohido, USATODAY.com

The writer, Byron, makes a key point in this article … criminals can profile who your adviser is when the adviser is on your pages. The criminal can also get a sense of your writing style from your posts and mimic those in the criminal’s email request to send money from your account.

This is one of the reasons I ask you to complete a form. You may give me a heads up about your plans, but the withdrawal should be a formal process beginning with making withdrawals the old-fashioned way – by completing a short form. The information needed to complete that form is information only you should know since you don’t post bank details and other account information on your social pages. The form is your first defense.

I hesitate to use social media like Facebook and LinkedIn (I continue to consider, from time to time, if I should ) because if I do, then I become more visible to cyber criminals too … they connect me directly to you on those social pages. And then the criminal tries to mimic you to get at your money. In any case, my back office, custodian, and I have our radar up and have processes in place to protect your money as best we can from someone else getting their hands on any of it.

This is a problem all financial companies. I don’t have any discretionary authority (permission to do things with your money without asking you) over your money as another method to remove my mistakenly sending a criminal money … your permission is always required to do anything with your money. Although it may seem to be a pain to complete a form … that process is the first step in protecting your money.

The next step is keeping me in the loop … but don’t put specifics in the text of your email … that’s what the form is for. Forms, and where to send them, are on my website. But … the information to complete the form should not be posted anywhere cybercriminals can get to it.

 

About Larry Frank, Sr.

Larry R Frank Sr., MBA, CFP®, is an experienced financial advisor and a published author on Retirement Planning Research. Have a financial question? Click Here to Ask Larry

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