February 2019 Newsletter to ClientsSubmitted by Moneywatch Advisors on February 1st, 2019
Enjoy this month’s edition that features an important reminder on tax document mailings, an identity theft warning and notice of business continuity plan.
Tax Reports: In preparation for the upcoming tax season, the following important documents for 2018 will be mailed by TD Ameritrade.
- 1099’s – electronic delivery (January 18, 2019)
- 1099’s – mail delivery (February 13, 2019, please allow five to seven business days)
Identity Theft Warning: Phishing scams are a form of “Social Engineering” in which the attacker attempts to trick you into giving them your credentials or access to your system. Phishing typically refers to scams carried out through email, but very similar scams can be run through text or social media messaging. In phishing scams, the attacker, or “phisher,” will pose as an institution or individual that you trust by sending you a fake message that claims to be from that trusted party.
Often, the goal of a phishing attack is to get you to provide your login credentials or other sensitive information like your social security number or financial institution information. This information could then be used to gain access to your private accounts or to steal your identity. You should be suspicious of any email that asks you to provide personal information or that directs you to a webpage that ask for this information.
Another goal of phishing is to trick you into downloading malicious code onto your computer. This can occur when you click a link or open an attachment. The malicious code can then do any number of very bad things to you, your computer and your network. You may never know it’s there, or it may be glaringly obvious.
Phishers attempt to play on your emotions, often including disturbing or enticing information in their emails in an attempt to provoke you to act. They may try to create a false sense of urgency by saying "your account will be deleted" or that "you are over your email storage space." They often urge you to act immediately to "update" or "verify" your account information.
Phishing techniques and social engineering techniques in general are growing increasingly complex and the impersonations are getting more and more realistic and difficult to spot. Moneywatch Advisors email accounts have been targets for an increasing number of phishing attacks. Some of these emails are very sophisticated; using "real" Moneywatch Advisors email addresses.
If you think an email is a phishing attempt, REPORT IT.
Do not click links or open/preview attachments in the suspicious email.
Here's a list of points to consider when deciding if an email is trustworthy. However, don't rely on any single factor.
- False claims, warnings and threats
- Unofficial "From" addresses
- Impersonal or strange greetings
- Spelling, punctuation and grammar
- Spoofing popular websites or companies
Think before you act. Be wary of communications that implore you to act immediately, offers something that sounds too good to be true or warns of negative consequences if you do not act now.
Look closely at embedded links. Phishing emails often include links that may look legitimate but actually send you to malicious web sites that look and feel like the authentic ones. The web page address (URL) may use a variation in spelling. Or the URL shown may appear to be legitimate - but when you hover over the link with your mouse to see where it will lead, a fake address may be displayed.
Do not provide your login credentials or any personal information.
Notice of Business Continuity Plan: Moneywatch Advisors Inc. is committed to providing continuous customer service and support; however, we recognize that there are potential risks that could disrupt our ability to serve you. We are confident that we have taken the necessary steps that will allow us to reduce or eliminate the impact of a business disruption.
We have developed the capability to recover both our operations and systems. All continuity plans are designed to account for disruptions of various lengths and scopes, and to ensure that critical functions are recovered to meet the business objectives.
The key components of our continuity, disaster recovery and cyber security planning include:
- Alternate physical locations and preparedness
- Alternate means to communicate with our employees and customers
- Back-up telecommunications and systems
Plans are reviewed and tested annually to ensure they are effective should an actual event occur.
Thank you for your continuing confidence.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The opinions expressed are those of Moneywatch Advisors, Inc. and are no guarantee of the future performance of any particular fund. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Please consult your financial advisor for more detailed information or for advice regarding your individual situation.