Advisors are required to be extra savvy when it comes to data protection, as the personal and financial client data they have access to can make the advisor or firm a tempting target for cyber criminals. Advisors are also in a unique position to help educate clients on best practices to protect their own personal and financial information.
A recent article from Investment News highlights do’s and don’ts to be aware of, and to share with your clients to keep coveted information safe and secure. Please take the time to read this article to help ensure you are following the best practices for data and computer security.
“Here’s what financial advisers should do (and not do) to protect clients from cybercrime”
By Davis Janowski
February 5, 20120
What can you do to protect client data in your financial planning software? Here are our Top 5 Tips to help keep client information entered into the system safe and secure:
- Password protect your files.
Silver Financial Planner:
When you have a file open in Silver, go the Options menu and choose “Password Protect File”. This will prompt you to provide and confirm the password. This file will not be able to be opened through the program unless the correct password is provided. Please note, not even we at Money Tree can retrieve information in a file that has been password protected without knowing the password – so make sure you remember the password!TOTAL Planning Suite:
Password protect your client database. Go to Tool and select Database Administration. Make sure you have a sign-in for each user with a password. Don’t share your sign-in and password with other users, it’s easy to setup a separate sign-in for each user.
Password protect your client files, if exporting from the database. When you go to File and Export, the export process will prompt you to provide a password, which will be require to import the client file. Take advantage of this security feature. The export process will also prompt if you would like to hide/mask the personal information on the client file. Choose yes. This will automatically remove items like Social Security numbers, email and phone numbers, address and employment information.
- Don’t enter Social Security Numbers.
Social Security numbers are not required by our programs.
- Don’t enter the clients data of birth.
Instead, just enter the client’s current age (Silver only – TOTAL Planning Suite requires a date of birth). Keep in mind this does require you to manually adjust the clients age when you are updating the plan.
- Don’t Enter address & employment Information.
This information is not required by our programs.
- Keep asset descriptions general.
Don’t add detailed information like the exact name of the account or account numbers.