Safety First

E-mail account hacking seems to be on the rise, based upon recent activity.  We rely so heavily on e-mail that it is easy to forget basic security precautions we should all take.  Here are four simple suggestions:

  1.  Never provide confidential information via e-mail.  E-mail accounts are vulnerable to hacking.  For example, you could have an e-mail in your Inbox that references an account number.
  2. Use strong passwords.  What is a strong password?  A strong password includes capital letters, numbers, and special characters.  I like to use lengthy phrases that include all of those items.
  3. Do not click on embedded links in unsolicited e-mails.  Hackers are clever people.  They can easily replicate the logo for your bank, making you think the e-mail is legitimate.  Pick up the phone and call the institution if you are uncertain.
  4. Use security software.  Install a personal firewall, anti-virus, and anti-spam software.  And do not forget to run regular scans.

Be safe out there!

Cristy Freeman, AAMS
Senior Operations Associate

An Ounce of Prevention

You are sitting at your desk.  You need to share information with a colleague one floor up from your office.  Do you pick up the phone, or do you send an e-mail?  Most likely, you send an e-mail.  What would we do without this super convenient form of communication?  It is hard to remember how we functioned without it. 

Use of e-mail is so common that it is easy to forget how unsecure it is.  Sure, it is fine to use e-mail for conversations about your dog’s latest antics.  Should you send confidential information, though?  Not unless the e-mail is secure.

A few months ago, we implemented an encrypted e-mail system, smarshEncrypt.  Some of you may have received encrypted e-mails from us and setup logins through Smarsh. 

We use the encrypted system to transmit personal information such as account statements.  If you have a login setup with Smarsh, you can view the e-mail and reply to us in a secure forum.  This is extremely helpful whenever you need to send us copies of statements or other sensitive data. 

Unfortunately, you cannot use this service to send e-mails to other individuals.  We encourage you to be extra careful in your e-mail communications.  Never e-mail someone data that you would not want the whole world to see, unless you know for certain the e-mail is encrypted.  As Benjamin Franklin said, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Cristy Freeman, AAMS
Senior Operations Associate

P.S. Here’s a suggestion if you have difficulties receiving encrypted messages: Check your spam or junk folder. A few clients found messages sitting in those types of folders.