Mobile Devices: Protect and Defend – Part 2

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Don’t Share Private Information Unintentionally

Calls, video chats, e-mails, and text messages can be a source of compromise on your mobile device. Scammers and hackers are fluent in using these features of your mobile device to steal information, and even coax the user into providing information. Eavesdropping is the least technical way that thieves can steal information. Being aware of your surroundings and limiting the sharing of information in public places can go a long way in reducing exposures. If using video chat (WebEx, GoToMeeting, etc.) then being aware of what’s on a whiteboard, presentation or otherwise visible to others around you is important to securing private information.  Using a headset or earbuds is a good and easy way to reduce what is heard, and certainly keeping conversations off speaker-phone is a prudent way to reduce unnecessary leaks.

Don’t Be Lured in by Phishing

Phony phone calls (phishing) or unsolicited video calls are also ways that thieves steal information. A common technique  is to present themselves as a providers office, and confirm appointments and information. A call may go something like, “this is Anna at Dr. Smith’s office calling to confirm your appointment next week. We’d also like to confirm your insurance information. Can you confirm for me your date of birth and insurance contract number?” These are things that should not be shared, but in a hurry or not thinking through the question can often cause an unintentional release of information. The same technique is used to capture internal information, especially in large organizations. A common approach is to use the IT department, “Hi, this is Brad in IT, and I hope you can help me, because I’m new, and I see that teller 632 in your branch is having connection issues. Can you tell me the name of the person associated with that teller number? . . . .Oh, there’s no teller by that number, that’s odd. Can you tell me the tellers assigned to that branch?” This would likely end, but result in subsequent phone calls over the next few days. Being aware of someone asking questions they shouldn’t, as well as not releasing information, even to internal sources, is a good practice to preventing a data breach, information release, or opening the organization to even more threats. Verify the caller, but even better, hang up and call the department directly to verify and provide the information needed. Never release information to an in-bound caller that is not verified, anticipated, and authorized by policy.

Beware of Phony E-mails and Texts

E-mails are a common way for thieves to obtain information. A phony e-mail is a “phishing” attack and can quickly compromise an entire organization. Attacks appear real, are extremely well executed, and unfortunately have demonstrated an ability to work well at getting humans to disclose confidential information. This works because e-mail addresses, websites, and other links are disguised in the text of the message, so that what is read by the user is “[email protected]” but the hyperlink points to “[email protected].”  Reducing risk involves being aware, and awareness comes from training and reminders. All training should consistently remind employees to avoid clicking on links in unsolicited e-mails or text messages. If there is something that you’re not sure about, then picking up the phone and calling to confirm the legitimacy of the email often a first step to identifying fraud or a compromised email that may alert others. Finally, unless 100% certain a file, link or attachment is safe, don’t click on it. These are simple measures to reduce exposure, but when used are fully reliable tools in an electronic workday.

Make Sure Your Financial Institution Clients Have the Right Coverage

Make sure your customers have the right insurance coverage from the financial institution experts, Berkley FinSecure.  Contact any one of us below for help in making sure your FI customers are protected!

VP Sales and Distribution
Jon Martin 410-372-6325
   Midwest Region
   Chuck Cook 913-553-8559
Northeast Region
Jeanne Shrum 207-415-4587
   West Region
   Scott Harris 512-800-5393
Mid-Atlantic/South Regions
Dave Cassel 443-987-8619
   Northwest Region
   Pete Verretto 973-775-5233


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