Account Security

From the October 2017 issue of Hark!

Wespath is engaged in a multi-year effort to enhance security for participants, which includes sharing industry best practices for protecting your accounts. There are three main ways that hackers gain access to your information: exploiting your system, phishing and authentication.

Exploiting Your System

Criminals exploit vulnerabilities in applications, networks or hardware, gaining administrative privileges or capturing credentials.
Protect yourself
• Always update your software
• Immediately install security patches released by your software’s developer
• Install premium antivirus software that automatically updates all of your software


Criminals solicit sensitive personal data while masquerading as a person or business with which you already have a relationship (e.g., bank, credit card company, brokerage company or other financial services firm).
Protect yourself
• Be wary of e-mails that request confidential information and generic-looking requests for information
• Never submit confidential information via forms embedded within e-mail messages
• Verify the Web address or link to the page and look for “https”—which signifies that it’s a secure site
• Participate in awareness training
• Install premium antivirus software that detects and blocks fake websites
Note: Wespath will never ask for your account password via the phone or e-mail.

Authentication Hijacking

Criminals acquire your user ID and password through key loggers, malware, purchase from hackers, and systematic attempts to crack weak or reused passwords.
Protect yourself
• Use STRONG passwords that are sufficiently long and complex; change them frequently; and do not reuse them
• Rely on multi-factor authentication, which requires several types of evidence that you are the accountholder (e.g., a password, a code to your smartphone and answers to secret questions)
• Never share your passwords

Wespath provided additional information about ways to protect yourself online in the July 2014 issue of Hark!

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