Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the U.S., with more than 13 million victims each year (source Consumer Reports) . Just being careful isn’t enough to protect your identity.
Our office, and Raymond James Financial Services Inc. take a number of proactive steps to protect your personal information ranging from encrypted emails to shredding hard copy documents. While Raymond James and Carver Financial Services employ the most up-to-date safeguards to protect client account numbers and other important profile information, you can help play a vital role in keeping your information secure.
There is much you can do to protect yourself including:
- Protect passwords, PINs and answers to any security questions by not sharing them with anyone you don’t want to have access to your accounts. Avoid easily guessed passwords (family members’ names, birthdates, Social Security numbers).
- Keep firewalls and security software up to date, and use encryption software on your laptops.
- Use your personal computer for financial transactions, avoiding public-use computers if at all possible.
- Do not give out vital information over the phone, by email or through in-person requests. Type in the URL of the site you want rather than clicking a link provided in an email.
- Check your financial accounts regularly to ensure no unauthorized activity is taking place. Contact your credit card company or financial account institution immediately if you notice anything suspicious.
- Only click on links or open attachments that you expect and are from sources you know and trust. Even if an email is from someone you know, if it looks suspicious, play it safe and confirm with the sender before opening.
A pleasant telephone voice requesting vital personal information or emails pretending to come from financial institutions you recognize asking for your passwords and PINs are still common, and unnerving, occurrences. Once thieves have enough information, they can do real damage.
If you are serious about protecting yourself from identity theft you will want to consider signing up for an identity theft protection service. There are a number of services available today that provide daily monitoring of the information that is most often compromised by identity thieves. Some also include software to protect your computer and even include access to your credit scores.
For a list of top rated identity theft protection services check out:
Both our office and Raymond James devote considerable resources to keeping your information secure. Using technological and human resources, we:
- Secure access to our building and restrict access to critical areas using security personnel and constant video surveillance, among other measures.
- Employ and constantly upgrade information safeguard software, including firewalls, anti-virus programs and intrusion-detection tools. We monitor our data systems 24/7, looking for signs of any unauthorized activity.
- Use business continuity planning to ensure all data remains secure in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions or whenever we can otherwise be of service. We are here for you!