Vigilance, awareness key to financial self-defense online, says Atlantic Trust

26 Mar, 2015, 11:00 ET from Atlantic Trust Private Wealth Management

An effective asset protection plan anticipates more than market volatility

ATLANTA, March 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Best practices in financial risk management require recognizing, acknowledging and preventing exposure to threats in all shapes and forms, including people, technology and legal actions, according to Atlantic Trust, the U.S. private wealth management division of CIBC (NYSE: CM) (TSX: CM).

This is particularly true online, says David Papp, a leading technology and social media consultant.

"Traditional security behaviors taught to us since the beginning of the Internet age are starting to interfere with the very nature of today's social media landscape," he said. "Sites like Facebook and LinkedIn are directly tied to you—first and last names, where you live, where you work and more. Your social 'value' is often tied to what and how much you share of your interests and personal brand."

Even with improved privacy features in place, it is still possible for others to glean personal information from individual profiles, such as a person's birthdate, hometown or employer, or even the names and ages of family members. Scammers can then potentially use that data to pass authentication tests and gain access to sensitive financial information or other accounts.

The good news, Papp says, is that common sense continues to be the best—and simplest—form of self-defense. Papp recommends everyone follow these basic best practices:

  • Develop smart password habits: combine capital and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols to make a more secure password, and don't use the same password for multiple accounts
  • Don't click on email links from unknown sources: if a message looks suspicious, delete it or move it to your junk mail folder
  • Exercise extreme caution when downloading software: even when it comes from an "authoritative site," you could be installing undesirable software

"Be very cautious about what and the amount of personal information you provide online," Papp says. "Identity theft is real, and the more information you have out there, the easier it is for cybercriminals."

Atlantic Trust publishes a variety of resources concerning family and asset protection strategies on its Online Resource Center. In the first part of its three-part series on family risk management, Atlantic Trust reviews some of the most common risk factors online and at home, as well as best practices for addressing them. Read "Financial Self-Defense, Part I: Financial Security Risk" or visit www.atlantictrust.com for more information.

About Atlantic Trust

Atlantic Trust is one of the nation's leading private wealth management firms, offering integrated wealth management for high-net-worth individuals, families, foundations and endowments. The firm considers clients' financial, trust, estate planning and philanthropic needs in developing customized asset allocation and investment management strategies. Experienced professionals deliver a broad range of solutions, including proprietary investment offerings and a robust open architecture platform of traditional and alternative managers. Atlantic Trust operates in 13 full-service locations throughout the U.S. with $26.2 billion in assets under management (as of 12.31.2014). For more information, visit www.atlantictrust.com.

About CIBC

CIBC is a leading Canadian-based global financial institution. Through our Retail and Business Banking, Wealth Management and Wholesale Banking businesses, CIBC provides a full range of financial products to individual, small business, commercial, corporate and institutional clients in Canada and around the world. CIBC owns a 41 percent equity interest in American Century Investments®, a major U.S. asset management company, serving financial intermediaries, institutions and individuals, and acquired Atlantic Trust, a premier U.S. private wealth management firm, in January 2014. You can find other news releases and information about CIBC in our Media Centre on our corporate website at www.cibc.com.

SOURCE Atlantic Trust Private Wealth Management