I love free stuff perhaps even more than my granny. But, here’s the catch. Over the years I’ve registered for dozens of loyalty programs, downloaded coupons and signed up for services online. All I had to trade to get my precious ‘perks’, was my private information.
Name. Phone number. Address. Email. Birthdate. Signature. Social Insurance Number. Mother’s maiden name. Place of birth. Employer. Previous employer. Previous address. Credit score. Credit card number. Bank account number.
What’s causing all the fuss in the cyber security industry at the moment, besides the recent Equifax data breach, is that it only take a small combination of these individual pieces of data to form a fake identity, steal your money and hold your private information hostage. So when a company retains our personal records and is hacked, we’re financially vulnerable.
This is frustrating and experts from CIBC recently stated that cyber security breaches will cost Canadians over $200 billion next year!
Because it’s Cyber Security Awareness Month, I took it upon myself to investigate whether there is a silver lining to this annoying trend. I found one.
20-and-30-something investors, like myself, are flocking to socially responsible investment portfolios twice as fast as boomers. And companies that protect against cyber security breaches are considered top on the list of socially responsible investments. Financial advisors are now seeing millennial investors scooping up cyber security exchange traded funds (ETFs), like CYBR, in droves.
I call this trend “investing with conviction”.
Young socially conscious investors want to be a part of the growing industry that is combatting cyber security breaches; it’s a way to put our money where our passions and beliefs are.
In the spirit of bringing awareness to Cyber Security Month we’ve got a few tips to keep your information safe online.
Change your passwords to your online banking at least once per month
Do not sign into any financial services accounts on open wi-fi
Use a free credit monitoring service like Borrowell.com or CreditKarma.ca
Don’t save credit or banking information on your device unless it’s encrypted
Regularly install software updates
Featured in Metro News Oct 30, 2017.