In the wake of recent security and privacy scandals, many managers are asking what else they could be doing to protect client data.

While I am no security expert, here are are few quick & easy ideas to help you better protect client data.

1. Remove unnecessary personal information from PortfolioCenter reports (e.g. client addresses, middle names, broker names, account numbers, etc.)

2. Find an alternative to sending PortfolioCenter reports and other financial data through regular email.  This might include adding a client vault to your website, investigating an email encryption program or using a secure dropbox.

3. Lock your workstation every time you leave your desk.

4. Change passwords regularly.

5. Remove sensitive information from your desktop at the end of the day.

6. Don’t leave passwords in plain view or stored in obvious places (like under your keyboard) where they can be easily found.

7. Before sending financial data and reports, confirm email requests with a phone call. Email account takeover is a growing source of fraud.

8. View with suspicion any email claiming to be from your client that suggests:  this is an emergency, the action must be done quickly, the client is unreachable except by email or only reachable at a phone number you’ve never seen.

9. Keep your firewall and anti-virus software up to date.

10. Stay informed on “phishing” expeditions in which criminals impersonate established institutions (banks, brokers, government, etc) to gain private information.

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