First Quarter 2014 – Protecting Your Data Online

virus

A new website virus called Heartbleed has been in the news quite a bit lately.  This is a bug that has been hidden as part of the OpenSSL encryption software on certain websites.  The software is used to keep information that is shared between your computer and the web server private.  The Heartbleed bug can circumvent the security of OpenSSL and potentially cause your private information to NOT be so private.

Rest assured that our website, volkersgroup.com, does not use OpenSSL and has never been subjected to the Heartbleed vulnerability. We were also informed by our clearinghouse, RBC, that their investor-connect.com website was also unaffected by the bug.  While it is always a good idea to change your password fairly frequently, it does not appear that the Heartbleed virus has hindered the use of our two primary client websites.

Another way identity thieves might steal your personal information is through email.  Most email sent from one computer to another is not encrypted by default.  This means that the information inside of an email could potentially be read by hackers.  For this reason, we will begin encrypting emails that have client-personal information (like account numbers, Social Security numbers, etc.) with the help of our email provider, Smarsh.  If you receive an email from Smarsh or from us saying “You Have a New Secure Message”, just follow the instructions in the email so that you can view the email in an encrypted session.  This will require that you log into the Smarsh Encrypt server by creating a unique email and password.  You need only create the new account one time, then you can view all encrypted emails from us, as well as reply to them securely.

Please feel free to contact our office with any questions or concerns.

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