October 18, 2016
National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) officially kicked off on October 1, 2016. For the 13th year in a row, the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security have partnered to lead this initiative and provide internet users with the tools and resources they need to be safer and more secure online. The overall theme for this year's NCSAM is “Our Shared Responsibility,” which highlights how individuals and organizations can promote a safer online environment by discussing topics such as:
- Basic steps for online safety and security
- Creating a culture of cybersecurity in the workplace
- Recognizing and combating cybercrime
- Our continuously connected lives: What''s your "apptitude"?
- Building resilience in critical systems
STOP. THINK. CONNECT.TM is a global cybersecurity education and awareness campaign led by NCSA. The Lock Down Your Login campaign is an initiative to strengthen online accounts by providing the strongest authentication tools available. To learn more, visit www.lockdownyourlogin.com.
Furthermore, if you would like to learn more about cybersecurity and the NCSA's initiatives happening this October, visit staysafeonline.org for more information and tips.
On September 6, 2016, NFA sponsored the InfraGard Identity Theft Conference with a number of government and law enforcement agencies, held in Huntsville, Alabama. The conference provided community members with tools to protect themselves and their personal information from falling subject to identity theft (ID theft).
"The Identity Theft Conference introduced the scams that are currently prevalent, what to look for, how to avoid becoming a victim of ID theft, and where to seek help," said Christine Karlson, InfraGard's Huntsville chapter president. "The brochure, Scams and Swindles: An Educational Guide to Avoiding Investment Fraud, that NFA supplied for conference attendees was spot on with the information we shared with our audience."
Visit infragard.org for more information about InfraGard and upcoming initiatives.
This story was written by the US Securities and Exchange Commission's Office of Investor Education and Advocacy for NFA's investor newsletter audience.
Investors should always take steps to safeguard their personal financial information (e.g., social security number, financial account numbers, phone number, email address, or usernames and passwords for online financial accounts). However, if identity theft or a data breach compromises your personal financial information, there are some important steps to take immediately:
- Contact your investment firm and other financial institutions immediately. If you think your personal financial information has been stolen, contact your broker-dealer, investment adviser or other financial professional immediately to report the problem. You should also contact any other financial institutions where you have accounts that may be impacted by the loss of your personal financial information.
- Change your online account passwords. Immediately change the password for any investment or financial accounts associated with the compromised personal financial information.
- Consider closing compromised accounts. If you notice any unauthorized access into your investment account, you may want to ask your investment firm to close the account and move the assets to a new account.
For more important steps to take regarding your investment accounts if you become a victim of identity theft or a data breach, see the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy’s Investor Alert or visit Investor.gov.
Even after taking precautions to protect your personal information, have you ever received a call or an email from an unknown individual or company? In a recent blog post, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) explains the reason may be lead generation. Lead generation is when companies gather information that individuals submit from online forms or applications and sell it to third parties, converting "leads" into sales. The blog post further discusses:
- What lead generation is;
- Why you should care that your information is being sold and resold;
- The benefits and concerns of lead generation; and
- What you can do to prevent potential security threats.
The FTC held a workshop last fall taking an in-depth look at lead generation. Read about the findings in the FTC's new Staff Perspective.
NFA will be exhibiting at a number of expos this fall.
NFA will be exhibiting at the 32nd annual FIA Futures & Options Expo in Chicago, Illinois, on October 19 and 20. The Expo, which is held at the Hilton Chicago, showcases products, services and information for market professionals and participants. Stop by and visit NFA staff at booth #216 to ask questions and pick up informational materials. Registration information is available on the FIA Expo 2016 website.
NFA will also exhibit at the Traders Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada in November. The Traders Expo offers industry professionals the opportunity to meet face-to-face with, learn from, and ask specific questions to trading experts. The Traders Expo will take place at the Caesars Palace hotel from November 16 to 18. During the event, NFA will be onsite in the exhibit hall at booth #317. An eBooth will also be available for anyone unable to attend the event. Complimentary registration for the Traders Expo Las Vegas is available on the Expo's website or by calling 800-970-4355.
In the third quarter of 2016, NFA issued Complaints and Decisions against the following NFA Member firms and individuals. Click on the name for more detailed information.