Japan based financial services company, Mount Equity Group, has informed the press of a series of prevention tips that can be used to reduce user receptivity to incidences of online fraud. The international wealth management firm issued the advice from their Tokyo headquarters this morning.

Recent fraud and scam threats have prompted the Mount Equity Group head of cybersecurity to formulate a digest of fraud prevention tips, designed to empower their clients and the global investment community against fraudulent online activity. As investors are frequently targeted by cybercriminals, this is an area of particular pertinence to Mount Equity Group clients.

Online fraud takes many shapes and forms and can include attacks from ransomware, cyber intrusions, attacks on your business and personal email accounts, SMS, instant messaging, and social media accounts. Protecting yourself across all of these areas is the best thing you can do to avoid potential loss of money and disruption to your online activities caused by online fraud.

Malicious software is often used to target high net worth individuals and companies. Here are some tips to help protect your systems from destructive Malware:

  1. Block or restrict unauthorized applications by installing application technology security, like firewalls and next-gen antivirus software across your systems.
  2. Use application patch management to repair system vulnerabilities and identify defective patches commonly used in web browsers and other applications like Flash, Microsoft Office, Java, and PDF viewers.
  3. Block macros from the internet. For Microsoft Office users, configure macro settings to allow only vetted macros with limited write access or trusted digitally signed certificates.
  4. Uninstall or disable unneeded features in your web browser, Microsoft Office, and PDF viewers. If possible, uninstall Flash and block internet ads.
  5. Enable email content filtering to only allow approved attachment types, hyperlinks, PDF, and Microsoft Office attachments.
  6. Enable web content filtering to only allow approved types of web content and block access to free domains, malicious domains, and anonymity networks.
  7. Use a gateway firewall for outbound web connections.
  8. Use multiple antivirus software from different retailers simultaneously for overlapping cybersecurity
  9. Block connectivity for removable unauthorized hardware like USB storage devices.
  10. Block internet or Wi-Fi connectivity for unauthorized devices like smartphones, tablets, and other Bluetooth devices.

Other common scams use email to reach their targets. These can include phishing scams, invoice fraud, employee impersonation, and company impersonation. Many of these scams are hard to spot as they have become increasingly sophisticated and can mimic your established contacts or known companies. Here are some tips you can use to help you protect yourself from email fraud:

  1. Be cautious of requests for money, especially urgent or overdue notices – even if they appear as though they have been sent by an established supplier or known contact.
  2. Be careful of suppliers advising you that they have implemented changes to their bank account details. Always double check with the supplier first, before changing their payment details in your system.
  3. Be careful of opening email attachments and let your anti-virus software check it first. Even if the attachment has been sent to you by a known contact, they may have unknowingly been the victim of a cyberattack that has automatically sent out the attachment to all of their contacts. The attachment could contain a virus.
  4. Be careful of any requests, even if they appear to come from a known source, that want you to check or confirm your login details.

With internet connectivity spanning an ever-increasing number of mobile devices, it’s important to remember to protect all your mobile tools from online fraud too. Here are some tips to help protect your SMS, instant messaging, and social media accounts across all your mobile devices:

  1. Upgrade to the latest version of your mobile device’s operating system. This includes installing any security updates.
  2. Some data can be retained and remain in the memory your device even after you think you have deleted it. Make sure you power-off your device regularly and restart it to clear old caches.
  3. Configure your device so that java and pop-ups are disabled.
  4. If you use your mobile device for banking or financial transactions, use multi-factor authentication. This can incorporate facial recognition software, fingerprint recognition, pin codes and email authentication.
  5. Make sure your profile is set to the highest security level possible.

Treating your cybersecurity with vigilance is a personal responsibility. Stay up to date on the latest software updates and monitor media alerts that can help protect you from online fraud. Consistently checking all your hardware, software platforms, and mobile devices can help make sure all your cybersecurity needs are covered.

Mount Equity Group would like to remind its patrons never to share passwords online or by phone.

READ MORE: Press Release: Mount Equity Group – Cryptocurrency