There are more reasons than ever to understand how to protect your personal information. Major website hackings seem ever more frequent. A set of top-secret National Security Agency hacking tools were dumped online over the past year. In May, hackers used some of those tools to hijack computers around the world. More recently, the credit reporting agency, Equifax, announced it was hacked.
The reality is that your personal information is being stored electronically whether you are an avid Internet-user or not. As such, you should be vigilant about protecting your personal information. Just how to do so is beyond the scope of this blog, but there are many excellent sources for this information on the Internet. One such source is this NY Times article from November 16, 2016 entitled, Protecting Your Digital Life in 9 Easy Steps. Ask your Harbor Capital Advisor for more information or click this link: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/17/technology/personaltech/encryption-privacy.html.
Protecting your information is very important to us as your advisor, but this is undoubtedly a collaborative effort between you, Harbor Capital and your account custodian. In addition to the steps that you should take, such as the ones mentioned in the above article, we would like you to know that we and your account custodian, such as TD Ameritrade, provide further oversight on the accounts that we advise.
As an account intermediary, we maintain a personal, interactive relationship with your account custodians and are alerted to changes or other activities in your account. One common alert is an address change that a client may not have notified us about directly.
In addition, each day, we download data from account custodians to our secured server then reconcile the activity that is downloaded with the transactions that we expect to see. Though they are infrequent, we investigate any anomalies to determine whether further action is required. These interactions provide an opportunity to quickly address and correct issues for our clients.
Additionally, your account custodian maintains its own level of protections. These are discussed in detail at the custodian’s website. In the case of TD Ameritrade’s website: www.AdvisorClient.com, you may find a discussion of this information under the Client Services tab, then clicking on Security Center for more information.
At Harbor Capital Management, we take this matter very seriously. We encourage you to take the necessary steps to protect your information. We stay abreast of major breaches such as the Equifax matter, but if you suspect that your information has been compromised in some other way, please notify us immediately so that we may take steps to secure your account.