As a financial advisor, my top priority is helping clients pursue their goals while managing and preserving their wealth. With the increasing prevalence of cyber attacks, the job of safeguarding your wealth is becoming more expansive, into areas we previously hadn’t considered. Now, more than ever, it’s more important to proactively take steps to shield yourself and your financial assets—especially online.

In this post, I’ll share some practical tips and best practices for protecting yourself from cyber attacks. Following these steps can help reduce your risk and keep your personal and financial information safe.

Password Manager

Having a password manager helps to securely store and organize all your passwords, allowing you to create strong and unique passwords for each of your accounts. This reduces the risk of having your accounts compromised due to weak or reused passwords. Additionally, a password manager helps streamline the login process and eliminate the need to remember multiple passwords. Sites like LastPass and 1Password are two options to consider.


Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) enhances online privacy by encrypting your internet traffic and masking your IP address. This helps to protect sensitive personal and financial information, such as login credentials and online banking transactions, from being intercepted by cybercriminals. A VPN should be considered for your cell phones, tablets, laptops, and other devices, especially while traveling. Some good options for a VPN service include ExpressVPN and NordVPN.


Encrypting storage devices, such as laptops and external hard drives, help protect the confidentiality and integrity of stored data. If the device is lost or stolen, encrypted data will be unreadable without the proper decryption key, reducing the risk of sensitive information falling into the wrong hands. Apple computers have FireVault installed on them which encrypts the information on the Mac. To enable FireVault follow these easy steps.


Using a firewall helps increase overall network security and reduce the risk of data breaches and cyber threats. Essentially, they help prevent unauthorized applications, programs, and services from accepting incoming connections. If you want to learn more about firewalls and why they are important, check out this website.


Anti-malware programs help protect against a range of threats, including viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware, and other forms of malware that can cause harm to your computer or steal sensitive information. Regular use of anti-malware programs helps prevent system slowdowns, crashes, and other issues caused by malware infections, providing a critical layer of security for any computer or device. Windows computers have a built-in anti-malware tool known as Microsoft Defender, which can be found in the Windows Security tool. For more information and to make sure this feature is enabled, check out Microsoft’s support page. Some alternative options for anti-malware protection include Malwarebytes and Avast.

Update Software

Regularly updating software programs ensures that security vulnerabilities and bugs are fixed, protecting the software and any sensitive data it may handle. To increase your computer’s performance and lower the risk of attacks, keep your operating systems, software, and anti-malware programs updated.

Update Hardware

Using modern hardware can also help provide the best security advancements against cyber threats. Hardware includes routers, Wi-Fi, computers, phones, laptops, etc.

Cyber Hygiene

Cyber hygiene refers to basic practices and habits to maintain the security and privacy of personal and sensitive information when using technology. To protect yourself, be more cautious about clicking on links that come to your email. These “phishing” attempts seek to steal your username and password through a fake link.

A prime phishing tactic often includes mimicking real companies over phone, email, or text to gain your trust. Phishing emails are usually urgent and have mistakes in the company name, email text, or web address. Phishing may also include phone calls claiming your computer is infected and requesting access to your computer to fix it, or emails claiming you need to renew your McAfee, Norton, or Geek Squad antivirus subscription.

For example, a friend of mine received a phishing email that claimed to be from Costco. It said, “Congratulations, you have been selected for an exclusive reward.” But there was no gift and no reward. It was nothing but a scam. Similar phishing scams claim you can get $75 in free groceries from Walmart, Aldi, or other stores.

Savvy scammers have even learned to imitate banks over a text. Phishing texts claim your bank account was locked for fraudulent purchases and prompt you to visit a fake link to “unlock” it. To better protect yourself, it’s best to think before you click. Before providing sensitive information or granting access to your computer, question why anyone would need it and whether they are trustworthy.

Public Wi-Fi and Cell Signals

Using public Wi-Fi networks can be risky because they often lack encryption and proper security measures, leaving sensitive information vulnerable to interception and theft by cybercriminals. Cell signals can also be spoofed by creating a fake cell tower, allowing an attacker to intercept voice and data communications, steal sensitive information, and even manipulate GPS data. To lower these risks, if you need to use public Wi-Fi, be sure to use a VPN.

Choosing the Right Devices

Next time you’re in the market to buy a new laptop, cell phone, or tablet, take the time to learn about the security and protection features your new device offers. Learning about the security features of your device is an important part of keeping yourself safe. However, the biggest weak spot in terms of security is often human error! Many hacks rely on people making careless mistakes and revealing usernames, passwords, or other access to personal information.

Defend Your Wealth

We know many of the topics discussed above aren’t familiar to everyone. Yet if you want to protect yourself from cyber attacks, it’s essential to safeguard your personal information and financial accounts. If you need help understanding how to do that, or if you have any other questions, we at Infiniti Wealth Management would love to help. Call our office at 845-278-8638 or send us a message to set up a complimentary consultation.

About Mike

Michael Durante is a founder, Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®), and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™ (CDFA®) at Infiniti Wealth Management, an independent, fee-only financial advisory firm. With over 25 years of experience, Mike specializes in serving women who are going through a life transition, whether that’s a divorce or the death of a spouse, as well as pre-retiree and retiree couples. He is passionate about helping his clients develop a personalized financial plan based on their values and goals so they enter retirement with confidence and peace of mind. Mike has both a bachelor’s degree in business administration and an MBA from Pace University. When he’s not working, Mike loves spending time outdoors hiking, biking, walking, golfing, campfires, the beach and doing yard work, as well as spending time with family and friends. Mike also enjoys to read, travel, and check out local restaurants and events. To learn more about Mike, connect with him on LinkedIn.


April 19, 2023 - Michael Durante, CFP®, CDFA®