It’s no wonder that we’re all a little leery of giving our out personal info. online after the data breaches at seemingly trustworthy companies like Home Depot, Target and Michaels.
Data and identity theft is a real thing – and a real risk. Here at GuardVest we understand that. We also know what an amazing tool we’ve created and how that can help you to better manage your investments and/or the relationship you have with your financial advisor.
So, today I’m going to share with you how to protect yourself online and why you can trust the online security measures we’ve taken as a company to protect our clients and their most valuable assets. I’m also going to give you three options you can use if you don’t want to share your personal information online, but still want to give our tool a try.
Only Give out Personal Info on SSL Certified Websites
SSL stands for secure sockets layer. It’s a term used to communicate security for encrypting your data (making the info. that your browser sends and receives from a web server private) and authenticating a website (i.e. the SSL certificate tells your browser the website is really who it claims to be).
Basically, it means that you should check the top left section of the website’s url to see if it begins with an “https,” rather than just “http.” You can also see if there is a tiny padlock symbol at the bottom right of a checkout screen when shopping online stating that the page is secure with a security technology vendor. You can then go a step further if you’d like and verify that the security technology does exist by clicking through to the security technology’s company website.
It’s not a good idea to use your passwords on a secure website over public wifi, however. Even though the website is secure, if your internet connection is not, you should be weary. Don’t make it a habit of accessing your online bank accounts while sipping a latte at Starbucks for example.
How secure is linking my account to GuardVest?
Rest assured, GuardVest has you covered. We’re a read-only service, which means no one can move money in or out of GuardVest, not even you. We also don’t store or save your credentials.
Additionally, GuardVest uses multiple levels of bank-grade security, including encryption, to protect your information. We’ve partnered with Intuit, a leading provider of account aggregation services to banks, brokerages, and financial institutions, to import your portfolio information safely and securely.
3 Ways to Use GuardVest without Sharing Your Sensitive Details
You don’t have to import your account data if you really don’t want to. There are other ways to use our tool to help you measure your returns, risk and fees. Try any of these options instead:
1. Manually input your own data.
To do this, you need to understand your current financial holdings. You can enter your investments manually into one or more Free Look Portfolios as follows:
In the left tab of the main Report Card page, click “Free Look Portfolio” and then “Generate New FLP.” Enter a name for your FLP and click Add. Then, manually add your holdings via ticker symbols. You can also manually add your advisory fees if you have an advisor. Click “Save.” You can now choose your FLP from the Account drop down menu just like your real account and compare it in our Report Card tool.
2. Send a screenshot of your portfolio and we’ll do it for you.
Simply take a screenshot of your account holdings and/or statement without your account number or other personal details. You could also use photo editing software to crop them out if that’s easier for you.
Then, just email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll then add your holdings for you and send you a personalized report card back.
3. Use the average investor experience.
One way to get a taste of the tool without syncing your investment accounts, manually adding them or sending us a screenshot, is to use the average investor experience instead.
Basically, we’ve done the research and put together a sample portfolio based on what the average investor holds in terms of investments, account value, fees, etc.
In addition to educating you on how to better protect yourself online, we’ve taken extra precautions to ensure our software is as secure as it can be. The traditional method of using our tool by importing your accounts from any or all of your financial institutions is by far the easiest, but it isn’t the only way.
If you’re still concerned about online security, try manually importing your own accounts, sending us a screenshot without your sensitive details so we can do it for you or going through the average investor experience. No matter the method, GuardVest will open your eyes to what’s really going on in your investment portfolio, in a way you’ve never seen before.
Sign up today to find out just how well your advisor and/or portfolio is performing against the most important benchmark – yours!