Welcome to your Stuart Financial Group July-August 2020 Bi-Monthly Newsletter. This newsletter focuses on topics such as America’s job crises, how to beat the summertime heat, tips on how to improve your credit score, and more.

    We wish you all good health during these challenging times.

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Key Takeaways

  • The one certainty of investing is that your portfolio will experience volatility.
  • Volatility can often lead to irrational decisions, such as exiting markets prematurely. Evidence shows that market timing is a poor investment strategy.
  • For long-term equity investors, the most powerful factor is time. An investor’s time horizon is directly correlated with the likelihood that his or her portfolio will experience a positive return.

The US stock markets entered bear market territory after coronavirus was declared a pandemic, ending the longest bull market in US history just days after its 11th anniversary. The bear market reflects a 20 percent drop from record highs. Looking forward, a sustained rally will likely require three key developments. First, evidence of a successful virus containment in developed markets. Second, clarity on the economic impact of the virus, and finally a concerted global policy response. Market volatility is likely to remain as progress towards these three developments continue, leaving investors wondering… Read More

As the Coronavirus continues to spread worldwide, so do phishing attacks disguised as helpful information on the outbreak. Security experts report an uptick in phishing messages being sent to businesses and individuals on the topic. Many appear to be checklists and fact-sheets PDFs with information on cleaning or remote work. Clicking on these links or attachments will instead download malware on your machine that can hold your data for ransom or act as spyware.
The World Health Organization (WHO) also reports that hackers are sending phishing emails appearing to come from the WHO. The organization has reminded people that it will never require you to log in to view safety information or email attachments you did not request.

    How to avoid identity theft this tax season

      You must be vigilant when receiving an email regarding the Coronavirus. Before clicking on any link or attachment you must:

      • Verify the sender: Hover your mouse over the “from” line to detect the true sender. If you do not recognize the email address or it does match the organization it claims to be from, do not click.
      • Check all links: Before clicking on any links in the email, hover your mouse over the URL or button to ensure the link is going where it says it is.
      • Do not open attachments: Do not open any attachments from an unsolicited email or if you are unsure.
      • When in doubt, delete: If you are unsure, delete the email and contact the sender or organization directly to verify that they sent the information.

    Be vigilant online and remember the 10-second EMAIL rule: Examine Message and Inspect Link. If you receive an attachment or link in an unsolicited email—do not…

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Welcome to your February Savvy Cybersecurity newsletter. As always, we saw many cybersecurity happenings this month including breaches at Sprint, Google Photos, and more.
Read on to learn more about the cybersecurity happenings this month including:

  • How to avoid identity theft this tax season
  • An update on the Equifax breach
  • What you must do to your Google Nest devices
  • A new USPS scam making the rounds
  • And more

How to avoid identity theft this tax season

Tax identity theft has been on the decline in recent years due mostly to education and outreach, but many individuals, businesses, and tax preparers still fall victim to tax-related fraud every year. This type of fraud can vary from fraudulent tax returns to phishing messages asking for tax information. Last year, there was a spike in phishing messages sent to tax preparers attempting to get client information.
This year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has created Identity Theft Central, a new webpage to help individuals, businesses, and tax preparers prevent tax identity theft and handle it if… Read More

Happy New Year! We hope you’re having a fantastic start to the new year. For cybercriminals, there has been no break–we have already seen a handful of scams and hacks in the first month of the year.
Read on to learn more about the cybersecurity happenings this month including:

  • How to fight back against common elder scams
  • Important news for Windows 7 users
  • A massive breach at Microsoft
  • New ransomware threats
  • And more

How to fight back against common elder scams

Over two million elderly people fall victim to a scam every year—and experts think there are many more that go unreported. The elderly population has long been a target for scammers for many reasons. First, many are trusting and may have decreased cognition stemming from health issues. Scammers are also aware that many of these people have retirement accounts with money to spare—or conversely, are on a budget and likely to jump on a chance at a windfall.
Reports find that elderly fraud is now a multi-million dollar business, with the median amount lost by someone over 80 being $1,000. There are many types of scams that… Read More

Welcome to the last cybersecurity newsletter of 2019! It certainly has been a big year for cybersecurity. While we are sure the next decade will bring its own cybersecurity hacks, scams, and frauds—we will likely see new technology to help combat it.
Read on to learn more about the cybersecurity happenings this month including:

  • A new decade for cybersecurity
  • A major department store breach
  • How to keep your phone safe at airports
  • The setting you must enable for your Ring doorbell
  • And more

A new decade for cybersecurity

In just a few days, we welcome in 2020 and in turn, a new decade. The 2010s were a defining decade for cybersecurity. We saw some of the largest hacks, breaches, and scams make the news over the past ten years. But we have also gotten better with our cybersecurity. The number of institutions offering two-factor authentication has increased. More people are aware of what a phishing attack looks like. And legislation was passed making it easier for everyone (including minor children) to freeze their credit reports.
Of course, as we enter a new decade, new threats will emerge. Technology will continue to… Read More

Welcome to your December Savvy Cybersecurity newsletter. It is hard to believe that the decade is almost over!
But for now, let’s cover the cybersecurity happenings this month, including:

  • Your smartphone is the key to your digital life
  • An internet-connected doorbell putting your home network at risk
  • Why Google may have collected your healthcare data
  • How to stay safe during the online holiday shopping season
  • And more

Your smartphone is the key to your digital life

Take a moment and think about the last five things you used your smartphone for. Chances are, not all those actions were phone calls. Our phones have transformed into mini-computers holding our digital lives that we carry around constantly.
And while technology has made life easier, it also puts us more at risk. If your phone is hacked, so much of your life is accessible—your text messages, your contacts, your photos, your banking app, your calendar, your work email… Read More

Welcome to your November Savvy Cybersecurity newsletter. It is hard to believe that Fall is well underway.
But for now, let’s cover the cybersecurity happenings this month, including:

  • Majority of Americans fail digital knowledge quiz
  • A student loan scam making the rounds
  • How airlines are getting more cyber secure
  • Why you may get a check from LifeLock
  • And more

Majority of Americans fail digital knowledge quiz

Nearly three-fourths of U.S. adults cannot identify an example of two-factor authentication, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Of the ten-question poll, the median number of correct answers was four while only 20% got seven or more questions right.
While cybersecurity seems to be in the news regularly, it is apparent that most Americans are still unsure about best practices for protecting their data and identity from hacks and breaches. For example, more than half of those surveyed did not know that a URL beginning with “https://” indicated that information shared with the site was encrypted. The majority of respondents also did not know that private browsing mode only prevents… Read More