4 reasons your employees’ personal information may be safer online

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

In today’s fast-paced world, a digital footprint is relatively common. From online shopping and banking to social media and streaming entertainment subscriptions, the Internet provides people with endless opportunities. Unfortunately, along with the ease that the Internet provides also comes a level of uncertainty. Case in point: 64% of Americans have personally experienced a major data hacking breach, according to the Pew Research Center.1

While the numbers can be alarming, misinformation regarding digital security can lead to confusion. Understanding the truth behind online security is an important way to help your employees make informed decisions regarding their online accounts – especially their retirement plan account, which could be one of their largest assets. Here are four common myths about digital security, and the truth behind them.

Myth No. 1: Keeping personal information online is entirely unsafe.

The truth: Many people assume that storing information online exposes them to a more significant potential for hacking and fraud. The reality is that multiple layers may safeguard online data. For example, Voya takes numerous measures to protect online accounts—things like implementing username and password requirements with limits on password entry attempts and multifactor authentication, customer verification, answering security questions when log-on attempts are made from unrecognized computers and timed logoffs to reduce the risk of others accessing plan sponsor and participants’ information from an unattended computer. All of these tactics help keep would-be cyber thieves at bay.2

Myth No. 2: Big institutions can’t keep up with evolving cyber threats.

The truth: The companies that store data online know the trust you are putting in them to do so. As such, most work around the clock to keep up on digital security developments, and to provide the highest possible security standards. Cybersecurity has come a long way, and institutions like Voya do everything in their power to utilize industry-leading technology to keep your employees’ accounts safe. Firewalls can help block unauthorized access to company networks, while strong encryption practices protect personal information as it travels virtually from an employee’s device to their retirement account. Voya also keeps constant surveillance to ensure that only authorized access to an account is allowed online. As far as in-person theft goes, Voya work areas are monitored and restricted to authorized personnel access only.3

Myth 3: If an employee’s retirement account is hacked, those assets will be lost for good.

The truth: Every online institution has different policies, but most do their best to ensure that any loss of assets due to a data breach is handled appropriately and with as little stress to the consumer as possible. At Voya, the Secure Accounts for Everyone ® (S.A.F.E.) Guarantee for Workplace Retirement Accounts assures customers that if any assets are taken from their retirement plan accounts due to unauthorized activity, and through no fault of their own, the full value of those accounts may be restored.

Myth No. 4: There is nothing my employees can do personally about cyber security when they keep accounts online.

The truth: Most institutions implement high-security cyber standards like using firewalls and sophisticated encryption, but plan sponsors and participants can also share in the responsibility to ensure digital profiles are as safe as possible. Individual cybersecurity starts with easy steps like ensuring passwords and PINs are strong and unique to each account. Installing malware security software on devices can help provide an additional layer of protection from harmful viruses. Encouraging participants to register their accounts online and login to their accounts frequently to monitor for any fraudulent activity is one way to catch issues as soon as they crop up.

Although it’s true that online accounts are subject to potential cyber threats these days, as long as the proper steps are followed, creating online accounts actually can be very safe. Keeping your employees’ digital profiles from prying eyes starts with a high level of vigilance and cybersecurity on their part. With Voya as a trusted partner, you can rest assured that your retirement plan’s online accounts are being properly monitored at all times.

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Explore more: Worried about cybersecurity? Start with your own employees

1 Smith, A., & Smith, A. (2017, April 27). Americans and Cybersecurity. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2017/01/26/americans-and-cybersecurity/

Safeguarding Your Data. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.voya.com/articles/safeguarding-your-data

Safeguarding Your Data. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.voya.com/articles/safeguarding-your-data