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Investors increasingly concerned by cyber-crime 

  • A new survey commissioned by JM Finn has found a high concern of cybercrime amongst UK investors;
  • Concerns have notably been heightened due to increased online activity during Covid-19;
  • JM Finn has created an essential guide for all those concerned and added a new anti-fraud function to the client portal.

Around two-thirds (61%) of investors are concerned about cybercrime impacting them personally, whilst three-quarters (75%) believe that the threat from cybercrime has increased during Covid-19, according to research commissioned by JM Finn. The findings from over 600 UK investors come at a time of heightened online activity as the health pandemic has limited most communication and engagement to online portals.

Indeed, recent analysis by Google has shown that an estimated 18 million hoax emails are being sent a day as criminals have attempted to take advantage of the pandemic.

At the start of the pandemic, JM Finn was quick to get their staff working remotely, and its approach to client engagement process adapted accordingly.  The firm has also helped to educate and inform clients with a cybercrime awareness guide, a 30-page guide addressing the very real concerns of online users, offering tips and advice for staying safe.

JM Finn has also added to the functionality of its award-winning client portal to enable investors to report fraud quickly and securely at the touch of a button. Users can now easily flag if they believe they have been a victim of fraud or if their email account has been compromised which could lead them exposed to a phishing attack, and each client’s designated investment manager will investigate and act accordingly. Already the portal has secure messaging, and the addition of this fraud alert reflects the heightened concern of investors.

Steven Sussman, Chief Executive of JM Finn said“Throughout the Covid-19 crisis, our goals have remained twofold: ensuring we can continue servicing our clients, and the safety of our staff.  At a time of heightened risk of online crime, it is essential to support our clients and the wider investment community, and to provide tangible ways to limit chances of cyber fraud. We are proud to be launching our new fraud function on our award-winning portal and urge all investors to take all appropriate steps to stay safe and secure online.”

Dave King, CEO of Digitalis, digital risk and online reputation management firm said: “Unfortunately over the past three months we’ve seen a higher frequency of increasingly sophisticated examples of organised crime exploiting individuals’ vulnerabilities online. With much of the population working remotely and communicating (at times sensitive information) digitally, the amount of data exchanged and uploaded has increased dramatically, so too the risk of exposure to cyber-crime. We urge investors to mitigate their risk by reviewing their online profiles in order to understand what information is readily available to social engineers and by reassessing their security and privacy settings on social media and conferencing platforms.”

The new fraud alert comes on the back of previous efforts by JM Finn to protect their client’s data including the development of a Personal Library function, allowing clients to adopt a paperless option and the addition of a Secure Messaging function. The latter allows clients to send and receive important documents via the portal rather than rely on email.