The High Stakes of Online Privacy for Wealthy Families

Affluent families are at risk of unique vulnerabilities and challenges online.

The wealthier you are, the higher your risk of cyber threats such as identity theft, financial fraud, and targeted attacks due to your high profile and substantial assets.

It makes sense: hacking most people and accessing their bank account, social media profile, or iCloud account usually takes approximately the same time. So why spend this time on someone with fewer assets when you can hit a bankroll by targeting the right people?

This pretty much sums up the way hackers think about the topic.

Wealthy families face specific areas of concern, including managing online financial transactions, protecting personal information on social media, and safeguarding communication through encrypted channels.

If you are wealthy, you probably have high standards for yourself and your children. But your children would benefit immensely from additional care for their online privacy.

Wealthier children have more options to brag about, and they usually do, which exposes them to risks not only to themselves but the entire family. You might be cautious about posting where you go on vacation and, most importantly, when. But will your 10-year-old daughter be as careful as you?

What if someone wants to rob your house and knows you are careful but stalks your daughter’s TikTok account instead of your very private Facebook?

And the safety of your house should be much lower on your list of priorities compared with the safety of your children. The amount of pedophiles out there is just incredible!

Privacy… does it even exist?

Being in cybersecurity for the past 20+ years, I can’t tell you you have a real chance of privacy if you use social media or shop online with your name and address.

If you use social media, your social apps spy on you and what you say and do, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you shop online, let’s say… 3 times a week, at three different sites, that makes 12 sites a month, 144 sites per year (we are averaging a lot, but stay with me). And let’s say 20% of them are secure… the rest will get hacked at least once, revealing your purchases, card details, address, and name to anyone willing to dig a bit through underground hacking forums.

With that, you have a somewhat realistic view of your privacy today if you have done nothing about it. But everything is not lost!

This article aims to help you protect yourself and your loved ones.

Wealthy families shop more, are exposed more due to their fame or media attention, and are targeted more often. Suppose a regular person may shop online and suffer little to no consequences. In that case, nobody is interested in them, and nobody would be willing to look through large hacked databases for details about them and their families.

Regular people can fly under the radar.

When Mariott International’s entire IT network got hacked, the passport details of many of their customers leaked. Does that affect regular people? It’s unlikely because nobody cares. But you would be worried if your passport details became public, right? And your travel history with Mariott? In total, the data of 5.2 million customers of Mariott International leaked… passport details, travel history, card details, and the like.

This is just one example. One company and one website were breached.

Privacy is a myth.

The Unique Vulnerabilities of Wealthy Families

Wealthy families and individuals have an increased risk of Exposure. Your high net worth is a magnet to all kinds of nefarious groups and individuals. Activists, fans, and people with mental issues might want to get access to your private life and expose it just for the fun of it.
Targeted by Cybercriminals: Affluent families are often targeted to steal resources or gain access to information that could be further sold to the highest bidder.

Securing Online Banking: Tips for Secure Banking Practices

You probably have several bank accounts in multiple jurisdictions and may be making the grave mistake of having the same password. But wait, some people get ‘smart’ and choose “different” passwords for all their online banking… such as “swissbankpassword” for their Swiss account and “Germanbankpassword” for their German bank account… you get the sarcasm. Having unique usernames and passwords plus secure verification options (not your city of birth or your mother’s maiden name) is a must.

Smart Investment Management: How to protect investment accounts online.

You should have similar strict rules on protecting your investment portfolios as for your online banking. But there’s more: What if someone knows your secrets, passwords, and 2-factor authentication on your phone? How hard would it be for them to steal your phone and make good use of it in a few minutes before you can wipe it remotely?

Safeguarding Personal Information on Social Media

The Perils of Oversharing

Sharing might be caring in other situations, but when it comes to being safe online, it is the opposite. The more you share, the worse off you are. Sharing photos of your fancy vacation? People can deduce your exact location, up to room number and hotel name, from a single photo. You can’t even imagine how many details can someone grab off a regular photo or video on Instagram. Do you want paparazzi with your coffee in the morning? Because that is how you get paparazzi. 

Privacy Settings

Privacy isn’t about hiding; it’s about controlling your narrative in the digital realm.

Ideally, your social media apps and accounts should show your whereabouts only to people you trust. You might have a ‘public’ account where you share things for media publicity purposes, but be careful what you share there. 

Best practices for what to share and what to keep private

  • You can share photos of food, night shots without clear landmarks, photos of the ocean, etc. 
  • Avoid sharing exact hotel names, specific restaurant names and locations, street names, the time when you travel – wait until you come back before you start posting vacation photos. Otherwise, you might risk your home being robbed while on vacation. 

Protecting Communication Through Encrypted Channels

  • Your email is probably the least secure form of communication. Facebook and Instagram are also quite insecure. 
  • Recommended encrypted communication apps: Signal, Telegram, Threema
  • If you need to use email, use secure services such as ProtonMail. 

Educating Family Members on Online Privacy

You might be technically adept, but your children, parents or spouse might look at online privacy lightly, thus exposing the entire family to risks. 

Our recommendation is to hold at least one, one-hour session with a cybersecurity or privacy expert for your entire family. 

Minimizing Digital Footprints

• Understanding Digital Footprints: An overview of what digital footprints are and how they’re created.
• Strategies for Reducing Digital Footprints: Practical steps for minimizing online traces.
• The Role of Privacy-Enhancing Technologies: Tools and technologies that can help.• Suggested Quote: “A smaller digital footprint means a larger space for privacy.”

Proactive Measures for Enhanced Privacy

• Regular Security Audits: The importance of assessing privacy settings regularly.
• Comprehensive Cybersecurity Solutions: Overview of solutions for families.
• Protocols for Online Activities: Establishing family-wide rules for internet use.• Suggested Quote: “Proactivity in privacy protection is the cornerstone of digital security.”

Working with Cybersecurity Experts

The most significant change you can make is take proactive measures. Responding to a data breach or a privacy violation helps, when someone takes advantage of you or your family online. But the damage would be done… Defending your privacy today ensures it will also be protected tomorrow.

A cybersecurity expert can audit your digital presence and practices and suggest an improvement plan. Then, by using comprehensive cybersecurity solutions and establishing strict protocols for online activities, the security expert will build a fortress around you and your family. The same expert can create privacy protection plans catering to wealthy families’ specific needs and concerns.

Let’s do something about it.

If you want to fortify your family’s digital defenses, contacting a cybersecurity expert isn’t just an option; it’s necessary. Let’s work together to safeguard your legacy today.

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