Knowledge Center

CISO Perspective: Tips to Secure Your Information in the New Year

keeping-my-information-safe | Read Time: 3 minutes

By Robert Eastwood | Published: December 2022

CISO Perspective: Tips to Secure Your Information in the New Year

While many consumers stay up late to ring in the New Year, they could find themselves losing even more sleep if they’re the victim of fraud.

The Federal Trade Commission’s report on fraud estimated that American consumers lost more than $5.8 billion to phishing schemes and other fraud tactics in 2021, which represents an increase of more than 70% from the prior year.

The truth is, scammers and fraudsters never sleep, so it is vital to remain vigilant at all times to avoid falling victim.

Here are some tips to help keep yourself and your information secure.

Ring in the New Year with a Privacy Checkup
Performing a privacy checkup periodically is always a good idea, but where should you start?

Ask yourself a few questions about the passwords you use for your various banking, email, social media and other online accounts.

Do you use the same password across multiple accounts and how frequently do you update them? Do you save passwords on your devices and is multi-factor authentication enabled where possible?

It’s important to use unique passwords and update them regularly, especially if any of your accounts have been compromised. Avoid saving your passwords, especially on shared devices, and enable multi-factor authentication to add a layer of security.

You can also check if your email accounts have been compromised at or see if your passwords have been exposed in a data breach at To make remembering your various login information easier across sites, consider using a password manager like LastPass, DashLane, 1Password or BitWarden.

Peer-to-Peer Payments Fraud
Peer-to-Peer (P2P) payments are an easy and convenient way to quickly send money to friends and family to reimburse them for things like a split dinner out or shared holiday shopping expenses, but they need to be used with caution.

Before sending a payment to anyone – whether it’s via Zelle®, Venmo or another platform – send a test payment of just a few cents to ensure the intended person correctly receives the funds, and never send payments to someone you don’t know.

Scammers impersonating legitimate companies and banks have been known to call consumers about suspicious activity on their account and ask the consumer to send them money via payment apps. If you get an unsolicited call from someone claiming to be your bank, hang up and call the number on your debit card or latest statement.

Check Washing
Check fraud, particularly check washing, where fraudsters steal legitimate checks and “wash” them to change the recipient and amount, have continued to rise in recent years.

Whether you’re sending a check to a loved one as a gift or to pay a bill like your mortgage, there are steps you can take to reduce the odds of being a victim of fraud.

Try to avoid sending checks through the mail where possible by enrolling in online payments for your bills. If you must send a check through the mail, bring it directly to your local post office to limit the chances of the check being stolen from large blue mailboxes.

Steps to Take if You’re the Victim of Fraud
Falling victim to fraud can be gut-wrenching, but if you act quickly you can limit the damage.

Notify your banks and financial institutions immediately to have accounts frozen, new accounts created and cards issued. Have any compromised devices immediately wiped by professionals and change your usernames and passwords to your various accounts, even those that may not have been hacked. Place a fraud alert on your credit reports with all major credit bureaus. It is also a good idea to file a police or identity theft report as well as file a report with the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Bureau of Investigation.

By taking proactive steps to secure your devices and information, you can help protect yourself from fraud in the New Year and beyond.

That is a CISO perspective.

About the Author – Robert Eastwood
Robert Eastwood is Senior Vice President, Chief Information Security Officer at WSFS Bank. He has more than 24 years of experience in the information security field, including nearly 20 years at WSFS, most recently as Vice President, Information Security Officer, where he developed and executed a multi-year strategic plan for Information Security. He also holds a number of professional certifications and memberships in the Information Services, IT and financial services fields.



CISO Perspective: Tips to Secure Your Devices

CISO Perspective: Tips to Secure Your Devices

Have you ever lost your smartphone or tablet, or maybe even your laptop? Have any of them ever been stolen? It’s certainly not a good feeling. The number of mobile devices lost or stolen each year is in the millions. Sure, it's easy enough to get a replacement. Sure, they can be expensive to replace, but have you ever thought about the true value that device is worth?

Read More
CISO Perspective: Password Health Check

CISO Perspective: How to Perform a Password Health Check

How safe are my passwords? How do I know if my passwords have been leaked? These are questions I get asked a lot. More and more hackers are using leaked passwords to log into websites and apps that you use. They may make purchases, or they may use the information they gather to sell on the dark web or to scammers.

Read More
CISO Perspective: Tips for Avoiding Phone Scams

CISO Perspective: Tips for Avoiding Phone Scams

Phone scams are nothing new. However, fraudsters and hackers are always looking for new ways to trick you into giving them your money or personal information.

Read More
CISO Perspective: Is Anything Safe from Getting Hacked?

CISO Perspective: Is Anything Safe from Getting Hacked?

Working in the information security field, I am often asked a rhetorical question like, “is anything safe from getting hacked?” My answer is yes. But it is important to examine this a little closer to ensure you’re taking the proper precautions to protect yourself and your information.

Read More
CISO Perspective: Using Social Media Safely

CISO Perspective: Using Social Media Safely

Social media is a great way to connect with friends and family, share news, pictures, where you are visiting, you name it. We are quick to tap that button and share what's going on!

Read More