It seems to me that this information is available everywhere- and almost at any time.  AND, it also seems to me that our clients are way above average in their knowledge of internet safety protocols. Still, we do hear from clients telling us that they or their family have been hoodwinked into downloading viruses that disable their computing devices or phones, OR they have had their credit history stolen by thieves. SO, here’s another quick list of security safety precautions, courtesy of our broker/dealer Lincoln Financial Services. WE know that YOU know this stuff, so have a quick look and pass it on to your family, in hopes that it might prevent a real hassle for them.

Top 10 online safety recommendations

Use the Lincoln Financial Group Cybersecurity team’s top 10 recommendations for staying safe online, a combination of behaviors and technology that can help protect you, your family, and Lincoln from cybercrime. 95% of cybersecurity breaches are due to human error.

Behavior

  1. Develop a healthy level of paranoia.

Most cybersecurity experts trust little online — particularly email communications and anything that sounds too good to be true. Don’t let fear paralyze you but do maintain a healthy level of caution and skepticism.

  1. Take ownership of your identity.

Identity monitoring is a must, and we strongly recommend credit locking, as well. Unfortunately, it’s not a question of if identity theft may happen anymore, so own your Social Security number before someone else does.

  1. Maintain control over social media.

Social media can be fun, but it also poses risks. Be smart about social media privacy and treat it like your next boss is following you.

  1. Regularly monitor and place alerts on your accounts.

Make sure you watch your financial accounts, whether they’re retirement plans, bank accounts, credit cards, brokerage activities, or other accounts. Enable auto-alerts and immediately respond to irregular activity.

  1. Back up PCs regularly.

Cloud-based backup services are terrific for ensuring that the information on your PC can be restored, generally allowing you to “set it and forget it.” Every so often, restore a file to make sure the backup function is working correctly.

Technology

  1. Use two-factor authentication everywhere.

This identity verification technology is a cybercriminal’s worst nightmare — and a must if you’re using financial accounts, email, or anything that stores confidential information.

  1. Auto-update all your devices.

Devices such as computers, tablets, and cell phones are constantly updating their software to address security vulnerabilities. Turn on auto-update for all your devices and security patches will be installed automatically for you. 7% – 10% of Americans are victims of identity fraud each year.

1 “Identity Theft and Internet Scams.” Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, October 2020, www.cisa.gov/sites/default/files/publications/NCSAM_TheftScams_2020.pdf.

2 Milkovich, Devon. “15 Alarming Cyber Security Facts and Stats.” Cubin, 23 December 2020, https://www.cybintsolutions.com/cyber-security-facts-stats/.

  1. Enable all security features on mobile devices.

Fingerprint and face scans, five-try device lockdown, encryption, and other security features make sure your mobile devices are as secure as possible.

  1. Protect your home network.

Always enable wireless security, keep kids off your PC, and consider services that can shield your home from malicious websites.

  1. Use a password vault.

Most people today need to keep track of dozens of passwords. A password vault app is an effective way to manage them. There are several reputable vault providers to choose from, so make them part of your password strategy.

Ron’s Market Minute — Market Melt-Up?

Recently I’ve seen quite a few TV market commentators predicting a market melt-up, and several clients have asked us for comment. So, the first place I would look would be the degree of market participation. In other words, is MOST of the market in a position to go higher, or isn’t it? The bounce from the lows at the beginning of October is a good starting point, but the current new highs are barely above the September top. Is there any juice left in the tank?  Let’s have a look at the ‘Golden Cross’ index first. 

The Golden Cross (GCI) shows the percent of S&P stocks that have their 50-day intermediate moving average (50EMA) above the longer moving average (200EMA). This gives us an indication of longer-term market participation. Since the GCI high earlier this year it has dropped down to 82%. That indicates that markets are still overbought and strong, but they still have plenty of room to expand. Remember that even if the markets ARE overbought, that does not mean that they cannot become MORE overbought. So, in general, I’d say markets pass the first test of a possible melt-up. 

Next, we’ll check out the Silver Cross Index which shows the percent of stocks with their very short-term moving average (20EMA) above their intermediate term moving average (50EMA) to have another view of market participation. First note that from its April top at 95% it dropped to 40% earlier this month — in other words 60% of stocks were showing intermediate weakness- and that bothered me a bit and I was concerned that we could be in for a difficult period in markets. But then the October rally started in earnest and drove prices to highs again, and Silver Cross participation went up to 59.2%. That’s not a huge number. However, it should be enough to support prices. AND it’s barely overbought, so the market has plenty of room to expand further. That passes test #2.

AND SO: The Golden Cross and Silver Cross Indicators are a long way from where the markets would be considered too overbought to interfere with the ongoing rally. The potential for continuation is also good based on seasonality.

It is fairly common to expect the last quarter of a calendar year to be strong, and there is also the common expectation for a ‘Santa Claus’ Rally. Will it be a melt-up? That of course remains to be seen, but market internals indicate the potential for continued positive prices through the end of the year. 

Ronald P. Denk, CFP®
Investment Advisor
Denk Strategic Wealth Partners
10000 N. 31st Avenue, Suite C-262
Phoenix, AZ 85051
Phone (602) 252-8700
Fax (602) 252-8701
Toll-Free (877) The-Denk
www.denkinvest.com

LFS-3892846-102921

This weekly article reflects news, commentary, opinions, viewpoints, analyses, and other information developed by Denk Strategic Wealth Partners for use with advisory clients only and/or select but unaffiliated third parties. DSWP provides Market Information for illustrative and informational purposes only. If you wish to receive this weekly commentary by email, please contact us at 602-252-8700 or by e-mail at lindaw@denkinvest.com. If you are receiving this commentary via email and would prefer not to please let us know either by email or phone.

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