Amid rising cyber security threats, regulators in New Brunswick are advising investors to investigate how financial firms protect their personal information.

The Financial and Consumer Services Commission (FCNB) issued a series of tips Tuesday designed to help consumers protect themselves from cyber threats, and to help them discuss cyber security with their financial firms. Typical cyber risks include identity theft, the introduction of computer viruses and malware, and phishing attacks.

“People are becoming more and more reliant on technology in their daily lives, which could leave sensitive financial information at risk if the proper safe guards are not in place,” says Jake van der Laan, chief information officer at FCNB. “As a customer, you have the right to ask questions of financial professionals and get answers you can understand in writing. The best way people can protect themselves is by becoming informed consumers.”

The FCNB advises investors to use strong passwords where passwords are required; to use two-factor authentication to provide an extra layer of security; and, to encrypt particularly sensitive information.

It also stresses that it’s equally important to discuss cyber security with providers of financial services, and sets out a series of questions that investors can consider using to gain more information. These include questions on issues such as how firms are addressing cyber security threats and vulnerabilities; the procedures and measures they have in place to protect against cyber risks; and, whether they have insurance coverage for cyber breaches; among other issues.

“Consumers should think about the safety of their financial information, and talk with their financial professionals about what steps firms are taking to safeguard client information,” van der Laan said. “You can never be too cautious when it comes to protecting yourself from cyberthreats.”