How to Best Protect your Online Trading Account
According to a report from The Economic Times, cybercriminals are targeting stock markets. Their modus operandi includes selling penny stocks from their account and purchasing them from a hacked account. In this way, the original investor/owner of the hacked account ends up losing the money.
In any case, you need to find the right broker to implement your strategy and be able to use the right tools. Most importantly, you need to use a trustworthy, regulated broker with a secure trading environment. A recent increase in data breaches has left traders and investors wondering how they can protect their data and trading accounts from hackers. So, let’s have a look at some ways you can better protect your online trading account.
Be vigilant when you’re online
The first tip is obvious, but remember to always remain vigilant when browsing and shopping online, as cybercriminals often change their methods to gain access to your personal data in order to hack your accounts. Be careful who you trust and what you download!
Be careful when dealing with emails
Do not respond to emails requesting personnel information, as no legitimate entity will ask you for sensitive information through non-secure means, such as email. Do not click on links coming from unknown email addresses (or from known addresses if they look suspicious). Even if a link seems legitimate, be extra careful. Rather than clicking on it, type the address into a browser to check it.
Pick strong passphrases or passwords
Some brokers will allow you to set up a passphrase rather than a password, which is often longer and stronger. A passphrase is a series of random words that create a phrase. Strong and efficient passphrases and passwords shouldn’t contain any personal information. You should also always add characters that include numbers, symbols, as well as capital and lowercase letters. If you want, you can use a random password generator. It’s also important to change your passwords regularly and to avoid using the same passwords multiple times.
Activate a two-step verification process
If available, a multi-factor authentication process is a great way to secure your investment account. This additional safety step will require you to provide more than one verification factor to get access to your trading account. A code can be sent to your email, your mobile, or through an authentication app, so then you can authorize the access.
Turn on account alerts
One of the best ways to stay aware of all activities linked to your banking and trading accounts is to activate email or text message alerts about account logins, failed account login attempts, password changes, and transfers of money/securities. The types of alerts available will depend on your bank, broker, or investment firm, so be sure to find out what your online platforms offer and how to turn them on.
Check your trade confirmations and account statements
Always read the available information about your account activity to look for anything suspicious. Look for any discrepancies in the transactions appearing in your account statements and trade confirmations, and contact your broker immediately if you find any unauthorized transactions. Keep a written record of all communications you have with your broker about it.
Data breaches, viral attacks, phishing, and identity theft are some of the most common cybersecurity risks involved when trading online. So consider these steps to protect yourself from hackers and keep your money and investments safe. There are of course many more tips to follow to better protect your online trading accounts, but starting with these will help you adopt better habits in keeping your brokerage account safe.