By Milica Vojnic
Online stock trading is something that started out as a hobby for many people, but in recent years it has become a serious source of income for many online stock traders. Online stock trading is popular because specialized platforms allow stocks to be traded without highly specialized training and equipment. In short: anyone with a computer and capital can become a stock trader from the comfort of their own home.
Naturally, this has also created an opportunity for cyber criminals who seek to gain unauthorized access to the computers of unsuspecting victims and ultimately their actions. For this reason, it is essential that any computer and / or network used for online stock trading is protected against hackers, viruses and malware.
Why is online stock trading vulnerable to hacking?
Online stock trading platforms are generally very secure, but the connection between your computer and the stock trading platform could be a weak link that hackers could exploit. Aside from that, it is also important to make sure that the online stock trading platform you choose to use is well known and has a good reputation. Larger, more well-known stock trading platforms are likely to invest more resources in security, which ultimately means your stocks and data are more secure. However, choosing a secure online stock trading platform is only the first step in keeping you and your stocks safe online.
Adopt general safe browsing habits
Common sense is a very powerful tool in the fight against online fraud. By doing simple things like not opening email attachments from unknown sources or downloading and installing unknown software, you can do a lot to protect your PC. Also, try to avoid visiting sketchy websites which may be infested with malware.
Use strong passwords
Always choose hard-to-guess passwords for your online accounts. This means that you must use a combination of numbers, letters and special characters. Also, avoid using personal words or events as passwords. For example, your dog’s name is not a good idea for a strong password. For ultimate password peace of mind, consider using a password generator to create random strong passwords. It’s also important to remember that you shouldn’t share your passwords with other people or leave them in places where they can be easily found.
Use two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication offers an easy method to add a lot of extra security to your online account. Two-factor authentication makes it harder for cybercriminals to access your account by forcing you to enter your password and a randomly generated code before you can access your account. The randomly generated password is usually sent to your mobile device or email address, which means that a potential hacker should be able to gain access to your device before they can access your online stock account.
Make sure linked accounts are secure
Keeping your online brokerage account secure also means protecting your other online accounts. For example, many online stock trading platforms can be linked to your bank accounts, email accounts, and in some cases, social media accounts. Each of these accounts can provide a route for hackers if they are not equally secure. Therefore, it is important to make sure that you regularly change passwords for your frequently used online accounts. In doing so, you make it more difficult for hackers to gain access. The best way to protect your account is to avoid associating other accounts with it as much as possible.
Choose to use biometric access when possible
In many cases, online stock trading platforms come with a mobile app, which can also be used to access your stock trading account. If this app offers biometric login, it’s a good idea to use it. Using biometrics to access your accounts is often more secure than using traditional passwords. In many cases this feature is available but must be enabled before it can be used.
Make sure account notifications are active
Enabling account notifications ensures that you are immediately notified of suspicious transactions on your account. Enabling account notifications for all sensitive transactions such as fund movements, user changes, and changes to linked accounts can alert you to fraudulent activity in time to react and avoid a major loss.
As is the case with most online business, online stock trading is not immune to cybercriminals and their activities. It is important that everyone who uses these platforms acts with caution and follows the basic rules of internet security. By doing this, you not only protect your investment from hackers, but you also get a lot more out of the experience.
Authors biography : Milica Vojnic is Digital Marketing Manager for Wisetek. Milica regularly advises companies on the importance of an effective data destruction policy for better cybersecurity.