Online trading

Best practices to protect your data in the age of online trading

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 make it possible to trade stocks without highly specialized training or equipment. In a nutshell: anyone with a computer and capital can become a stock trader from the comfort of their home.

Naturally, this has also created an opportunity for cybercriminals looking to gain unauthorized access to unsuspecting victims’ computers and, ultimately, their inventory. 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. Bigger and more well-known stock trading platforms are likely to invest more resources in security, which ultimately means your stocks and data are safer. 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 keep your PC safe. Also try to avoid visiting sketchy websites that 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 peace of mind when it comes to passwords, consider using a password generator to create random strong passwords. It is also important to remember that you should not share your passwords with other people or leave them in places where they can be found easily.

Use two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication offers a simple method to add lots of extra security to your online account. Two-factor authentication makes it harder for cybercriminals to gain access to your account by requiring you to enter your password and a randomly generated code before they can access your account. The randomly generated password is usually sent to your mobile device or email address, which means a potential hacker would need to gain access to your device before they can access your online stock account.

Make sure linked accounts are safe

The security of your online brokerage account also means the security of 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 an entry point for hackers if they are not equally secure. Therefore, it is important to ensure that you regularly change the passwords of your frequently used online accounts. By doing so, you make it more difficult for hackers to gain access. The best way to protect your account is to avoid linking other accounts to it whenever 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 on

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 switches, and changes to linked accounts can alert you to fraudulent activity in time to react and avoid a major loss.

In conclusion

As is the case with most online activities, online stock trading is not free from cyber criminals and their activities. It is important that anyone using these platforms act with caution and follow basic internet safety rules. 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 Head of Digital Marketing at Wisetek. Milica regularly advises companies on the importance of an effective data destruction policy for better cybersecurity.