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Best Practices For Protecting Your Data In the Age Of Online Trading

Benzinga logo Benzinga 11/19/2021 Benzinga Contributor
© Provided by Benzinga By Milica Vojnic

Online stock trading is something that started 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 in stocks without highly specialized training or equipment. In a nutshell: anybody 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 who are looking to gain unauthorized access to unsuspecting victim's computers and ultimately stock holdings. For this reason, it is paramount that any computer and/or network that is 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 might exploit. Except for this, it is also important to ensure that the online stock trading platform that you choose to use is well known and has a good reputation. Larger and more well-known stock trading platforms are likely to invest more resources into security which ultimately means that your stocks and data are safer. However, choosing a safe online stock trading platform is just the first step to keeping yourself and your stocks safe online.

Practice 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 go a long way towards keeping your PC safe. Also, try to avoid visiting sketchy websites that may be malware infested.

Use Strong Passwords

Always choose passwords that are hard to guess for your online accounts. This means that you should make use of a combination of numbers, letters, and special characters. Also, avoid using any personally relatable words or events as your password. For example, your dog's name is not a good idea for a strong password. For the ultimate peace of mind when it comes to passwords, consider making use of 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 an easy method to add a lot of additional security to your online account. Two-factor authentication makes it harder for cybercriminals to access your account by requiring you to enter your password as well as a randomly generated code before you can gain access to your account. The randomly generated password is usually sent to your mobile device or email address meaning that a potential hacker would need to be able to access your device before being able to access your online stock account.

Ensure that Linked Accounts are Safe

Keeping your online brokerage account safe also means keeping your other online accounts safe. For example, many online stock trading platforms can be linked to your bank accounts, email accounts, and in some cases social media accounts. Every one of these accounts can provide an access route for hackers if they are not also kept secure. Therefore, it is important to ensure that you regularly change the passwords of your frequently used online accounts. In doing so, you make it more difficult for hackers to gain entry. The best way to keep your account safe is to avoid linking other accounts to it whenever possible.

Choose to Use Biometric Access When Possible

In many cases, online stock trading platforms have an accompanying mobile application, which can also be used to access your stock trading account. If this application offers biometric login, it is a good idea to make use of this. Using biometrics to access your accounts is often safer than using traditional passwords. In many cases, this functionality is available but has to be activated before it can be used.

Make Sure Account Notifications are Active

Activating account notifications ensures that you are made aware of suspicious transactions on your account immediately. Enabling account notifications for all sensitive transactions such as funds movement, user changes and changes to linked accounts can alert you of fraudulent activity in time to react and prevent a major loss.

In Conclusion

As is the case with most online activities, online stock trading is not exempt from cybercriminals and their activities. It is important that every person who uses these platforms acts with caution and observes basic internet security rules. By doing this, you not only keep your investment safe from hackers, but you also enjoy the experience much more.

Author Bio: Milica Vojnic is a Digital Marketing Executive for Wisetek. Milica regularly advises businesses on the importance of an effective Data Destruction policy for improved cyber security.

       
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