Trading stocks used to be an activity that was only available to a select few members of society but as with so many other things, the internet stepped in to change this. Today it is easier than ever before for the general public to participate in stock trading via online platforms and it is gaining popularity. While this is great news for stock traders, it also means that this part of the online world is drawing more attention from cybercriminals and fraudsters. How can online stock traders protect themselves and their investments from thieves? Let’s look at the 7 Steps to Ensure Secure Online Stock Trading.
Observe General Precautions when using the Internet for Financial Transactions
This cannot be overemphasized enough. In many cases, cybercriminals use the simplest possible method to obtain a user’s credentials and access their personal data. This type of attack is referred to as phishing and it is on the rise. Luckily, avoiding phishing attempts is not too complicated and by following a few simple rules, you can avoid being caught
Change Default Router Passwords:
Making sure that you change factory default router and Wi-Fi passwords is the first step to keeping hackers away from your personal information. You should also make sure that you use complicated passwords that cannot be guessed easily when signing up to online stock trading platforms.
Keep your Computer and Browser Updated:
Make sure that you always install the latest updates to critical software such as your operating system and browser(s). Security patches for newly discovered vulnerabilities are often distributed in software updates so not installing them in a timely manner can leave your system vulnerable.
Also Read: Trading for a Living: Is it really possible?
Never Respond to Unsolicited or Suspicious Emails:
Most of us have received an email claiming that we have inherited a vast amount of money from some unknown and often extremely distant relative at some point in our lives. These emails are a favorite tool amongst hackers and they often use them to acquire login details which can be used to access secure online stock trading platforms. By not responding to any such emails and not opening attachments from unknown sources, you can avoid becoming a victim of cybercrime.
Secure your Internet Connection:
Antivirus and antimalware protection are essential to ensure that you are always safe when trading online but you can do even more to protect yourself. By using a VPN or virtual private network to connect to your preferred online stock trading platform, you can make it much more difficult for a hacker to access your confidential data. A VPN is an inexpensive but effective tool that doesn’t require any advanced technical know-how to use, making it ideal for online stock traders who are looking for an extra layer of security. However, for secure online stock trading, it is important to ensure that you only make use of a VPN from a reliable service provider.
Make sure that you use a Reliable Trading Platform:
It is always a good idea to do enough research about the online trading platform that you will be using for your stock trading. If the platform is plagued by bad reviews or similar problems it might be wise to steer clear and choose another platform. You should also check that the platform uses encrypted connections for its website and other online platforms. Also, make sure that you are accessing the right website by checking the URL and verifying that it is correct. This is important because scammers often use URLs that look correct at first glance, but these are in fact intended to redirect users to insecure third-party websites where their credentials can be collected and used illegally.
Keep your Information Private:
Make sure that you protect your investment and your privacy by keeping your login details secure. If you make use of software such as password managers to store your login information you should always make sure that the software you choose to use is reliable and safe. Also, make sure to limit access to your computer by protecting it with a password so that unauthorized users cannot access your workstation and confidential files. Remember that simply erasing data when it is no longer needed does not always guarantee that hackers cannot get their hands on it. If you decide to get rid of confidential financial data it is wise to make sure that it is destroyed completely so that no one can access it later.
While online trading platforms provide an easy and affordable way for more investors to participate in stock trading, it also creates an opportunity for hackers to gain access to sensitive information that could enable them to get their hands on your hard-earned money. Make sure that you always follow these basic safe practices when trading online to ensure that your money stays safe and that the experience remains an enjoyable one!