Virtually all online stock brokers maintain strong security procedures to protect you while you’re accessing your account. As well, companies and security experts regularly monitor the online environment for new threats. Most threats, old and new, will be stopped by your broker’s security measures.
Common broker security measures include:
- Secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption. This typically includes the use of a 128-bit key to encrypt and decrypt data files. In fact, 128-bit encryption is generally considered unbreakable. It would require a massive computation that could take thousands of years to break.
- Secure servers. Encrypted data is stored behind secure and monitored firewalls, in fully secured facilities.
- Two-step authentication. This feature is an additional login step, over and above your passcodes. It would be best if you took advantage of this step — see below.
- Automatic logout. Your account is set up to automatically log out of your secure session following a period of inactivity. For example, after 10 minutes of inactivity, the platform may ask you if you wish to continue. If you don’t respond, it automatically logs you out of your account.
- System monitoring. The financial institution regularly monitors its entire system for potential security breaches and other threats such as malware, fraudulent apps, and phishing schemes.