Even with the best broker-implemented security measures in place, your account can never be completely safe without your cooperation. It would be best if you took the necessary precautions to protect yourself:
- Install good anti-virus and anti-spyware programs on your computer. This will be your best protection against viruses, malware, spyware, and other online threats. It’s also important to make sure your security programs are regularly updated.
- Use strong passcodes. Most people create passcodes that are user-friendly. There’s a strong preference for passcodes that are easily remembered. Even worse, many users employ the same passcodes across several financial websites. Rather than using easy-to-remember passcodes, create the type that makes no sense at all.
- None of the words or numbers in an effective passcode should be easily connected to you personally. That means don’t use family names, street addresses, or common numbers, such as your phone number or your date of birth. Use a mix of both uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. It will be less convenient for you, which is exactly why it will be much harder for hackers.
- Participate in two-factor authentication. This adds another layer beyond your passcodes. Many financial institutions make two-factor authentication available to you. It would be best if you always took advantage of it. It requires you to enter a verification code after entering your passcodes. Your trading app will send you the code by either email or text, and you then type that code to gain access to your online account.
- Guard your account information. Be aware of who’s around when you’re logging into your account. Never leave your computer unattended when you’re logged in. Log out of your account immediately after you’re finished. And never leave account documentation where anyone else might find it.