While a good securities litigation attorney can help you get your money back if you invested in a fraudulent company or were the victim of some other investment scheme, it’s much harder to recover your money and assets if your accounts end up being hacked. So if you are in the habit of trading stocks and making investments online, it’s a good idea to brush up on some cybersecurity basics from time to time.
The good news is that it doesn’t take too much work to stay safe online these days. It just takes a bit of extra care, and a bit of know-how. Here are some tips that can help you get started.
1) Be wary of email
Don’t be fooled by the romantic view of hackers presented by movies. While some hackers do indeed use complex digital tools to exploit security flaws on various systems, most bad actors around the web choose a much simpler approach. Which is to simply set up traps online and hope for human error to get them what they need.
Nowhere is this more evident than in your email inbox. Phishing attacks are one of the most common causes of data breaches around the world, and pulling off a successful phishing attack is often as simple as getting a person to click a link on an email. Or getting them to reply with the information you need.
The solution is to be careful. Don’t click on any mysterious links you get by email, don’t download any files, and don’t send out your data to people without first verifying their identity. Especially if it’s replying to someone who contacted you with a deal that seems too good to be true.
2) Keep separate devices
If you can afford it, it’s a good idea to have a phone and/or a laptop dedicated solely to financial dealings. You should keep that device away from any public Wi-Fi network, make sure it is always updated, and only install the bare minimum amount of apps and programs you need to get your investments done on that device. This makes sure that even if you aren’t as careful as you should on your day-to-day devices, your financial dealings will stay safe.
3) Protect your passwords
Make sure you use a password manager, especially when it comes to protecting accounts that relate to your financial life. And check to see if any of the passwords you are currently using has been leaked — there are free tools that let you check if your account information has been part of any leaks in the past.
4) Enable two-factor authentication
It’s hard to overstate what a security boost two-factor authentication is to any system. There are many types of two-factor authentication in the market, from unique tokens sent to your phone to fingerprint scanners and voice ID. And whatever form of two-factor authentication you choose, it will make sure that a compromised password will not immediately lead to a compromised account.
On top of that, most services warn you when someone tries to log into your account but fails the two-step authentication process. Which will clue you in that it is time to change the password associated with that given account.