5 Tips for Investors to Ramp Up Their Digital Security
News | Dezember 23, 2020, 18:31 PM | Brought to you by a Guest authorWhile the stock market is no stranger to volatility, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has only increased the market's instability. People are sat at home with nothing to do but worry about their stocks, invest in major corporations (such as pharmaceutical companies), and consult with advisors.
Not only are more people breaking into the business of investing, but the ones who already have investments have become paranoid, watching their investments closer than ever in hopes they can turn a quick profit.
Advancements in technology over the past decade have—thankfully—made it easier than ever to tap into the stock market. This technology is especially invaluable, considering many people around the world are stuck at home. But because so many use the Internet to invest, cybercriminals have set their sights on investors.
5 Tips for Investors
What can investors do to combat the increase in cybercriminal activity revolving around the stock market? Fortunately, there are a few ways to combat cybercriminals, and most of them require simple updates and changes to one’s daily routine.
Always Encrypt Your Online Activity
As the Internet became commonplace in the early 2000s, users were reminded of one truth: everything stays on the Internet. This stays true for what you do on the Internet. Whether you’re buying stock or simply checking up on social media, everything you do—all of your activity online—is logged. ISPs, governments, cybercriminals: they all have access to this logged information with the right tools.
With that data, cybercriminals can steal your personal information, stalk you, and even steal your identity. The key to keeping your activity secured? Encryption.
Encrypting your online activity prevents cybercriminals from being able to see and collect your data. Whether you download VPN or simply avoid public networks (which are often unencrypted), it’s important that you do everything in your power to avoid transmitting unencrypted data.
Be Sure to Update Your Devices
Encryption can’t solve everything, however, so you’ll still need to practice proper cybersecurity etiquette in other areas. And why not start with your device itself?
As you probably know, most modern devices receive frequent updates, from Windows computers to Android phones. These updates add quality of life features to help the user, extra settings that help users tailor their experience, and more, etc. But one feature these updates frequently add that many miss is additional security.
Most updates nowadays contain various security fixes and patches to keep the device secure. In fact, the same can be said for the software located on the device. For this very reason, you should update your device whenever a new update is made available to the public.
Keeping your devices updated will prevent old security exploits from hurting you in the near future.
Hold Onto Local Receipts of Investments
Do you throw away the receipt given to you at the grocery store by the cashier? I’m willing to bet you do, along with most other people. Oftentimes, these receipts don’t matter past the day of the purchase. The only exception is devices you purchase that may malfunction later down the line, but many storefronts store a digital receipt account-side anyway.
But investments are different. The responsibility of keeping receipts and organizing financial records falls on you. And when tax time comes around, you may need those records to prove you invested and made/lost money.
But if a cybercriminal manages to get their hands on your records and receipts, they could end up impersonating you and steal your investments and even your identity if given a chance. For this reason, you must keep local records and receipts on you at all times; do not store all of your financial records digitally unless the data is encrypted locally.
Only Invest in Your Personal Devices
Speaking of storing data, avoid using public devices and devices that don’t belong to you when making investments or checking on finances. There's no telling if there's spyware or other dangerous malware on the device. And in the worst-case scenario, the owner of the device can save the data and use it against you.
For this reason, stay away from public devices (and public Wi-Fi, if possible). If you have no choice but to use a device not belonging to you, be sure to completely log out of everything—leave as little of a trace as possible.
Be On the Lookout for Phishing Scams
Some cybercriminals aim to steal financial information from investors by sending phishing scams their way. Phishing scams are designed to manipulate victims into giving out their data, and plenty of people fall for them every day.
Be sure to avoid any random links or suspicious emails claiming you’ve won something. These links only serve to steal your information.
Investing in the stock market is a risky game, not only because of the market's volatility but also because of the criminals who want nothing more than to take advantage of investors. But with these five tips, you’ll be well on your way to keeping your investments secure.