Is your computer infected? Tips to secure your trading PC

Traders should fully focus on trading, but they can’t neglect the growing concerns about cyber crime. The latest research by Norton indicates that ‘bot’ infections are increasing. Is your computer infected?

5 October, AtoZMarkets The division of the security software company Symantec, Norton has published their latest research about how cybercriminals use the infected devices with malware ‘bots’ to carry out co-ordinated cyber attacks in Europe, Africa and the Middle East countries. All a cyber criminal needs to do is plant a malware into a trader’s device, ranging from mobile phones to PC, and the hacker can use remotely the device as part of a wider ‘botnet’ to commit large scale cyber crimes.

Especially, at present traders can access their trading accounts on multiple devices that has internet access. An issue that the Norton research raises, explaining that there is an exponential growth of devices connected to the internet, better known as the Internet of Things (IOT). Aside the bot infection, traders should also pay attention to the consequences of a hacked/infected trading computer with malware or spyware. In a similar fashion, hackers can obtain the trader’s login ID, passwords of banking and trading accounts. In the worst scenario the hacker can fully empty a trader’s trading or bank account.

One of AtoZForex management members’ computer was infected in August of this year. While he was paying online to book his hotel while traveling, our team member’s visa card details were stolen. By the time our team member noticed that his account was draining the hackers did the job and stole a 5 digit sum from his bank. If he would not have noticed it on time and his bank would not have insured his funds he would not have been able to receive his money back.

Fortunately, our team member managed to get his funds back. But not everybody is fortunate enough. So, here are some tips to secure your trading PC.

Is Your Computer Infected? Tips to Secure Your Trading PC

As a trader you don’t want to be distracted and fully focus on trading. To help the traders’ community, AtoZ Forex has compiled a few simple security tips and recommendations to create a safer online trading environment. Commencing with the few tips to avoid a Bot infection of The Vice President and General manager EMEA at Norton, Nick Shaw pointed out that traders can reduce the risk of infection by changing the default credential of the device or inactivate unused services. Also, traders should adapt the privacy settings of the device. For additional insights on the matter, AtoZ Forex has reached out to Adamos Anastasiou, the Head of Brokerage at Fidelis Capital Markets and a Future Forex Leader under 40 nominee:

“The login credentials of a trading account, we can say, are valued by the amount of funds in the account. Therefore, the level of protection should be proportional to the level of funds allocated in the account and to the level of the portion of trader’s wealth allocated in the account. The more the the funds, the greater protection is required. There are many ways to protect your trading account, first and most important is to change the password on monthly basis and memorize it. For higher protection update password more frequently.” – Adamos Anastasiou

See also: Why is Cybercrime in 2016 rising?

When it comes to malware and spyware, a trading computer that is left on for a longer period to collect market data shouldn’t be connected to the internet directly via the ADSL modem or cable of the internet provider. Traders should always connect their trading PC first through broadband router, which in turn can be connected to the modem. The reason behind this setup is due to the fact that a router acts as the first layer of defense for your PC or laptop, the router implements a Network Address Translation (NAT) in the form of IP masquerading. The latest routers even have a hardware firewall built-in, in order to prevent hackers from gaining easy access.

Additionally, while using any sensitive information online such as your credit card details it is also advisable to use a virtual keyboard activated with your mouse click.

Why a Second PC Is Recommended?

The distribution of malware and spyware has become sophisticated, traders can easily get infected by just visiting a random site that is infected. It is not even required for a trader to click or download anything and the malware starts its own installation, this is referred to as a “drive-by” install. How do you avoid these sophisticated malware? Traders can install a decent anti-virus program, anti-malware software, or have a second PC. Traders are advised to only trade on their trading PC, while the second PC or laptop can be used for your other activities, such as browsing the internet and installing other software.

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