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Online Trading And Security

Aug 18, 2007
As more and more people trade online, there has been also a rise in the number of hack attacks where your resources are used by hackers to make profits for themselves. These attacks are often carried out by stealing your identity and then accessing your online account with a online trading firm. Let us first understand how these hackers work.

The first thing the hacker needs to do is to steal your user name and password. There are numerous ways in which they can do this. And new ways are being developed all the time. Once they have your user name and password they can easily access your account and buy or sell whatever they want to. Exactly the way you do. So this hacker is most likely to sell all the shares that you have accumulated, and with the money he thus receives will but shares on micro-caps. What are micro-caps? Also known as penny stocks these are thinly traded stocks.

What the hackers do is by buying shares of that micro-cap with your money he drives up the price for the particular share. Once the price is quite high he sells his own holdings at a considerable profit. The money is then wired to an account in a different country or a series of straw men and dummy corporations are used to transfer it to their account.

As online trading get increasingly easy many investors drop their guard. That is criminal. You just cannot take it easy on the net. There are a few simple things you should practice while investing on the net. Always have all you transactions confirmed by your online brokerage firm. Never trade from unprotected computers. So you shouldn't be trading from office or library or a cyber cafe.

Regularly update the security features of the software of your computer. The most important software that you need to update are your internet browser, the firewall and the anti-virus software. Only open emails form a secure source. Never click on mails that you are doubtful about.

Never provide your account information to anyone. Even if the mail reads that it is from your brokerage firm, don't part with your log-in details. If in doubt call their customer support. They already have your details and they will never ask you for the same over email. Change your password regularly. And try to use all sorts of character to make is secure. Log-off the website after you are through with your transaction.
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