In the internet age, cyber crime has become one of the top platforms for investment fraud and financial crimes. Many investors have begun making online investments instead of using traditional investment platforms. With this, comes the need to educate and inform about fraud targeting online investments.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has published an investor bulletin outlining helpful tips and resources to protect your online investments from fraud.
8 Tips for Protecting Online Investments
- You should choose a strong password for your online investment account. It should not be easy to guess and should feature capital letters, numbers and special characters. Never use your name or any other personal information such as date-of-birth or social security numbers in your password. Never share or send your password to anyone electronically.
- Use Two-Step Verification Methods, When Possible
- A two-step verification method is an extra security method provided by most online investments platforms. When an investor logs in to an unrecognized device, it sends an additional access code to the user’s phone or email that must be entered before access is granted.
- Biometric Safeguards
- If you have online investments, ask your broker or firm if biometric security measures are offered. Biometric security measures can include features like voice-recognition, fingerprint-scanning or face-recognition.
- Use Different Passwords for Different Accounts
- Its never a good idea to use the same password for all your online investments. For each investment account, you should use a different, complex password.
- Avoid Public Computers
- It is best if you can avoid using public computers to check on your online investments. If you must, never leave the computer unattended, make sure your login information is not saved and that you do not remain logged in after use.
- Be Careful on Wifi Connections
- Even if you use a wifi connection at home, make sure you have proper security and anti-fraud measures in place for your network.
- Avoid Unverified Email Links
- Never click a link in an email if you can not verify the firm or institution that sent it to you. Links from unverified or illegitimate sources can contain malware or viruses.
- Check Your Account Statements
- You should always regularly check your account statements for your online investments. Review any trade confirmations and contact your broker or firm immediately if any discrepancies arise.