With the rise of computer crime it is essential to protect yourself from hacking, viruses, malware and cyber theft. No one likes to spend a whole day having to re-install software or deal with software problems. That said, we at Back Bay Futures thought it would be important to inform you on steps you can use to protect yourself.
According to an NFA newsletter, experts predict that the already significant number of cyber security threats to the financial sector will rise in the next 18 months. To prepare for this growing threat, NFA has reviewed its policies and procedures and recommends that its Members do the same.
Whether you trade Stocks, Bonds, Futures, Forex or just perform financial transactions online it is important that you take steps to protect yourself. Here is a list of essential steps to protect your Computer.
Windows , Mac or Unix Updates: While these Operating Systems are obviously the target of hackers, they have people working all the time to shut down vulnerabilities that let hackers in. Does it not make sense to keep your computer updated to minimize the amount of ways a hacker can enter into your computer
Software Updates: Similar to Operating System updates it is important to get the latest fixes or versions. It is especially important if that software is used with browser (think Java, Flash) or is software that allows you to interact with others online.
Use a firewall for your Internet connection: Firewalls—frequently a software-based network security system that establishes a barrier between your internal network and other external networks—are effective at fending off other malicious attacks on your computers.
Use up-to-date-antivirus software: Always use some form of anti-virus software that is designed to protect your computer(s) in case you come across a malicious website.
Be Careful what you download (Freeware or attachments): Most freeware is bad. If you are going to use freeware perform some due diligence and make sure that it is trusted. Also make sure you are downloading it from their site or a reputable download site. Email attachments are also dangerous. If it is from someone you do not know do not open it. If it is from someone you know but is not a normal email they would send, do not open it. When in doubt, pick up the phone and ask them if they sent it.
Backup your Data: I would say do not use online backup software. Purchase a external hard drive that you can use like the WD My Passport 1TB Portable External Hard Drive Storage USB 3.0 Black
Avoid Bad Neighborhoods: Avoid the wild, wild west of the internet sites where you can download explicit content, free downloads, online games, and so on; this way, there are less chances for you to be hacked.
Use Strong Passwords: Here is a hint don’t use the obvious. If someone can guess your password, your data, your bank account(s) is available to them. Use strong passwords should always, at a minimum, be nine characters long, contain at least one capital (upper case) letter, at least one lower case letter and at least one number or special character.
Add a physical layer of security: A Biometric device that reads your fingerprint to login to your windows 7 or 8 computer. Pretty hard to get past this. I would suggest using the P2000 Premium Metal Fingerprint Reader for WIN 7 & WIN 8!
Turn off your Computer: Many people keep their computers on so as to be ready anytime they want to check something out.. The downside is that being "always on" renders computers more susceptible. Beyond firewall protection, which is designed to fend off unwanted attacks, turning the computer off effectively severs an attacker's connection. If you are really paranoid, then unplug the computer as well!!
Avoid keeping personal financial information in the Cloud: If it is in the cloud you are putting the responsibility of security in the hands of the company that is hosting it.
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For more information on protecting your computer you may even want to take a class at a local college or you can find more information to protect yourself by visiting the following sites
Better Business Bureau Scam List
SEC List of Fictitious Government and International Agencies
Cyber Crime News & Prevention
Microsoft Security Essentials
Apple Mac Security
Risk Disclaimer: Trading in commodity interests is a challenging opportunity which involves considerable risk. Commodity Interests include; Futures, options, cash currencies and other leveraged transaction products. The valuation of futures, options, cash currencies and other leveraged transaction products may fluctuate and as a result clients may lose more than the amount originally invested and may also have to pay more later. Therefore, before deciding to participate you should carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience and risk appetite. Most importantly, do not invest money you cannot afford to lose. Consulting with your investment counselor, attorney or accountant as to the appropriateness of an investment in margin trading and leverage transaction products is recommended. Back Bay Futures is a registered branch office of Back Bay FX Services, LLC - NFA member (0388617).