Precautions When Investing Online

Use antivirus and antispyware programs and also a firewall and keep them up to date.

If you carry out financial transactions online, it is essential to install these programs. Look for an antivirus program that removes or quarantines viruses and an antispyware program that can reverse the changes spyware makes to your system; verify that both programs update automatically. If the firewall was delivered to you “disabled”, be sure to enable it and configure it correctly. It is also important to keep your operating system up to date by installing the latest security “patches”.

Use a safety data sheet (if available). By using a security token, you can make it even more difficult for an identity thief to access your investment account online. This is because these small number generating devices offer a second level of security – an access code that can only be used once and generally changes every 30 to 60 seconds. These unpredictable access codes can thwart identity thieves.Precautions When Investing Online

Take precautions when using computers installed in public places

or wireless connections. Avoid using computers installed in public places or shared terminals to access your financial accounts online. If you use a public or shared computer, disconnect completely from the Internet when the browsing session is finished, delete your “temporary Internet files” and clear the visited Web sites (clear Internet history). Many bars, hotels, airports and other public establishments offer wireless networks for their customers. These “hot spots” or Internet access points are convenient, but they are not always safe. Check with the owner of the establishment to verify what security measures are in place. However, if you have personal information stored on your computer, think twice before deciding whether you really want to risk accessing your investment account online or any other account using a public wireless network.

Disconnect completely from the Internet.

Closing or minimizing the browser window or entering a new web address may not be enough to prevent other people from accessing your account information when you are done online trading. Instead, click on the “log out” button to end your online session. Also, prevent your browser from “remembering” your username and password. In the event that your computer has this function enabled, anyone who uses your computer will be able to access your investment account information.

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