Addressing Risk of Personal Data Loss Before It Becomes Risky

Risk ahead sign

Addressing risk up front, before something happens,  is simple. Addressing risk in motion, during or after an adverse event,  is messy & complicated.

Our mantra at EZ Trading Computers is to leave no stone unturned. We believe this is especially true when it comes to risks that threaten your trading computer and data security. There are three key areas to evaluating and managing your defense system against these types of risks.

  1. Hardware –  your personal computer(s), home office router, and portable devices.
  2. Software – any installed software from a third party reseller and your suite of security or firewall software installed on your trading computer.
  3. Publicly Viewed Personal Information – email accounts, social media, and cloud based storage.

Risks And Warning Signs

In preparation for traveling to a recent business meeting in New York city I took one additional precaution.

I loaded up on vitamins. I knew that the airplane I would eventually get on has some inherent risks. 200 people in one small space – need I say more? I’d much rather prepare for the worst, than get knocked out by a bad flu bug. Once those wheels are in motion there isn’t a whole lot you can do except hunker down and wait it out.

Benjamin Franklin Quote

We tend to be dismissive when it comes to risks and warning signs. We make our own assessments of how much danger is actually ahead. The consequences you might face by ignoring the risks on your trading computer might not be as literal as body aches, chills, and fatigue; however, it’s as painful to deal with.

As a trader, would you enter into a trade without forecasting your risks?

Why There are No Excuses for Protecting Ourselves From Data Disasters

Imagine if the local weathermen could forecast the weather exactly as it will happen 30 days in advance. You would know that on August 1st there would be rain all day. Imagine that – being able to plan for a rainy day. While that might not be possible for weathermen at the moment, what’s stopping us from planning for rainy days (problems, data loss, hardware issues, etc.) in advance? Nothing. Nada. There are no excuses. We have all the tools we need and the awareness to prepare and protect ourselves from data disasters.

virus hackers computer screen

Assess Your Hacker Entry Points and Close Them Off

Where are you vulnerable? Hackers consider these “entry points”. Here are some simple ways to protect your self through small adjustments.

Hardware Entry Points:

  • Trading Computer – Your trading computer should be guarded with a virtual iron fist. You will need a secure internet connection, great antivirus and malware software installed, running, and up-to-date, and a backup system of all your important data.
  • Portable Devices – smartphone, tablet, and laptop computers are often used to connect to multiple wireless connections. These can be unsecured or public connections. Make sure they are not using free public Wi-Fi connections to do any work or login to any personal account. Find more helpful tips here.
  • Wireless Routers – You want your home office Internet connection to be as secure as possible. You can do this by closing your network (require a password), change the default password, and enable a router firewall.

Software Entry Points:

  • Third Party Downloads – Buyer beware. Only download software from known or accredited software providers. You could unknowingly be downloading a virus instead of the software you expected to receive.
  • Security Software – Only 8% of users regularly update their computer’s software and security patches. These patches are crucial to protecting your computer and filling in newly discovered vulnerabilities. Update your computer right away as new security patches are released.

Publicly Viewed Personal Information Entry Points:

  • Email – Personal email accounts are one of the most targeted entry points to gain access to your personal information or address book. Turning on 2-step verification to ensure your account is secure is highly recommended. Check out these simple instructions on how to set up 2-step verification.
  • Social Media – While it may not seem like super valuable information at a glance, hackers are known to sell social media accounts. It sounds crazy but it’s true. Make sure you have a strong password (longer is better) and update your password quarterly. Use this password generator  for an iron clad password.
  • Cloud storage – Try as it might, cloud storage is not impervious to hackers. Take precaution here by updating your password and backing up the information you store in the cloud service. It’s a good practice to either encrypt or password protect any sensitive information you might be saving in the cloud.

There are more trading computer tips like this in our buyers guide. Check it out our “How To Buy a Trading Computer” e-book.

We’re also happy to answer any of your questions about trading computers via phone: 800-387-5250