No one is entirely safe from being hacked. Last year, Melbourne-based IT consultant Steven Oakes was sentenced to three years in prison for hacking into the confidential documents of Port Phillip Publishing, a financial publisher. Oakes accessed private financial data in order to net a total of $220,000 in profits – as well as 11 charges of insider trading, thanks to the investigative efforts of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). After detecting suspicious trading patterns, ASIC’s investigators found suspicious trading activity which eventually led them to Oakes’ trading schemes, which included not just insider trading but the manipulation of private financial data as well.
Therein lies one of the major reasons why traders should be paying closer attention to cybersecurity. You don’t need to be a big player in trading and investment for your data to be targeted by hackers. As a trader your own private financial data can be used by hackers to reveal larger trading/investment patterns. This in turn can then be used for insider trading and other illicit activities. As long as you’re trading and investing using your computer, there’s a good chance that a hacker somewhere has their cross hairs pointed in your direction.
Furthermore, as Oakes demonstrated in the way he manipulated the data of others for insider trading, allowing yourself to get hacked puts other traders and investors at risk. Taking cybersecurity seriously protects not only yourself but the entire trading and investment community, and not just in Australia but across the world. In fact, given the recent allegations against private and state-sponsored Chinese entities hacking telecom data, cybersecurity is more crucial now than ever before. Today, your personal trading or investment data can be used not just for financial manipulation, but for larger economic and geopolitical goals as well. Paying attention to cybersecurity is your duty to yourself, the trading community, and to your country.
Given all these concerns, what can you do to ensure that your personal trading data is well defended against hackers? Taking cybersecurity into your hands can be as simple as using strong passwords whenever you use online trading tools like Capitalise or Better Trader. In a nutshell, the strongest passwords involve a mix of letters, characters, and numbers in no discernible pattern whatsoever. Furthermore, you should also be changing passwords frequently for maximum effectiveness. In HP’s guide on taking cybersecurity seriously, the tech giant notes the importance of not just changing passwords but also using multi-factor authentication for different layers of security. Multi-factor authentication is when you use not just passwords, but other layers like a PIN number, facial recognition, and even fingerprint scanning for accessing not just trading software but also any sensitive data.
Another way to increase your level of personal cybersecurity is by using a laptop with built-in encryption for any trading or investment activities. This added layer of cybersecurity ensures greater protection for any pertinent financial data that you keep in the cloud, which is a notorious target for modern-day hackers.
These are just some of the ways in which you can ensure that your personal and financial data won’t be stolen by hackers. Remember that cybersecurity is your responsibility not just to yourself but to the entire trading community. The more traders and investors pay closer attention to cybersecurity, the easier it is for ASIC and other entities to protect the trading and investment community and ensure national security.