A Guide to Staying Safe When Trading Online


The forex market is one of the largest and fastest-growing entities of its type in the world, and one that sees a staggering $6.6 trillion traded globally every single day.

Despite the size of this market, however, forex trading remains an incredibly volatile discipline and one that can deliver margin-based losses that exceed your initial deposit in the worst-case scenario.

There are other risks associated with trading online too, with hackers and scammers prominent in this highly lucrative space. The so-called  “Mt. Gox” scam deceived around $460 million from the public, for example, so what steps can you take to protect yourself when executing online or on the move?

Consider Safe Browsing

The first thing you should consider when trading online is your fundamental security credentials.

Initially, you should focus on the devices that you use to trade online, in addition to the type of Internet connection that you utilize.

In simple terms, you should consider connecting your chosen device to a secure and private network, rather than public alternatives that may be susceptible to the machinations of hackers. Public networks also increase the risk of your device being attacked with malware or spyware, the latter of which could leave your personal financial details vulnerable.

On an even more fundamental level, ensure that your smartphone is password-protected and deploy two-factor authentication as and when you can.

Use a Secure VPN Connection

Most people now trade on a secure virtual platform or brokerage site, but the security-conscious amongst you should take additional steps to safeguard your personal data online.

One option could be to invest in a proper and reputable VPN service, which is essentially a virtual private network that affords you online privacy and anonymity even when accessing a public Internet connection.

Make no mistake; having a secure VPN connection enables you to trade freely and on the move without encountering the risk of being hacked, as this will create an additional layer of security that safeguards you in a competitive marketplace.

It also affords you greater flexibility in instances where you have to connect through a public network, which may be unavoidable when you’re traveling (particularly overseas).

Check the Safety and Reliability of Your Trading Platform

There are now a number of popular trading platforms accessible online and through mobile devices, with examples such as the MetaTrader 4 having remained widely and globally used since its launch back in 2005.

However, the exponential growth in the forex marketplace has triggered a rise in the number of rogue platforms, so you’ll need to check the safety and reliability of individual apps before using them to trade prolifically.

To begin with, reputable trading platforms should be licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and boast 128-bit encryption as a minimum requirement, with the latter making it almost impossible for cyber-thieves to access your personal information.

The next step is to check individual app reviews and first-hand customer feedback online while ensuring that advertised platforms haven’t been duplicated by potential hackers. Also, don’t be afraid to research the companies behind specific apps and the relevant entrepreneurs, in order to explore their history and ensure that they have a reputable trading history.

Mark Funk
Mark Funk is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.