I thought I would start a thread so that people could share information on preventative methods against hackers/malware and other security threats that are pretty common nowadays. These things are essential to everyone, but I feel even more so for traders and those with personal businesses.
I will update the summary with the best bits of information. Please keep this strictly on-topic and post only helpful and relevant information.
The following user says Thank You to CobblersAwls for this post:
(1) Use two machines. Primary machine will have all important software and files related to trading on it. Do not use this machine to browse the internet or download anything. In fact it is probably best to delete all shortcuts to browsers.
Secondary machine (laptop also suitable) should be used for browsing online, downloading software and other general use. Emails should also be handled on this machine. The amount of emails we receive with fake 'resume/cv' attachments that are viruses is crazy. We now filter straight to quarantine.
(2) Have both anti-virus and anit-malware software. I use Kaspersky and Malwarebytes and have never had any issues. If there are any they usually get rid of them pretty quickly. If you do ever get a virus. The best thing to do is a hard reset (wipe your HDD and re-install everything). As such I keep a back-up of all my important files.
If you cant do a hard reset then learn to dig out a virus yourself as some are good at hiding from anti-virus software (trojans in particular). Bear in mind this is for more advanced users, but access cmd as administrator and follow some of these guides:
I want to start covering encryption as I've become increasingly concerned at the amount of my data being mined, and in particular the brazen attitude that companies take towards it in that they no longer even bother to be discrete.
One such instance that happened recently was that of Linkedin. I recently signed in to check some stuff and saw that a lot of the recommendations for new connections were people that I had no link to outside of my private work email. This troubled me so I decided to look away from gmail at some other options. The two best options I've found so far are:
Initial impressions suggest that this service will suit most people's needs here. It offers good end to end encryption and being based in Switzerland is outside the 'Fourteen Eyes' which is important.
This is a very timely thread. The same day it was started, this happened to me:
NT7 started ok in the morning, but when I tried to start it in the afternoon, I had trouble starting it, and my Continuum connection was not listed. Also, I could not sign in to NT forum or Forex Factory, but could access other websites. Restarted laptop and router. Switched on Opera VPN. I could now connect to NT forum and Forex factory, and the Continuum connection was now in NT7. Later I noticed a Windows Homegroup icon to share files had appeared on my desktop. Was I hacked? Anyone with any similar experiences?
Using a VPN(Virtual Private Network) is a great way to add an additional layer of security and privacy to your online network and be very useful as I'll outline below. However, it seems that due to the rising awareness of the need for privacy and VPNs, there are many providers who are faking reviews and ratings on blogs and other sites in order to generate traffic. Others offer free VPN services but then sell your data to generate income - in such a case you are simply better off not using a VPN at all. You can read more about issues here (https://www.reddit.com/r/VPN/comments/4iho8e/that_one_privacy_guys_guide_to_choosing_the_best/)
Below is a list of some uses for VPNs:
Access a Business Network While Travelling: VPNs are frequently used by business travellers to access their business’ network, including all its local network resources, while on the road. The local resources don’t have to be exposed directly to the Internet, which increases security.
Access Your Home Network While Travelling: You can also set up your own VPN to access your own network while travelling. This will allow you to access a Windows Remote Desktop over the Internet, use local file shares, and play games over the Internet as if you were on the same LAN (local area network).
Hide Your Browsing Activity From Your Local Network and ISP: If you’re using a public Wi-Fi connection, your browsing activity on non-HTTPS websites is visible to everyone nearby, if they know how to look. If you want to hide your browsing activity for a bit more privacy, you can connect to a VPN. The local network will only see a single, secure VPN connection. All the other traffic will travel over the VPN connection. While this can be used to bypass connection-monitoring by your Internet service provider, bear in mind that VPN providers may opt to log the traffic on their ends. This final point is why it's essential to use a trusted VPN service that will not access or sell your data!
Access Geo-Blocked Websites: Whether you’re an American trying to access your Netflix account while travelling out of the country or you wish you could use American media sites like Netflix, Pandora, and Hulu, you’ll be able to access these region-restricted services if you connect to a VPN located in the USA.
Bypass Internet Censorship: Many Chinese people use VPNs to get around the Great Firewall of China and gain access to the entire Internet. (However, the Great Firewall has apparently started interfering with VPNs recently.)
Note that when looking for a VPN provider, it's best to find one that secures your anonymity, privacy and security whilst also offering fast connections and top quality servers.
FINAL NOTE: As most of us will be concerned with trading, I thought I'd mention that a VPN might not be the best idea to install on your trading PC as it can hinder D/L and U/L speeds. This is the same with firewalls. Many professional outfits will disable firewalls on the machine they execute trades on to further increase speeds, but as a result will never use the machine for anything other than trading otherwise you are welcoming attacks. Please read up on this more if you decide to turn off your firewall.