How to Protect Your Personal Information

Firstrade deploys the latest technology to provide security for your personal information and related data. Here we have collected some practical online security tips that you can adopt into your internet habits to make your online experience more secure.

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Paperless

Enroll in Paperless Statement Delivery
Paper statements can be lost or stolen while electronic statements and trade confirmations can be accessed securely on Firstrade.com. Maintain your financial documents in a secure location, and carefully dispose of any documents that contain financial or other confidential information. 

Consider signing up for credit monitoring services

Major credit agencies also offer services that monitor your credit history and send alerts if abnormal changes are detected.

Armor Up

Use a virus/malware protection program

Fortunately, it's easy to safeguard your computer against viruses and malicious code. First, install antivirus software to protect, detect, and repair attacks from most viruses. Second, and just as important, ensure that software is up to date. New viruses appear daily. Your antivirus software is only as good as its last update. Please obtain a legitimate, licensed copy of the antivirus software. If you don’t know where the software is from, you cannot count on it to protect you.

Put up a firewall

Firstrade recommends that all shareholders install, use, and update personal firewall software. If your computer comes with this feature already, go into System Preferences (for Macs) or Control Panel (for PCs) and activate it. Let it protect you by blocking suspicious or unauthorized connections to your computer. Similar to anti-virus/internet security/malware protection programs, turn on regular updates if the option is available.

Wise Up

Enable two-factor (2FA) authentication

2FA provides an additional layer of security for your Firstrade account and is one of the most important steps you can take to keep your account secure. Here’s how to set it up:

Mobile
  1. Download or update to the latest Firstrade mobile app
  2. Login to your account
  3. Go to Account > App Settings
  4. Turn on the toggle for Two Factor Authentication
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the setup
Desktop
  1. Login to your Firstrade account
  2. Go to Accounts > Profile > Login/PIN
  3. Click on “Turn on 2FA”
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the setup

Use strong passwords and update your passwords regularly

Use a unique, hard-to-guess password with the following suggestions below:

  • Make it difficult to guess by using numbers and symbols, as well as a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters to strengthen your password
  • Use at least 10 characters for your password
  • Do not use personal or publicly known information as a part of your password
  • Don’t recycle or reuse passwords that you have used elsewhere or shared with anyone

It’s good practice to periodically change your password to protect against password reuse attacks and make it more difficult for impostors to gain access to your accounts with outdated or leaked information.

If a website provides a temporary password, change it immediately the first thing after you login. You can use the checking tool at howsecureismypassword.net to test different passwords to test their relative strength when compared to each other.

Keep your passwords to yourself

No matter how secure your password is, it won’t protect you if others know about it. Don’t send your passwords to anyone. No one at Firstrade will ask you for your password. If you decide to use an aggregation service to manage multiple accounts under one service, check to see who they share your information with. You want to make sure that they keep your information private and secure. We want to remind you that by providing your log-in credentials to these aggregation services, all activities that result in your Firstrade account are considered to be authorized by you. To ensure security to all our customers, Firstrade reserves the right to disable access from aggregation services at anytime, without prior notice.

Take caution when using public computers or networks

You don't know what may have been installed on the computer. Public computers are traditionally on open networks and can be susceptible to monitoring without your knowledge. Likewise, do not access your accounts when on a public network.

Don't send private information over email

Never disclose your passwords in emails. Firstrade will not ask you for your password over email. When sending account related documents to Firstrade, upload them through the Form Center on the Firstrade website. Don’t send something over email if it needs to be private or secure. You’ve heard about famous people and their emails being hijacked. It’s not fun.

Be wary of unsolicited e-mail

Phishers send e-mails that look like they're from legitimate companies. These e-mails typically include typos and other mistakes, terms the company may not use, or e-mail addresses that look different than ones the company uses. The goal of these scams is to steal information about you. If you suspect an e-mail is fraudulent, don't reply to the e-mail, click any links within the e-mail, or open any attachments.

Keep up

Update your software regularly

Your computer uses many pieces of software, including an operating system (such as Windows, Mac OS, or Linux), Web browser software, and other applications for finances, personal productivity, and entertainment. Threats from viruses and attackers often take advantage of vulnerabilities in these software packages. Most software can be updated to keep up with the latest developments. Contact the software vendor directly to access any available updates if you cannot retrieve them online.

Change your passwords regularly

This helps minimize the risks that your account may be compromised in the case that your passwords have been stolen. Make it a habit to change passwords to your online accounts. Never share your password or user name with anyone or store them on your computer.

Keep up on news that relates to online security

Many significant events related to online security, such as the recent theft of customer credit card information from Target and the discovery of HeartBleed security breach, are readily accessible via mainstream news outlets. Please keep an eye on these events and review your accounts accordingly and take necessary actions.

Take care of your physical mails in a timely manner

We provide clerical confirmations through U.S. mail for Internet transactions. If you have any questions about a confirmation statement, contact us immediately. Shred all mails that contain your personal/private information. Don’t just throw them in the trash.

Log out and close your browser

Firstrade recommends that you log out of your account and close your Web browser after accessing your account information online. Some of your account information can stay in your browser's memory until the browser is closed.

Keep your contact information current

Ensure that your contact information with Firstrade is always current. Whether email, phone, or address, Firstrade needs to maintain current information in order to contact you in case of emergency.

Check up on your account activities regularly

Review your online accounts regularly and look for any transactions that you did not initiate. Check your credit report every four to six months for unauthorized activity. Go to annualcreditreport.com to receive your free credit report or call 877-322-8228. You can also contact any of the following credit reporting agencies.

  • Equifax (www.equifax.com) 800-685-1111
  • Experian (www.experian.com) 888-397-3742
  • TransUnion (www.transunion.com) 800-916-8800