Few security tips on computer systems.

Discussion in 'Trading Software' started by MrProfit, Oct 24, 2005.

  1. MrProfit


    Few security tips on computer systems.

    Well, most of us rely on our computers to make money.
    We trade all the time and I think it is important to remember about few important security issues:

    1) It is a good idea to get a power backup to avoid power interruptions.
    A simple UPS for ~$50 bucks will save you thousands in case of a sudden power failure.
    You must remember the DSL is active no matter the power in the house. Telephone companies and DSL providers have their own separate power, so if you can power your DSL modem – you can stay on line for long enough to close all your positions before the UPS goes down. (which varies between 0.5 hour and 8 hours)
    2) Remember to have at least one separately powered telephone or a unit that doesn’t need any power (Yes an older one would be fine). A cell phone is also a good idea.
    3) Make sure you have your broker’s telephone number right in front of you all the time glued to a monitor. Closing your positions is way easier having their number handy in case lights go out in your area.
    4) Make sure you have a good quality surge protector. Usually they go for about $10 bucks to $25 bucks. Fight your laziness and buy one. This will save you if the lightening strikes one of the power lines within 25 miles around your home. It doesn’t need to be close! It might hit a transformer many miles away to burst the PC.
    5) Never ever use your PC without the firewall!
    6) If using a DSL – make sure you connect via a router. Buy one. A good router with a built in firewall will cost you maybe $30 bucks and will put your PC behind something that is called NAT. This is more secure. Trust me on this. The amount of hacker activities drops by ¾ with a router. Power the router along with the DSL and a PC with your UPS installed after a surge protector. The router will help you connect another PC if you get rich enough after gambling the FX.
    7) NEVER EVER WORK ON YOUR PC in so called administrator account!!! NEVER!!! If you have administrative privileges then create another “user” account for trading. This helps you prevent any hacker activity and malicious software installation. Serious traders NEVER work under any account with administrator privileges. It is simply crazy. It’s calling for trouble.
    8) Install a good ad aware program. It is even more important than antivirus software. (Currently I do not have any antivirus software and I survived for the last 6 months).
    9) Do not use your “inbox” email program. Use Yahoo! This way you will never allow any malicious codes in your system and Yahoo will check all attachments for viruses.
    10) If you have an account with FXCM – you will definitely experience problems after installing their platform and trying to connect within “user” account (No admin privileges). Some of their platforms work fine and some don’t. Check it out. But still it is so important, that I‘d prefer dumping FXCM than exposing my system to hackers. This is probably the most important advice about the security of Windows.
    11) Finally: Enable CTRL-ALT-DELETE login protection!!!

    Good luck and happy trading!
  2. Hi Mr. Profit,

    Can you explain a bit why it is so important to create another "user" account?

    And, what is "enable CTRL-ALT-DELETE login protection? How do you do it and why? Sorry for the ignorance!

  3. mindfull


    I think a "user account" w/o admin priviledges is much harder to hack. You can install trojans, keyloggers etc.
  4. A lot of common sense by Mr Profit.

    Might I add, that if your account is of any decent size that:

    1). You use a dedicated PC for trading. No surfing. No email.
    2). Have a backup trading PC, an older PC that you have lying about will do, its only temporary if your main PCs craps itself. Keep it up to date (synchronised) with the main PC. In my case I have a mini-rack of Dell servers.
    3). Do regular backups, external drives are so cheap these days. No excuses. You can even use some cool imaging software (Acronis, etc, there was a thread about these a while back).
    4). Finally, do all surfing/email from a PC that you can rebuild if all hell breaks loose. Also, do any software sociability testing here (i.e. never ever install some new sofware that you are trying out, or even a newer version of your main platform - on your main PCs. Same for major OS updates - you need to make sure before jumping right in the deep end). You might also wish to piss about with VMWare for these sorts of things. Try it out, then blow it away, and re-install in a jiffy, plus you can have many different configurations for testing.

    You must treat it like a business. An hour of downtime could cost you big time. Sure, you can call your broker to exit a position. But you can also miss a very profitable opportunity. It only needs to happen once, and it will pay off for all the equiment.

  5. zdreg


    thx for security tips.
  6. MrProfit


    If you update your platform (which happens from time to time), make sure you KEEP THE OLD INSTALLATION FILE!

    It happens often the new updated platform DOESN'T WORK!

    If you keep an old file, you can then reinstall the platform and work again.
    Otherwise you are screwed.

    As for the USER account - hackers explore weakness in software like IE or Firefox to sneak in the system and start codes to take over the PC. If you work as "User" with no admin priviliges - no code can be started to install malicious spyware.

    Spyware is not that bad - as long as it works.

    Unfortunatelly most hackers are dumb, so they not even break in your systems, but they cause them to fail.

    It is very difficult to have everything reinstalled quickly. That's why you have to be sure you are protected.

    Working as an administrator means you are so called "root". This is very unsafe these days.

    CTRL-ALT-DEL is being enabled from control panel -> system -> Advanced.
    Read there.

    Also if you are a freak - do not use any laptop. These have keyloggers built in.
    If you have any important data - you are vulnerable. I'll repeat:
    All modern notebooks have hardware keyloggers built in. Beware!

    The best PC is the one you built yourself.
  7. tc5


    Why are hardware keyloggers built into laptops???
  8. MrProfit


    You can read about that here:


    Also, FYI:

    All modern printers have a special coding system to locate a source of a printout.

    If you use your pinter, the copy has spots (like a bar code) which include date, time, serial number and model of a printer.

    Same reasons.
  9. Goodfray


    For more safety, instal a reliable firwall in you PC.
    The best one i know is ZoneAlarm
    You can downlaod it for free

  10. UPS or surge suppressor. One or the other, never both.

    Never plug a UPS into a surge suppressor, and never plug a surge suppressor into a UPS. This does not increase your protection, it actually lessens it.

    I used to be able to explain why, but that part of my memory was deleted to make space for trading information. You can probably google it or find why on a UPS website if you are interested.
    #10     Oct 25, 2005