Being a professional forex trader has some pretty awesome advantages. One of those advantages is being able to trade anywhere there’s an internet connection. Many traders are familiar with the idea of trading from a local or out of town coffee shop that offers free wi-fi. It’s an amazing convenience that didn’t exist all that long ago. Trading from the coffee shop is cool, but there are some very important things that you as a trader with a live (real money) account need to be aware of. We’re talking about computer transmission security. There are a few safe ways to securely connect to the internet from the coffee shop.
Trading from a coffee shop, a friends house, or in my case the beach on Maui, is what I believe is the best part of price action trading. With price action trading you don’t need a wall of 12 flat screen monitors of various sizes or a large flat screen television screaming the latest financial news. I can grab my laptop and head on out to where ever I want to be. I’m a minimalist, which is why price action trading suits me so well. Clean charts with no distractions on them.
Sounds pretty great, yeah?
It’s is until someone sniffs your account credentials from an open wi-fi signal at the coffee shop using a program like Firesheep. What can we do about that?
There are a few ways we can stay safe and secure while trading away from our home base.
The first is to only use your cell phone’s Bluetooth Personal Hot-spot to connect to the internet via a 3G or 4G connection. You must turn off the wi-fi radio on your phone for this to be secure. You’ll be using your 3G/4G connection and not the wi-fi. This is a pretty great feature as it allows you trade using your phone as a wireless router to the internet. Signal thieves have a much harder time stealing this kind of signal. This is my preferred method for trading from the beach.
The next way to secure your signal is to create a VPN connection through your smart phone. When you’re at the coffee shop or other area offering free wi-fi, you’ll want to connect to your home base using a VPN or Virtual Private Network. The VPN must be set up on your home router first in order to connect securely to it via your smart phone. The VPN is used in conjunction with the personal 3G/4G personal hot-spot feature of your phone. This creates a secure encrypted connection to your home base through which you access your broker account. It’s every bit as fast as a standard wi-fi internet connection.
The last type of connection is using a 3G/4G wireless connection directly from your laptop via a plugin USB device or card. This device establishes a secure connection to your phone service provider. It does mean you’ll use some of your data allotment for the month, but that’s what it’s there for, yeah?
It’s difficult to overstate how important it is that as a trader you maintain a secure encrypted connection when away from your home base. Being wired to the internet is the best and most secure. But if you, like me, tend to be mobile in life then you’ll want to take wi-fi security very seriously. The very last thing we want to have happen is for a hacker to break into our trading account and steal our funds.
Being mobile is a wonderful thing, especially working as a self employed currency trader who makes their own hours. Remember to be diligent in securing your connection to your broker. The last thing we want to do is to lose the funds we worked so hard to accumulate to a common criminal.