As people have come to learn this week (many for the first time), the stock market is a volatile tool through which earnings are made and lost in the literal blink of an eye. We, of course, do not intend to provide investing advice but, instead, hope to provide a word of caution relative to the tools used for such investments.
Accordingly, instead of providing your online banking log-in information, use a secondary verification method. For example, many trading applications provide a secondary, hidden option that only uses your account and routing number; whereby, the trading application will deposit a very small sum into your account and ask you to verify the amounts deposited. This option is much more secure, as you are not granting anyone access to your accounts or exposing your password. If the trading platform does not offer a verification option that does not require you to provide login information, this is a red flag, and you should consider finding a different trading platform.
In the event that you decide to provide your login information, you should setup and maintain two-factor authorization settings, which request your text or email approval for every attempted log-in. Further, when possible immediately change your password after account verification. Though not entirely secure, this can help to further protect against the unwanted loss of your data or tampering with your financial accounts.
Please note, the risks described above are not unique to trading applications. You should never provide a third party with access to your accounts.