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Chapter 3 — How to secure my Interactive Brokers account?

When we talk about all our savings for financial independence, or at least a good part of them, it's not something I take lightly.

Imagine: you get up one morning, open your Interactive Brokers app to see if you've received your dividends as planned, and then the shock! You realize that your balance is CHF 0, and that you no longer have any securities in your portfolio...

The nightmare!

Forget about it, I don't even dare to think about it any longer. And that's exactly why I put this chapter so high in the tree structure of the table of contents.

The idea is to put this security in place at the beginning, so that you never have to think about it again afterwards.

Securing your IB account

At the end of the registration process that we've discussed in the previous chapter, you will see a screen like this where you have to click on "Secure Login System":

Interactive Brokers secure login system

Then, you will come on this screen that is quite well done and explains you without technical jargon the how and why. If you're a geek, you understand that this is a double authentication security system:

Explanation of the Interactive Brokers secure login system

Then, it becomes concrete and IB really guides you well here, for once! The two screenshots are respectively for the iPhone (Apple iOS) and for smartphones under Android (Google).

First, we will focus on the "Installation" and "Activating the app" parts of the Interactive Brokers tutorial.
The most important thing in all this is that when launching the IBKR app (on iOS at least), you have to accept push notifications. Indeed, that's what you'll get when you try to log in to their site — we see that in a second.

Process for installing and activating the Interactive Brokers mobile application on iOS

Process for installing and activating the Interactive Brokers mobile application on Android

Concrete use of the IBKR application to log in

As explained in the last chapter "Using the IBKR mobile app" of the screenshots above, I wanted to show you what it looks like when I log in to my Interactive Brokers account:

When you log in to the Interactive Brokers website, you will now see the new security section (surrounded in orange)

At that moment, you receive a push notification from the IBKR mobile application. Once you hit it, you have a screen sequence with your smartphone authentication system (facial recognition or fingerprint depending on your device):

Push notification from the IBKR mobile application

Identification via FaceID in the IBKR mobile application

Successful identification in the IBKR mobile application

Once these steps are completed in the mobile app, you will see that your web browser automatically identifies you and redirects you to your dashboard:

There you go, you have logged in 100% securely to your Interactive Brokers account

As you will have understood (if you are not a geek), this double authentication system forces you to have your mobile and you too physically (for facial recognition/fingerprint) to make sure you haven't got your Interactive Brokers account hacked. You can now quietly transfer money to it to invest, and then sleep soundly.

This is what we will see in the next chapter: how to make your first wire transfer to your Interactive Brokers account.


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