Account holders who have elected to opt out of IB's Secure Login System (SLS), and effectively relinquish the protections afforded by two factor authentication, are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with and utilize alternative best practice security measures, a number of which are discussed below.
It's important to note that while none of these measures, on either an individual or collective basis, is deemed equivalent to the SLS in terms of protection and, in fact, are recommended as complementary measures, opting out of SLS serves to increase their relevance.
One way to add protection or a level of security to your IB Trading account while not utilizing a Secure Login Device would be to setup IP restrictions. By selecting this setting through Account Management you're telling Interactive Brokers that you only want access to your trading account(s) from a specified IP address, or a range of IP addresses. In addition, should you have multiple authorized traders for a given account, these restrictions can be set at the individual trader level.
To implement IP restrictions you will need to log into Account Management using your security device and click on the Account Administration and then IP Restrictions menu options which will take you to the "Manage IP Address Restrictions" screen. From there click on the Add IP Address Restriction link, select the trader user name from the drop-down list, enter the IP address from which you connect (xx.xx.xx.xx.xx.xx) and click on the Submit button. Note that any updates do not take effect immediately but rather the following business day.
To find the IP address of your PC please follow the below steps. (Please note that the below will only give you the local PC address. If you are using any type of router in your home network please make sure you use your WAN IP address. Any IP address that starts with 192.XXX.XXX.XXX is most likely your LAN IP, and not your WAN IP. You can find your WAN IP by calling your ISP and asking them for it.)
- Click on the Start button in the lower left hand corner f your screen;
- Click on Run;
- Type “cmd” in the Run box and then click enter on your keyboard. An MS DOS Window will open
- Type “ipconfig” into the MS DOS Window and then click enter on your keyboard. Your IP address will be displayed.
The IP restriction feature is only intended where the IP address is static, or remains constant. In certain instances your computer’s IP address may be assigned automatically and in a dynamic or changing manner by your network administrator or Internet Service Provider. IB recommends that you confirm that your address is static prior to using this restriction feature.
While the use of the IP restriction feature will restrict access to the IP address(es) you specify, you must be aware it isn't 100% full proof against very advanced electronic thieves who know how to spoof, and or mask an IP Address. it should be noted that this feature alone will not necessarily prevent unauthorized access by any hacker having your user name and password along with the ability to ‘spoof’ your IP address.
Securing Your Network:
- Use a firewall making sure ports 4000 and 4001 are open for TWS access.
- Never use a wireless session (WI-FI) which is unsecured or not operated by you. If the use of a unsecured network (e.g. public Wi-Fi hotspot) becomes necessary, do not log into any financial institution account you may have including your IB account.
- When logging into the TWS, check the “Use SSL” box on the login screen. By using SSL, or Secure Socket Layer, all information passed to and from your computer is protected using 128-bit encryption. Note, however, that checking this box may cause you to experience minor performance impacts depending on the capabilities of your PC.
- Use antivirus software to identify and eliminate viruses you may have downloaded to your computer accidentally. As new viruses are constantly being created, you need to update your antivirus software regularly.
- Use anti-spyware software to detect and remove spyware programs which can collect various types of personal information, monitor your browsing activity and interfere with the control of your computer.
If you have any other questions please feel free to contact IB's Technical Support center.