Easy Office

How to Know What Apps Are Safe

Shivani , Last updated: 09 April 2024  

In the digitized landscape of modern finance, trading apps have become the bedrock of personal investment strategies. With the convenience of smartphones, an investor's stock portfolio, forex trades, or cryptocurrency holdings are accessible at their fingertips. However, this ease of access also warrants a keen sense of caution. The ever-present danger of fraudulent apps, cybersecurity threats, and data breaches begs the important question, how can one determine the safety of trading apps? By unravelling the criteria and measuring what one should consider to ascertain the security and trustworthiness of trading apps, you can determine which apps are safe.

Understanding the Importance of Regulations

The most crucial step in evaluating the safety of a Forex trading app is to assess the platform's regulatory compliance. Reputable trading apps are typically overseen by regulatory bodies that enforce strict guidelines to protect investors. These regulators might include the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the U.S., the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). An app that is registered with and regulated by one or more reputable authorities is more likely to be trustworthy.

How to Know What Apps Are Safe

Oversight by a financial regulator provides protection to customers in several ways. Each regulatory body establishes rules and guidelines that trading platforms and investment services must follow to operate legally.

Regulators ensure that trading platforms comply with laws and regulations designed to protect consumers and maintain fair and orderly markets. This includes adhering to standards for transparency, financial reporting, and honest conduct.

Regulated entities are typically required to keep accurate records and report their financial condition regularly to the regulator, fostering transparency and early detection of potential issues that could affect customers.

Regulators set standards for ethical behavior to prevent fraud and misconduct. They may require that financial service providers have measures to avoid conflicts of interest and provide fair treatment to all customers.

Regulation often requires that firms implement robust risk management strategies to mitigate potential losses and protect customers' funds, such as maintaining sufficient capital reserves and offering negative balance protection.

Regulators generally mandate that customer funds are held in segregated accounts, separate from the company's own accounts, which means that clients' money is not used to pay back creditors in the event of the company's insolvency.

By monitoring trading activities, regulators help to prevent manipulation, insider trading, and other practices that could harm the market and disadvantage individual investors.

Regulators often provide a structure for the resolution of disputes and have processes for customers to file complaints about regulated companies. They may also offer compensation schemes that can reimburse customers if a regulated firm fails.

Regulatory bodies also focus on educating investors about their rights and the risks involved in different types of investments, which equips customers with knowledge to make better decisions. Regulators have the power to enforce rules and can levy sanctions, fines, or take legal action against companies that violate regulations.

Regulators audit and review financial service providers on a regular basis to ensure ongoing compliance with financial, operational, and trading practices. Regulations require that companies put in place systems and controls to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing, protecting the integrity of the financial system and individual customers.

Investigating Security Protocols

With cyber threats posing a significant risk to online traders, a safe trading app must employ robust security measures. This includes two-factor authentication (2FA), strong encryption technology for data transmission, and secure storage of sensitive information. Investors should investigate whether the app has a proven track record of managing and mitigating cyber risks, and this information is often shared in the app's privacy or security policies.


Two-factor authentication (2FA) enhances consumer protection by adding an additional layer of security beyond just a username and password. This is crucial because passwords can often be weak, guessed, or stolen through various means such as phishing attacks or database breaches.

Two-factor authentication requires users to verify their identity using two different components: something they know (like a password), and something they have (like a mobile device). Even if a password is compromised, unauthorized users cannot access the account without the second factor.

With 2FA, it's much harder for cybercriminals to gain unauthorized access to an account because they need the additional factor, typically a one-time code sent via SMS or generated by an authentication app. This adds difficulty for attackers since obtaining this factor generally requires physical possession of a device.

Often, when the second factor is used (like entering a code from a phone), the legitimate user gets a notification. If an attacker is trying to access the account, the user can be alerted in real-time and take immediate action, such as changing their password or notifying the service provider.

Knowing that a system uses 2FA may deter potential attackers from attempting to access it in the first place since the perceived effort and risk of being caught are increased. In some industries, especially financial services, 2FA is mandated by regulatory bodies, ensuring that consumer data is protected according to certain standards.

Reading Reviews and Conducting Background Checks

One way to gauge the reliability of a trading app is to delve into user reviews and ratings available on app stores, tech forums, and financial publications. While these should be taken with a grain of skepticism due to potential bias, a pattern of complaints concerning security breaches or poor customer service can be a red flag. Furthermore, reputable trading apps tend to have a transparent online presence with accessible customer service and clear information about their management team and headquarters.

Analyzing the User Agreement

A thorough read-through of the app's user agreement can offer insight into how user data is managed and protected. The document should outline how the app complies with data protection laws, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for European citizens. A diligent company will make its policies clear, accessible, and comprehensible to users.

A user agreement, often referred to as a terms of service agreement or terms and conditions, is a legal document that outlines the rules and guidelines for using a service or product. While it primarily serves to protect the legal interests of the company providing the service, it also offers various protections for consumers.

The user agreement provides detailed information about what the user can expect from the service and what the service expects from the user. This clarity helps avoid misunderstandings and can set a precedent for what actions may be taken if disputes arise.

User agreements often include a privacy policy that explains how the company will collect, use, store, and protect users' personal data. For the consumer, this is essential in an age where data is a valuable commodity and privacy is a concern.

The document outlines acceptable use policies, determining how the service or product may or may not be used. This helps protect consumers from potential legal issues that could arise from misuse and clarifies the boundaries of legitimate use.

User agreements typically specify how disputes will be resolved. This may include arbitration clauses or describe the legal jurisdiction that applies, informing consumers about the process for addressing any grievances they may have.

Financial Protection Measures

Safe trading apps should also provide information on financial protection schemes. This might include details on what compensation or insurance is in place should the company face insolvency, or what steps are taken to segregate client funds from company funds. The latter ensures that in the event the company is unable to fulfill its financial obligations, the traders' capital remains protected.

Checking for Features that Promote Responsible Trading

Safety is not just about the technical aspects; it's also about responsible trading practices. Good trading apps encourage responsible trading by providing tools for risk management, such as stop-loss orders, and by offering educational resources. They also have policies in place to prevent money laundering and other illicit activities.


Monitoring Continuously

Securing a safe trading experience is an ongoing process. Regular updates from the provider can ensure the app stays ahead of potential security threats. Furthermore, traders should consistently monitor their accounts for any suspicious activity and be aware of the latest cybersecurity trends.


The allure of on-the-go trading can be compelling, but traders are vulnerable without ensuring the chosen app's safety. Determining whether a trading app is safe requires a comprehensive approach, scrutinizing its regulatory status, security features, reputation, user terms, financial protection, and support for responsible trading. Amid the swathe of available apps, investors can navigate with an informed approach, seeking out platforms that prioritize the integrity of their operations and the protection of their users' interests. By doing so, they safeguard not only their capital but also the confidentiality of their personal information, thus embracing technology's conveniences without compromising on security.

Join CCI Pro

Published by

(Finance Professional)
Category Miscellaneous   Report



Related Articles