All cryptocurrency fans are cheering for another wave of crypto taking over all the news headlines. Those who bought some Bitcoin or Doge years ago and long forgot about those are now more than pleased with them becoming richer as crypto is gaining value. But among this whole digital golden rush, we should not forget about our security.
Most of us consider cryptocurrency to be safe to work with as it allows us to stay anonymous protected by decentralization. Yet, the very same features can be harmful to us, too. It’s difficult to prove that the funds are yours, and if you become a victim of theft, it’s virtually impossible to get your money back or punish the thief.
The fact that you can make and receive payments anonymously doesn’t protect you from theft. Malefactors can get your crypto through:
- Phishing that becomes more sophisticated and harder to spot
- Fake trading platforms
- Compromised trading platforms
The irony of anonymity
Anonymity has its weak points. For example, if someone breaks into your crypto wallet, how can you prove it was a hack and not you accessing your own funds? The fact that most people who interact with cryptocurrency use a VPN app to cover their IP addresses, too, makes it impossible to understand who really accessed the wallet.
Unfortunately, there is not much you can do with it. The main preventive tool would be multi-factor authentication that will make it way harder for a thief to get into your wallet even if they found out your login and password. Additionally, you should follow the universal cybersecurity rule — don’t overshare online. The less information you put out there, the fewer chances hacker have to get their hands on your funds.
Finally, use three things:
- A strong unique password to protect your account
- A VPN app to hide your IP address, location, and device from prying eyes
- An antivirus to protect your device from malware
These are simple basic rules everyone should follow to remain safe online.
How can someone steal your crypto?
It’s very much possible to steal someone’s cryptocurrency. But the good news is that it’s also quite easy to protect yourself from thieves. As always, you need to be attentive and know what you’re looking for to spot a scam or suspicious activity. We’ve already made a quick list of weak points cryptocurrency has. Let’s take a more detailed look at them.
Phishing becomes more sophisticated as hackers get to use big data to create more personalized and convincing messages. But since it’s harder to find out an email of a person from whom malefactors want to steal crypto — thank you, anonymity — they create phishing websites. They can resemble access points or crypto-traders. Such sites are always advertised through social media platforms and feature simple functions that allow you to quickly trade cryptocurrency.
The sign of such a website is that everything is too good to be true. The costs are cheap, the process is instant, and you don’t need to take many actions. You should remember that it’s expensive and difficult to handle a safe platform — no matter what its purpose is. And no one will invest their time and money to just provide people with a cheap and simple platform without getting any profit for themselves. So if a crypto-related website looks too appealing, better stay away from it.
Good old viruses always work well. Especially today with so many users disregarding antivirus programs. Hackers can simply steal your login details using malware and drain your crypto wallet. So use antivirus apps for all your devices.
It’s easier to trade with bots since they automate the process. But just like in the case with phishing websites, if these bots are free, it’s too good to be true. Moreover, they won’t do more than just buy and sell for you automatically. If you encounter a bot that’s packed with features and is either free or cheap on top of that — it’s a scam. Feature-rich bots are difficult to create, and they can’t be cheap.
Compromised trading platforms
Usually, hackers aim at smaller platforms because they’re often easier to hack. While you can’t know if a platform is compromised, you can protect yourself by using it just for trading. Keep your crypto wallet on a separate reliable service and send only the necessary amount of money to your trading account. Also, be quick to transfer earned funds to your wallet quickly.
Or you can just stick to popular large platforms. They might be not as profitable as smaller ones, but they’re usually harder to hack because their owners have enough resources for establishing reliable protection.
Fake trading websites
While phishing sites are usually created to get your data, fake trading platforms will outright steal your money. Such websites look quite legit offering all the features you might need. They can even provide users with bots promising huge profits. But in reality, once you try to send funds to your wallet that’s hosted on a separate service, the fake trading platform will block you and steal the money.
That’s why it’s more reliable to use well-known platforms that are proven to be reliable. Don’t swallow the bait fake websites place when promising unrealistic profits. Play safe.
If you’re mining or trading cryptocurrency, you should always be attentive and follow simple rules of cybersecurity. Don’t share information that could compromise your safety. In fact, the less data you share, the better. Even your transaction history you’ve posted on your Instagram to flex can undermine your security. Remember that malefactors can figure out details about you even by the home selfie you’ve posted. So read more and post less.
And don’t forget to use a VPN app when working with crypto. Even if you’re using your home network, you can never be sure that your internet service provider is not compromised. Use iNinja VPN to cover your IP address and activity from prying eyes. The importance of using a VPN for Android, iOS, and desktop devices when you’re connected to an unprotected public WiFi goes without saying.
So stay focused, attentive, and, most importantly, calm. Worries make us miss important details.