How to Be Safe With Your Cryptocurrency
In today's digital world, anything can be done over the Internet, and your online activities generate a series of important data. The prying eyes are now using their digital footprint to steal, modify, or destroy important credentials for use in malicious activities such as fraud.
Because cryptocurrencies run online, crypto investors are vulnerable to cyber attacks. As the prices of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies continue to rise, so will the number of cyber attacks on investors. That's why knowing how to be safe with your cryptocurrency is so important. This blog post focuses on some of the security measures you should take to protect cryptocurrency stashes.
Protect Your Passwords:
While talking about security, you can't underestimate the importance of strong passwords. According to one study, three-quarters of US millennial use the same password on more than 10 devices, apps, and other social media accounts. He also states that most of them use the same password in over 50 different locations. Make sure you are using a strong and complex password that is difficult to guess, and change your password regularly. If you have multiple wallets, use different passwords. Choose two-factor authentication (2FA) or multi-factor authentication (MFA) for added security. Two step verification (commonly known as two-factor authentication or 2FA) acts as an additional layer of wallet security. To log in, you will need both your wallet password and a one-time passcode (OTP) generated by your chosen 2FA method (Google Authenticator, Yubikey, or SMS code).
Password sharing can be dangerous, especially if an individual uses the same password for multiple accounts. This allows a person given a set of credentials to access multiple systems that may not be allowed access. The person will also be able to access the account owner's personal account. Sharing passwords makes it easy for hackers to access parts of the network after accessing the system. So never share your crypto account, email and all other passwords with anyone because it makes your cryptocurrency stashes less secure.
When prompted to log in to the website, the browser asks if you want to save your username and password. Saving the password in your browser is a simple mistake. When you move away from an unlocked computer, there is a very real risk that someone can steal your password at work or in public (even for a short time) with just a few clicks. The database of password stored in your browser is not as secure as you might think. Depending on the browser, when a hacker accesses your computer, it may actually extract the contents of the database and access all private logins. If one of your accounts is compromised, reusing your password may allow hackers to access your cryptocurrency assets as well other accounts that belong to you.
Use A Secure Wallet:
Threats to your digital currency occur primarily through cryptocurrency wallets (digital wallets). Wallets do not store digital coins, but they do hold a private key so you can trade cryptocurrencies online. This private key is your digital ID to the cryptocurrency market, and anyone who gets it can carry out fraudulent transactions or steal crypto coins. Cyber criminals use advanced technology to compromise digital wallets and steal or transfer crypto assets without the user's knowledge. When it comes to protecting digital currencies from cyber attacks, protecting your wallet is essential.
There are many types of wallets to secure cryptocurrency, but the most popular and secure are hosted wallets, non-custodial wallets, and hardware wallets. Which one is right for you depend on what you want to do with your crypto and what kind of safety net you want to have.
- Hosted Wallet:
The most popular and easy-to-set-up crypto wallet is the hosted wallet. When you purchase crypto using an app such as Coinbase, crypto is automatically kept in your hosted wallet. It is called hosted because a third party stores your crypto in the same way that a bank stores money in a check or savings account. You may have heard stories of "lost keys" or "lost USB wallets", but with a hosted wallet you don't have to worry about that. The main advantage of keeping crypto in the hosted wallet is that you will not lose the crypto if you forget your password. The disadvantage of hosted wallets is that you don't have access to everything the crypto provides. However, things can change as the hosted wallet begins to support more features.
- Non-Custodial Wallet:
A non-custodial wallet such as Coinbase Wallet and MetaMask give you complete control over cryptcurrency. In addition to having full control over crypto security, you also have access to more advanced crypto activities such as harvest farming, staking, lending and borrowing. But if all you want to do is buy, sell, send and receive crypto, a hosted wallet is the easiest solution. Non-custodial wallets do not rely on third parties to keep their crypto secure. They provide the software you need to store your crypto, but you are entirely responsible for remembering and protecting your password. If you lose or forget your password, there is no way to access the crypto. Also, if someone else discovers your private key, that person will gain full access to your crypto assets.
- Hardware Wallet:
A hardware wallet is a sophisticated way to store crypto that separates a user's private key from the Internet by keeping the user's private key offline on a USB-connected device. Hardware wallets, also known as cold storage or cold wallets are often associated with increased security levels because the private key remains completely offline. It is designed to be immune to all types of remote hacking. If you buy a hardware wallet, you should buy it directly from the manufacturer and not from any other source, as it may have been tampered with.
As there are different methods to store cash safely (bank accounts, safes, under the bed), there are many ways to store cryptocurrency. If you want keep things simple can go with a hosted wallet, have full control over cryptocurrency with a non-custodian wallet, take special precautions with a hardware wallet.
Use A Different E-Mail Address Instead of Main E-Mail Address:
It is not practical to create a separate email account for each cryptocurrency service that you need to log in to. However, you can split all crypto-related emails into one account which should be different from main email. Because the main email account is used on a regular basis, it is more likely to fall into the wrong hands. Using different email instead of main has benefits, if the main account is compromised, the hacker will not have any information or access to crypto assets. If a bot crawler enters your inbox, hackers may discover that you have cryptocurrencies and target you, so avoid referencing your relationship with cryptocurrencies in regular email.
Exchanges are not always stable or Dependable:
The legal status of cryptocurrencies varies significantly from state to state and is undefined or changed in many of them. Also exchanges are subject to local law. Some states have sought to advance the technology by passing cryptocurrencies through state securities laws and highly favorable regulations that exempt cryptocurrencies from remittance status. On the other hand some states have banned and restricted cryptocurrencies. Therefore, if your country decides to impose certain restrictions or declarations, the exchange must comply with potentially leaving you vulnerable.
Fake cryptocurrency exchange also a real threat. A fake exchange firm named as BitKRK was established in 2017 in South Korea. It looked legitimate and emerged as part of the crypto trading community, but deceived investors and buyers from millions of dollars before being intercepted by South Korean financial authorities.
You should avoid all fake cryptocurrency exchanges. Stick only to the well known and recognized cryptocurrency exchanges. Check out the cryptocurrency forums and subscribe to real RSS feeds or notifications to get fake exchange news on time. Or stick to a reliable cryptocurrency platform for real investment opportunities.
Use Secure Internet Connection:
When making cryptocurrency transactions, use only secure internet connections and avoid public Wi-Fi networks. Even if you access your home network, use a VPN for added security. VPNs improve the security of cryptocurrencies. If you are looking for a secure and free way to free crypto transactions, you should use a VPN to prevent attacks from hackers, malware and other malicious software. There are several types of VPNs that can be used to protect cryptocurrencies.
There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a VPN for crypto trading. You need to make sure that your VPN service contains the right elements to protect cryptocurrency. The VPN service should do the following:
It provides IP leak protection and strong encryption.
It provides reliable connectivity and high speed.
Contains dedicated customer support.
Don’t Get Phished:
- E-Mail Phishing
The easiest way to do Crypto phishing is to send old-fashioned spam emails. In this spam email, cybercriminals imitate providers of cryptocurrency-related services (web wallets, exchanges, etc.). The message is more detailed and sophisticated than the average phishing email and should include a security alert message indicating that someone tried to sign in to your account from such an address using such a browser. This is one of the oldest phishing techniques for cybercriminals to retrieve emails by extracting them from Slack channels or by retrieving crypto-related site databases.
- Google Adwords Phishing:
A modern phishing method is to exploit a search engine ad network, such as Google Ads, to display a phishing site and trick the user into clicking on the phishing site. Cybercriminals have purchased Google Adwords disguised as an online ad for the legal and popular “blockchain.info” Bitcoin wallet website.
When someone searches on Google for crypto-related keywords such as "blockchain" and "bitcoin wallet", spoofed links will appear at the top of the search results. When clicked, the link redirects to the Landing Ship page, which provides phishing content in the native language of the victim's geographic area. It's a very simple trick, but it can also be incredibly effective.
- Social Media Phishing:
An interesting crypto phishing scheme that uses Facebook's features has recently been discovered. Scammers target the crypto community and create a Facebook page using the same title and design. Make the fake page address very similar to the real address. Cybercriminals send phishing messages from fake pages to members of the real community. They target someone, share the victim's profile picture on their page, and tag him there.
To avoid crypto phishing by scammers follow the instructions given below:
- Do not click the link before checking carefully. Enter the address in your browser instead of clicking the link.
- Do not download attachments to your inbox.
- If you receive an email from the service you are using, do not reply until the sender is confirmed to be legitimate.
- Do not use an open Wi-Fi network while using your e-wallet or other important banking transactions.
- Use updated antivirus applications to avoid all kinds of malware.
- Update the entire system and software.
Some people never feel secure and will do their utmost to protect cryptocurrencies. However, they also forget that they can lose the encryption of security tools. Losing access to your account, funds, or wallet is as common as hacking. So don't over-complicate security. Aim for the right balance between complexity and security.
Cryptocurrency networks are still under development, but threats to crypto assets are imminent. It is important for individuals and organizations not only to be aware of these threats, but also be prepared in the event of an attack. Individuals also needs to understand how new forms of currency can be manipulated for illegal gains. The technology to keep your cryptocurrency secure is an important skill to master the journey to become your own bank. As soon you learn about it, it will be better for you.