The year is 2020 and scammers are not slowing down in their love and quest for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. If they were getting these legally, we would not be concerned. The fact that they are waiting to fleece users like you who got their cryptocurrencies the right way, though, does not sit down well with us.
That is why we are looking at the various models to employ so that you do not fall victim to any of these hacking attempts and scammers too.
1: Beware of Phishing
Hackers and scammers can send users a message/ text/ email that looks to have originated from a crypto service (wallet, exchange, etc.) which such a user sues. The user goes through such a link and tries to log in, thinking that they are accessing the secure platform where their cryptocurrency is stored.
The only difference is that this time, the hacker will be the one getting those passwords and login details. Thus, they can access the main service and steal all of the cryptos there.
It is, thus, advisable that you do not click links in emails and texts. Rather, enter the links manually in your browser.
2: Safeguard Devices
For those who use hot wallets, make sure your devices are kept safe and secure every time.
Malware can be installed onto the device where your hot wallet is installed. In some cases, the malware might lay in wait to recover keystrokes so that it determines your username and password combination. Some other kinds of malware can also scan your device for private keys, seed phrases, etc. Anything that can be used to breach your accounts.
Always have antivirus software installed on your main devices. Likewise, never connect to an untrusted computer as it might have malware waiting to infect your devices.
3: Consider Cold Wallets
Cold wallet storage is a no-brainer for anyone who holds a lot of cryptos.
Unlike hot wallets, you are not trusting your cryptos to some companies that hold private keys. You now have all the private keys at hand. Likewise, you do not have to worry about online-based hacks since these kinds of wallets are offline-based.
The best thing about cold wallets is that no one knows you have some crypto anywhere unless you show them. They are also usually better encrypted than hot wallets, providing for a better mode of security.
4: Secure your Network
Your internet connection could be a make or break for you.
Hackers can deploy sniffing and snooping tools to see what you are doing on the internet at any time. By extension, they can see the passwords that you are entering, what websites you are visiting, and more. The risks are much, much higher when you are on a public Wi-Fi connection.
This is where one of the many functions of a VPN – in encrypting network connections – comes to play.
Those who are truly concerned about their cryptocurrency safety should install a solid VPN and layer all their internet connection over it.
5: Use Secure Emails
When email accounts get hacked, it could lead to a lot of ugly issues. One such being the loss and theft of cryptocurrencies that you might own.
While it is not recommended that seed phrases/ recovery phrases be stored online, some users still have it somewhere in their emails. This puts them at a huge risk when their addresses get hacked. In this same way, wallet addresses on some exchanges (used in place of username) can also be stolen, making the hack easier.
A good habit here is to use a secure email service for every and anything related to cryptocurrencies. Such email services come with a greater deal of security than basic, consumer-grade email services.
6: Enable 2FA
Two-factor authentication is not a formality. It is a necessity for those that want to truly ensure account safety.
Strong passwords can sometimes get breached, which can be due to a combination of many factors. When that happens, you want to have an extra layer of security to protect you from falling victim to hacks and thefts. This is where 2FA comes into the mix.
With that in tow, only your password won’t be enough to grant access to your account anymore. You will even get notified if someone was trying to access your account and they had the password already. Since they don’t have the 2FA access, they don’t get into the account – and you will know better to change your login details.
7: Choose a Reliable Password
We have mentioned this in bits and parts around the article so far, but it deserves a section of its own too.
Crypto users should know that this is no place for their standard 8-character passwords.. In fact, 16-character passwords can be considered to be the bare minimum.
Even at that, the password of choice should not be one that can be easily guessed.
For better security, it is recommended that you leverage online password-generating software to come up with long strings of almost non-hackable passwords. Since that won’t be easy to remember, install a password manager to keep your passwords safe and secure too.
Despite being a more secure way of transaction compared to traditional payment methods, crypto cyber risks have been evolving rapidly. Make sure you have your security measures in place to protect your valuable assets.