With so many people catching the cryptocurrency bug it’s not surprising that hackers are getting into the act. They invent new ways of stealing money online but don’t let that discourage you. There are a handful of sure-fire cryptocurrency protection methods that you can start using right now.
Use a hardware wallet
You can reduce the risk of cryptocurrency stealing to zero if you use a hardware wallet. This device is the size of a USB drive (and visually it reminds one) and costs $50-100 – not a big price for the security of your riches.
A hardware wallet keeps your cryptocurrency protected by a private key, i.e., the unique access code only you know. With the help of cryptography, the private key is matched with a public address that only you can access. The chances that someone figures out the code are so slim that you can sleep soundly knowing hackers would give up after hundreds (or even thousands) of fruitless attempts.
Strengthen your password with 2-factor authentication
If you still prefer storing your crypto on exchanges, take care of the essentials – security of your account. No, it's not enough to have a strong password – the most tech-savvy hackers can crack it. But when it comes to 2-factor authentication, the chances for them to log in are odd.
How to enable 2FA on your accounts, be that social media or email? You can either get a special app like AUTHY or resort to Google Authenticator. The first is better because it allows you to store your 2FA key in your phone.
Avoid public places to manage your crypto assets
Never perform crypto transactions using a public Wi-Fi: it's not safe at all. If you're in dire need of sending crypto on the go, arm yourself up with a VPN that would protect your traffic.
Ideally, all cryptographic operations should be done on a separate computer. It means that it should have nothing else but the software for accessing your exchanges and wallets. If such investment is too costly for you, take an old computer and reformat it. Make it isolated from everything else and don't surf the Net on it (it means no downloads, no Netflix, etc.). This solution is not as good as a hardware wallet, but it’s certainly better than nothing.
Double check the address
When you do a crypto transfer, take care of the correctness of the address. Like most people, you will copy and paste it, but the problem is that there's such malware that can modify your copy paste function and insert hacker's address. Therefore, you should double check: pay attention to the first and last four digits of the address, this is enough to make sure the address is the same.
Use an antivirus
When it comes to securing your crypto assets, you should secure your devices first. As you’ve understood, there ’s a huge number of malware and viruses that can compromise your data and funds – hackers invent new tricks that most users are not aware of. A premium antivirus package will never hurt – a free solution isn’t enough. The market offers a lot of worthy solutions, so read Avast antivirus review, or review of any other top antivirus solutions like Malware bytes, Kaspersky or E set Internet Security to make the right choice. Ideally, you should use two different compatible antivirus scanners and a malware scanner on top of it.
Beware of links in social media
Did you know that such social media platforms as Telegram and Slack are full of scammers? Whenever you see suspicious links in discussion groups, do not click them. That applies to Facebook and Reddit, too. There’s a risk that the link goes to a phishing site which installs browser malware and can spoof your private wallet keys.
Be skeptical about ICOs – hackers are around the corner
ICOs are everywhere: new crowdfunding project pop up every day, and the number of contributors doesn’t reduce. So hackers and spammers are here, too. What they usually do is make people send funds to the wrong address.
Thus, before you send any fund to an ICO address, find ways to verify that it’s not a fake one. Check out the following:
- Contribution address specified on the website.
- Contribution address provided by the official team members on Slack and Telegram (note that scammers can pretend to be the team).
- Contribution address posted on Twitter.
- Visit http://etherscan.io/address/[INSERT THE ETH ADDRESS HERE] to verify that the address is legit.
There are a few most popular scams. The most common one is the fake contribution post scam when hackers pretend to be the ICO team and fool people to send money to a fake address. Users can also get fake messages from Admin asking them to send money to a fake address. Contributors can also receive fake emails from hackers.
Forewarned is forearmed. Keep an eye out for new threats and do all possible to protect your hard-earned cryptocurrencies – it’s easier with the methods above.
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