Cryptocurrencies have come a long way evolving and have taken an indispensable place in our lives. No wonder they offer a seamless way to transact and are also a good investment option given their ROI performance. Experts believe that it is only a matter of time that we will live in a completely digitized economic model that is running on cryptocurrencies as a monetary resource.
But before a completely secure, and robust system of decentralized currencies can be attained, it is important that certain loopholes that are raising criticisms due to the dark nature of crypto assets should be dealt with. One of the most notable crypto thefts occurred with the Mt. Gox exchange in 2014. Around 850,000 Bitcoins of customers, as well as the company, went missing, amounting to over 450 million dollars during that time. In May 2019, the thieves obtained 7,000 Bitcoin valued at 40 Million dollars from Binance through a sole transaction earlier. Hence, without security and proper precautions, cryptocurrencies are full of risks.
Following are some important steps that you must keep in mind to avoid any mishaps with cryptocurrencies:
1. Don’t Share Crypto Data
Security begins on an individual level. Unless you leave your assets lying around vulnerable to attacks, criminals are helpless. Therefore make sure that you follow that basic rules of confidentiality, i.e., not sharing your details of crypto assets with anybody. Check all the details of the recipients and the payments before making a transaction. Since there is no third party involved, tracking the source of theft is extremely hard for cryptocurrency crimes.
2. Use Adblocker
While you browse or operate with cryptocurrencies, make sure to use a reliable adblocker. Ads are one of the ways third parties can intrude and track your browsing with the help of cookies or criminals disguised as another website. Make sure you do not click on any dubious links, website and add while you are transacting with the cryptocurrencies.
3. Avoid Sticking To One Crypto Exchange For Long
Avoid using a crypto exchange for a very long time. In case you want to use, use a two-factor means of authentication, the one which is not restricted to devices that run on the internet. For the hardware wallet, you can set a PIN that is easy to remember but hard to guess and is secure. Keep the 24-word sheet of recovery well secured & never put it on a device connected to the internet. Keep the cryptocurrency from the exchange that you employ for trades on the wallet of your desktop, hardware wallet, or mobile wallet, for long-term storage. You may also modify risk by utilizing two or more exchanges. You can choose various wallets that are available like online wallets, mobile wallets, offline wallets and paper wallets that scan QR codes for the transaction.
4. Use A Secure Mail Service
Using a secure SMTP is one of the important ways you ensure the security of your resources. Emails are one of the most prone assets to an attack with phishing, spam, clickbait links, and attractive subject lines. Some attachments in the emails can also facilitate hacking for crypto assets. So make sure you use a secure emailing service and follow general rules of email security like staying away from spam links and attachments.
5. Use Secure Browsing
Binance’s crypto hack made the prices of cryptocurrency to plunge drastically. Most of the time, hacks are triggered by individual negligence. Therefore trust only what is visible on the screen of your hardware wallet uses a secure browser and network connection to make a transaction. Make sure to validate the recipient's address and payment details over the device. Always pay attention to the information given on your PC or smartphone screen. Trust that any software is prone to compromise anytime.
6. Secure Networking
While transacting with cryptocurrencies, make sure to use a secure private network. Avoid using public WiFis and open networks. Use VPN for encrypting and securing your Data. An encrypted data is hard to decode and, therefore, hard to hack. Use your basic technological knowledge and universal security measures to make sure you aren’t leaving any open doors for the criminals.
7. Use Password Generator For Strong Passwords
Always use a strong password. Do not go for predictable passwords like date of birth or phone numbers or names of your closed ones. Also, avoid choosing active, meaningful terms that can be guessed easily. These are easiest to guess and offer criminals a less time span to hack. Try using an online password generator and note down the password in a secure place that you keep to yourself.
8. Set Up A Remote Kill Switch For Mobile If You Lost It
Always set up a remote kill switch that can erase all the data in case you misplace or lose your phone. Check for the procedure to do so for your handset model online. In case you have an iPhone, you can directly erase the data you have on your phone by logging on to your PC and accessing the account data on iCloud through a trusted browser.
9. Update Yourself With Latest Scams In Detail
One important thing that you must do as a cryptocurrency owner is looking at the scams that have already happened. Read and research about how the incidents happened. More importantly, look at what triggered the attack in the first place. If you own a cryptocurrency from an exchange that already undergone an attack, make sure to read all the updated rules and protocols of operating with the cryptocurrencies.
Exchanges skip or fail to build a robust security system due to the increase in investors, less time on hand, etc. These crypto exchanges become a victim of attacks as the risk is centralized and a part of the private keys are kept online to enable withdrawals in real-time. Hence, you cannot blame anyone in case you are a victim of the crime.
Also, the security breach is the root cause of almost all the problems of cryptocurrencies. So while we happily invest our money in cryptocurrencies, are we taking appropriate measures to ensure its safety? Therefore before you get laid back about your cryptocurrencies earning you money, make sure you are aware that safety begins at home.