Cryptocurrencies are becoming more popular, and their prices continue to surge, meaning they're often targeted by hackers. Cybercriminals robbed approximately $125 million in Ethereum, Bitcoin, and other digital currencies from different exchange platforms in 2019, per CipherTrace's Cryptocurrency Anti-Money Laundering report for that year.
In this day and age, it’s challenging to track the work of cybercriminals because their footprints can be erased digitally. When cryptocurrency accounts get hacked, investors lose money and have no legal recourse as the virtual coins are unregulated. For this reason, it’s important to take the necessary steps to keep your cryptocurrency safe.
How Can Your Cryptocurrency Get Stolen?
Your cryptocurrency can be stolen mainly through exchanges and wallets. The latter doesn’t store your digital currency, but that enables you to trade and transact online. If anyone gets their hands on your private key, they can steal your cryptocurrency and perform fraudulent transactions.
As far as exchanges are concerned, there have been many data breaches in the past that have resulted in millions of dollars getting stolen. This makes it all the more important to do your research before using any exchange.
How to Secure Your Cryptocurrency
Without further ado, let’s take a look at some simple yet effective ways to safeguard your cryptocurrency against hackers:
Store Your Crypto in a Hardware Wallet
Since hot wallets connect to the internet, they attract the attention of cybercriminals and are vulnerable to hacking attempts. You should (also referred to as hardware wallets) to store most of your cryptocurrency and keep the rest in a hot wallet for easy accessibility if you’re an active trader.
Furthermore, the cold wallet needs to be stored in a safe place like a safety deposit box or bank safe to avoid physical threats such as theft.
Secure Your Internet Connection
When you trade or make transactions with cryptocurrency, it’s essential to use a secure internet connection. After all, you wouldn’t want someone to intercept your traffic and steal your exchange credentials or wallet’s private keys and gain access to your account.
Set Strong Passwords
Always choose strong passwords for your crypto wallets and exchange or broker accounts – they should be long and contain a mix of lower- and upper-case letters, numbers, and special characters. Furthermore, the passwords you use shouldn’t contain any personal information such as birthdate or pet name.
Don’t make the mistake of using the same password across multiple wallets or accounts, either. It’s a recipe for disaster and makes a hacker’s job easier. If you have trouble creating and remembering strong passwords, we recommend using a password manager. Plus, it helps to have your wallets and accounts protected with two-factor authentication.
Be Wary of Mobile Phishing
Many people that use cryptocurrencies rely on mobile apps for trading and transactions. As these digital currencies soar in price, malicious actors are using different techniques to steal login credentials, and one of the most common is mobile phishing campaigns. These social engineering attacks can take place over text or email and are aimed at creating a sense of fear, curiosity, or urgency in victims.
Believe it or not, you may even come across malicious mobile apps with the hidden ability to monitor your screen or log every keystroke. Therefore, make sure you have an antivirus program installed on your mobile phone.
Use Reputable Crypto Exchanges, Wallets, & Brokers
Before you opt for any wallet, exchange, or broker, do your due diligence about their security features to understand how they keep your information safe and secure. Trustworthy entities will
incorporate the best security practices like requiring two-factor or multi-factor authentication and offering SSL/TLS encryption.
The art of protecting your cryptocurrency is a vital skill to master. Following the measures outlined above should be enough to get you started, but with the crypto landscape ever-evolving, you need to stay up-to-date regarding the latest news, attacks, and prevention techniques.
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