6 Ways to Keep Your Crypto Safe from Hackers and Scammers
In the past few years, cryptocurrencies have seen exponential growth in value and popularity. With more people investing in digital currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin, hackers are taking advantage of unsuspecting victims by tricking them into clicking on malicious links or downloading malware-laden files.
Hackers can be a real threat, but you can take steps to protect yourself. Whether it’s keeping your computer secure or using cryptocurrency wallets that provide protection from hacking and scams, there are many things you can do to make sure your crypto is safe.
If you’re new to cryptocurrency and want to keep your hard-earned money safe from these cybercriminals, here are six tips for safeguarding your wallet.
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1. Use 2-Factor Authentication
Believe it or not, using something as simple as 2-step verification can go a very long way in keeping your crypto wallet secure. Two-factor authentication adds the second level of protection for your accounts. Instead of just having usernames and passwords typed by hand at login like usual, this new process also needs something else before you log in, six-digit code. The beauty of the code is that only you have access to it, and it changes every thirty seconds, which means nobody will be able to get into your account by trying a random series of numbers.
Logging into your exchange, you should be able to find two-step verification in the security settings menu. Install an authenticator app on your phone and computer, and then scan the QR code you receive from the app to sink your accounts. With that, you’ll have an extra layer of security for your crypto wallet.
2. Keep Up With Cryptocurrency Scams
Keeping up with cryptocurrency news can be a daunting task, but it is also extremely important. You need to keep track of any new information that may affect your wallet and act accordingly if need be.
Let me illustrate the importance of keeping up to date with cryptocurrency news with an example. The December 2018 attack on the Electrum wallet, which was detected and broadcasted by the company themselves, caused 245 BTC to be stolen. It could have been prevented if people had taken the time to read the news. However, Electrum’s warnings were not enough as many continued downloading the fake version anyway.
Thus, if you’re in the market for making cryptocurrency investments, then stay on top of what’s happening with current news and discussion forums.
3. Have a Kill Switch Ready
If you own cryptocurrency, do not plan on the idea that it can only be stolen by somebody if your private keys are compromised. With over 70 million phones being lost or stolen every year in America alone, your phone is more likely to get snatched than someone hacking into a wallet and stealing currency from there.
Of course, without your phone with you, your cryptocurrency is less secure. Smarter-than-average thieves can break into your phone and then into your cryptocurrency account, which can result in heavy losses for you.
If you lose your phone, the kill switch feature could be a lifesaver. This one simple trick will immediately wipe all of your data and remotely disable access to any sensitive apps or information on your phone, preventing thieves from accessing anything from your new device – like your cryptocurrency wallet.
You can set up kill switches if you use an Apple or Android device. If your phone does become lost or stolen, simply log into your account from another device and wipe all of your data from the phone. But be sure to set up an account beforehand!
4. Use an Ad Blocker
Dangerous ads are a hacker’s favorite technique of getting unsuspecting victims to click on them, installing malware onto your system. It can be difficult and time-consuming for people to distinguish between what is safe or not safe online, so we recommend installing an ad blocker in your browser as soon as possible.
But as a general rule of thumb, or before you get your ad-blocker installed, do not click on any advertisements on the internet. Never. No exceptions.
5. Don’t Auto-Update Your Wallet
It’s true that updates to your crypto wallet will help keep it safe from the latest security threats. If you miss an update, then hackers may be able to get ahold of any funds stored on that specific device or platform and use them for their own purposes! Be sure to check in with either desktop or mobile wallets regularly so this doesn’t happen.
However, this doesn’t mean you should jump at the first chance to update your wallet. These releases can include bug fixes, but there is a risk that an update could introduce more problems than it solves. It’s best to wait 2-3 days before updating your wallet if you’re not sure – just in case!
If you’re following tip two and active in current news and discussion forums, this tip should be easy. If all is quiet in your forums regarding the update, or if people are praising the update, then feel free to update yourself.
6. Say Goodbye to All Remote-Access Software
There are a ton of apps and programs that request remote-access to your device, one of which includes the popular Zoom, and many of these software and numerous security holes.
Having remote access software can open your computer to hackers if the correct safety precautions are not taken. 2FA (two-factor-authentication) is meant to make things more difficult for people trying to get into a system (and it does), but it doesn’t stop them from exploiting this loophole of remote-access programs that give attackers total control with just one string of characters.
Thus, it’s a good idea not to install any program on your computer or smartphone that wants remote access. This is especially true for those laptops or smartphones that contain your private keys. If you do have these programs installed, it would be wise to delete them ASAP.
It’s important to take precautions to protect your cryptocurrency. The best way to keep your crypto safe from hackers and scammers is by using 2-Factor Authentication, keeping up with scams, having a kill switch ready in case you lose access to your wallet (either through theft or losing your smartphone), using an ad blocker so no one can hijack your computer while browsing online, not auto-updating any of your software just in case there are bugs in the new updates, and getting rid of any programs that require remote access (or even better, not installing them altogether).
Of course, this list isn’t exhaustive, but these six tips should get you started on the right track if you want to make sure your cryptocurrency is safe.
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