Many experts have regarded cryptocurrency as the future of money and finances around the world. These days, there are a lot of cryptocurrencies available online and more people are getting vested into these types of virtual currencies. Early this year, cryptocurrency has already earned over $155 billion market capitalization.
However, as more people invest their hard-earned money to this relatively new digital investment, cyber threats begin to arise in numbers as well. Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency, and other virtual money are now susceptible to many cyber threats. In 2014, hackers ran off with about $487 million in bitcoins from Tokyo’s Mt. Gov exchange while the most prominent cryptocurrency hack that happened in 2018 costs around $534 million.
The risk lies in losing your crypto to a cyber theft that leaves no traces. That’s because governmental entities and central banks do not yet protect cryptocurrencies. Due to their decentralized nature, there’s no centralized control over them, as is usually the case for fiat currencies. Cryptos can’t be regulated like stock exchanges, which is one of the reasons governments have been skeptical towards them.
Therefore, if you own cryptocurrencies, it’s crucial to be aware of the risks of cyber-attacks. This is an extremely valid point for all our private data that’s out on the internet. As a result of the growing number of people using the internet and the number of frauds and thefts that followed, there has also been a rise in the protection of privacy and data. If it’s to connect to your e-mail account, social media networks or even your favorite online streaming platform, there are authentication systems at work to protect you. So when it comes to cryptos, a form currency that is slowly growing in terms of adoption, there are already many ways you can protect yourself.
How To Make a Move and Protect Your Cryptocurrency Investment
As you invest in cryptocurrency, you need to be on constant move and lookout of possible cyber-attacks and other cyber threats you might encounter. Here are some ways you can do to protect your cryptocurrency investment.
1. Start on Smaller Trades
If you are starting to immerse yourself in the crypto world, do not invest everything at once. Doing this can draw attention to your end and have cybercriminals tagging behind you. Start making smaller trades instead to avoid cyber threats. This strategy will avoid putting yourself in the radar of hackers who are on the constant lookout for rich targets. This tactic can also be an excellent way to test yourself so you won’t overextend yourself in your investment and exhaust your resources.
2. Distribute Your Currencies in Different Wallets
This method is probably similar to a piece of advice that you often hear when you make any standard investment. Experts always remind that you should not keep all of your eggs in one basket. As you begin to test the crypto waters, diversify your wallets and distribute your funds among them. You can always start with the most popular ones, such as Coinbase and Binance.
Cryptocurrency wallets are software programs that act as a digital wallet that store your virtual currencies. You can use it to send and receive cryptos and monitor their balance. When you put your money in different wallets, it would be safe to say that if one of them got stolen, you could still recover. It will not mean the end of the crypto adventure for you since the rest of your investment is safely allocated in different places.
3. Trust Wallets From Known Sources
Wallets are a much-needed tool in your cryptocurrency investment, so you need to make sure that you only use wallets from known sources. Crypto wallets come in two forms, hot wallets which can connect to the internet and cold wallets that are kept offline and come in types of hardware devices.
It is best also to learn the different types of crypto wallets, which include:
- Paper wallets – which refers to a physical copy of your public and private keys
- Cloud wallets – found online, can be accessed from any computer and controlled by third-parties
- Software wallets – downloaded and installed in a computer or smartphone
- Hardware wallets – store your private keys on external storage devices like USB
As cryptocurrency starts to be widely ventured by investors, the market has seen a growing number of wallets coming from less reputable companies. These wallets offer compelling features that are sometimes malware in disguise.
4. Use 2FA for Added Layer of Security
Most cybersecurity experts these days always remind people to use two-factor-authentication or 2FA to any of your online accounts. Using 2FA in your cryptocurrency investment accounts adds another second layer of security that helps protect your digital money. It should not only be done on your crypto wallet but also all your online accounts associated with your crypto investment.
When you enable 2FA, it will provide you with a 6-digit code or password through your e-mail or your mobile phone. These codes change within 30 seconds, which makes it hard for hackers and cybercriminals to crack.
5. Don’t Click on Ads
Most cybercriminals get creative these days to steal online investment like cryptocurrency. Hackers can often use tempting ads that get users to click on them. Clicking on these ads would then signal a malware to install in your system.
To avoid this, you can install an ad blocker in your browser. This ad blocker extension will help you distinguish between safe ads from a malware-infested ad that hackers use. However, to be completely secure, it is better to avoid and refrain from clicking any advertisement you see on your browser.
6. Turn Off the Auto Update on Your Wallet
It is a must to update your wallet and have it in the latest software. Should you fail to update it, there’s a possibility that you expose your funds and investment. When this happens, hackers and cybercriminals can easily take advantage of it.
Closely monitor your mobile and desktop wallets for any updates. However, it would be best if when an update is available, do not rush to download it immediately. At least wait for 2-3 days before updating your wallet because some updates contain bugs when released. Developers can only get to know about it and clear it off when users give in their comments after utilizing the update.
7. Connect with Trusted Secure Networks
Whenever you deal with money, it’s best to avoid doing it while connected to a public Wi-Fi. These public Wi-Fi-s may redirect your browser to a phishing version of a wallet or cryptocurrency exchange. Connecting to the unsecured networks can give hackers and cybercriminals a chance to access your mobile devices or laptop. They can collect your data, including your login credentials as well as your other confidential information.
As much as possible, do your online cryptocurrency business on your dedicated devices connected on a secured network. This can be your home Wi-Fi or your phone’s mobile data. This way, you can avoid any cyber threat that you may encounter on a public connection which can put your investment at risk.
Starting a cryptocurrency investment can be exciting and overwhelming; however keeping it safe from any cyber threats can be tricky, especially if you are new to it. Learn to turn these safety practices into daily habits, so you can be sure that your investment is well kept.