Cryptocurrency has become hugely popular today, with millions of people realizing the potential of the industry. More and more are also joining the trend every day to both reap the benefits of the payment method and make a profit by taking advantage of the quick changes in the Bitcoin and Ethereum price. However, as crypto’s popularity has grown, so have the cyber threats that aim to steal these digital assets from users.
What this means is that if you are a crypto user or you want to join the space, you need to be proactive in protecting your digital assets. And today, we’ll help you familiarize with the risks involved and know what you can do to stay safe.
The Evolving Cyber Threat Landscape in Cryptocurrency
Before you can effectively secure your digital assets, you have to understand the various threats facing them. These threats come in many varied ways, with the most common being phishing attacks, malware and ransomware, exchange hacks, and social engineering. The fact that cryptocurrencies offer a good layer of anonymity makes these threats even more serious. And as technology advances, the exploits also continue to evolve.
Safeguarding Your Cryptocurrency Assets
The process of protecting crypto assets is multi-layered.
Secure Your Digital Wallets
Your wallet is where you will store your cryptocurrency, so you need to ensure that is secure. This will of course start with the wallet provider you are choosing. What is its reputation, and what security measures does it offer?
Ensure that you use a strong and unique password and that you use two-factor authentication. If you plan on holding your crypto for a long time, you can also consider going with a hardware wallet. This one is very secure as it stores your private keys offline.
Beware of Phishing
They say that the weakest link in a security system is the user. And due to the other measures used to protect digital assets, cybercriminals try to trick a user into revealing their sensitive info. Of course, this isn’t done in a straightforward manner. Usually, it will be by clicking links found in emails or messages, which can be made to appear as if they are links to legitimate sources.
As such, you should always confirm whether a particular email or message is legitimate before you click on a link. Also, double-check the URL of the websites you visit. Before you enter any credentials, ensure that the domain name is correct (no spelling error) and that the website uses https://, not http://.
Keep Software Updated
This may sound trivial, but it is often not. Cybercriminals always try to find security loopholes in various software, both operating systems and applications. But on their side, development companies frequently send security updates to cover any that might have been exposed. As such, always ensure that you keep your software up-to-date.
Use a VPN for Transactions
Thousands of crypto users have lost their assets by using unsecured networks, such as those found in cafes. This is because it is quite easy for hackers to get into these networks and steal user data.
A reliable way you can prevent that from happening is by using a virtual private network (VPN) when you want to transact or access your account. The VPN will help protect you by encrypting all your traffic. While you will still be connected to the internet through the public network, you will be doing so to through a private tunnel. This will block out potential eavesdroppers and man-in-the-middle attacks.
Backup Your Wallet
You can easily lose your wallet in case of device loss or failure or if you accidentally delete your wallet data. As such, you need to always ensure that you have a secure backup of the wallet. This basically means creating a secure copy of the wallet’s private keys, recovery seed, or keystore file. In case of anything, you can use these to restore your wallet on another device. However, remember to keep your backups offline to prevent unauthorized access.
In every financial space, diversification is always fronted as a major part of risk management. And to protect your digital assets, you can use the strategy by creating different wallets and investing in different cryptocurrencies. This will mean that in case of a security breach on the wallet or an exchange jack, your loss will be fractional.
Cyber threats keep on evolving. Some existing ones can take new shapes, and entirely new threats can also come up. This means that you always need to stay updated on both potential risks and new security measures. You can do this by following reputable sources, websites, and cryptocurrency experts. But in it all, remember that security is a process, not an event.