Opinion: Ways to Protect your Crypto Wallets from Cyber Risks

By Amy Cavendish

Cryptocurrency might be a groundbreaking technology that is set to change the world, but it also has an unpopular side—cybercrime. Due to their fully decentralized nature (no central authority to oversee the transactions and general crypto activities), cryptocurrencies are faced with numerous cyber threats including email scams and ransomware. The thing is, cybercrooks love laundering money and defrauding businesses and individuals using cryptocurrency scams.
Cryptocurrencies are, therefore, a criminal’s haven, and every business or individual that uses them is a target for cyber-attacks unless they heighten their cybersecurity measures. In this article, we discuss some of the most common cyber threats affecting cryptocurrency users and how they can protect themselves.

Cyber Threats Affecting Cryptocurrency Users

As mentioned above, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are decentralized and some people, especially newbies in the industry, can get fooled into a fallacious sense of security due to this. What you should know is that because of a lack of centralization, cryptocurrency holders have to be fully responsible for the security of their wallets.

Whether you are using mobile, desktop, or hardware wallet, your cryptocurrencies will always be striking to thieves, fraudsters, and scammers—especially if you are transacting or keeping large amounts.

Cryptocurrency Investment Scams: these scammers operate by setting up sham websites or sending out fake emails that advertise cryptocurrency investment offers with attractive returns. Also, the scammers offer direct sales of the different cryptocurrencies including bitcoins and litecoins, which they don’t end up transferring after the victims have paid.

Phishing Scams: This consists of creating a hoax version of the wallet to fool unsuspecting users into providing their password information.

Third-party applications: The information you share with third-parties could be the perfect way for hackers to steal your user information and use it to perform further attacks.

Malware: This occurs when crypto-related malware launches itself into the mining machines and makes away with mining resources of the corrupt computer. Hackers can also use malware to steal cryptocurrencies from your online wallet.

How to Protect your Crypto Wallet

Go for Hardware Wallets

With numerous wallet options available on the market, it might be difficult to know which one to go for. If you are especially concerned about cyber risks, cold storage could be the perfect option for you.

A safe way to store your cryptocurrencies would be something known as a hardware wallet. Companies like Ledger and Trezor offer USB-like devices that have pre-installed encryption features and security layers. These devices do not connect to the internet, meaning cybercriminals will have a difficult time trying to gain access to your private key.

Hardware wallets or cold storage offers safe offline storage for your cryptocurrencies.

Use Secure Internet Connection at all Times

Most shared, public networks have security flaws, and should not be used to access your crypto wallet. But, if you have to use public Wi-Fi networks, for instance, if you are traveling, it is highly recommended that you download a VPN for security whenever you want to access your online Bitcoin wallet.

Use Two-Factor Authentication

Two-step authentication is among the best ways you can use to secure your crypto wallet. Two-factor authentication offers an additional layer of security to your cryptocurrency wallet. Many leading wallets offer this kind of authentication as standard, so make sure you set it up. Many of them will offer you an email or SMS alert providing you with a particular code every time you try to login to your wallet.

Use an Excellent and Up-to-date Antivirus

Windows users are usually exposed to a variety of malware. It’s therefore important to always check whether your device has reliable and up-to-date antivirus software installed. Also, keep updating your software to the latest version to stay protected from the latest malware.

As a cryptocurrency miner, it’s important to be aware of the various cyber threats that you are likely to encounter while transacting or storing your coins as well as the best ways to stay safe. The best way to safeguard your investment from cyber-attacks is by following proper cybersecurity practices and protocols, and also being extra careful with the apps and sites you use.

Amy Cavendish is a content strategist at TechFools, a tech blog aiming to inform readers about the potential dangers of technology and introduce them to the best ways to protect themselves online. As an outspoken advocate for digital freedom, Amy is dedicated to empowering her readers to take control of their digital lives with her thought-leadership articles.  
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