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Having Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency is one thing but keeping it safe takes knowledge and skills. Hackers now compromise the blockchain, which was once considered unhackable. More loopholes in cryptocurrency and smart contract systems are emerging, compromising the entire ecosystem. In 2022 alone, hackers have robbed over $4 billion worth of cryptocurrencies, mainly from exchanges and smart contracts. This is just what has been openly revealed.
We need not be surprised. The blockchain is especially attractive to hackers because the traditional financial system doesn’t allow fraudulent transactions to be reversed. However, as hackers find new ways to commit fraud, various crypto industries are evolving to find new solutions to safeguard cryptos.
What is a Crypto Wallet?
A crypto wallet is a program created to store, send and receive digital currencies, monitor balances, and connect different blockchains with public and private keys. There are tons of cryptocurrency wallets, which are either hot or cold. Crypto wallets hold an individual’s private key, which is their identity, to the digital currencies market; thus, anyone who gets hold of it can conduct fraudulent transactions.
Use Cold Wallets
Unlike hot wallets, cold storage wallets don’t rely on an internet connection. They save coins offline and solve security breaches, a common problem with hot wallets. Cold wallets have two alternatives; paper and hardware wallets.
A hardware wallet is a tool that does not rely on the internet and only connects to the internet when users need it to receive or send payments and disconnects after executing transactions. A hardware wallet is better than paper wallets due to improved storage solutions. Trezor One and the Nano Ledger X are examples of hardware wallets. These wallets confirm transactions using private keys stored offline. In addition, users can retrieve their funds using a backup seed key if the device is lost or broken.
As the name suggests, the wallet is made of paper. Paper wallets were primarily popular in the early years of bitcoin as a system of putting digital currencies as physical records by printing a person’s keys on paper. The record comprises all the data required to produce cryptocurrency private keys and construct a wallet of keys.
However, there is no way to retrieve private keys once lost, and if the paper wallet gets damaged, say, in a house fire, a user will lose their money. Therefore paper wallets are best used to store long-term money.
A digital currency portfolio lets users manage all cryptocurrencies they hold in a single place. Information on the crypto coins a user has and their amount value is visible, and also, one can learn to keep track of their crypto coins in real-time. Before purchasing cryptocurrency, one can determine whether it would add value to the portfolio.
Using cryptocurrencies for a broadly diversified asset class of 3-7 cryptocurrencies is recommended. Diversifying across multiple asset classes decreases exposure risks and improves risk-adjusted return.
Beware of Clipboard Hacking
Transfer of cryptocurrency involves long and hard-to-remember wallet addresses. Hackers know that the average person would typically copy these addresses from one platform and paste them onto another.
Therefore, they have devised ingenious methods to monitor clipboards for crypto addresses. But unfortunately, many users fall prey and carry out transactions to hackers’ wallets, leaving them with little recourse. Therefore, it’s essential to be cautious and cross-check copied and pasted addresses before conducting any transaction.
This kind of malware runs in the computer background, unidentified. Therefore, anti-malware experts suggest that it’s vital to have the latest anti-virus software installed and firewall and double-check the safety protocols.
Don’t get phished
Phishing scams via deceptive advertisements and emails are rampant in cryptocurrency. Therefore, be cautious when making crypto transfers, and avoid any questionable and unknown links.
In the latest cryptocurrency heist, a hacker community called “CryptoCore” attacked virtual currency exchanges through spear-phishing campaigns. Attackers robbed bitcoin worth $200 million over two years, attacking businesses in the U.S. and Japan since 2018. ClearSky reported that CryptoCore had initiated a surveillance process to locate the cryptocurrency exchange employees’ and security officers’ email addresses before a spear-phishing attack. The hacker community attacked by using fake domains that impersonate affiliated organizations and staff and embed malicious links in documents via email.
Use Secure Internet
Use a secure internet connection and avoid public Wi-Fi networks when trading or engaging in crypto transactions. Use a VPN for increased protection when accessing your home network. A VPN updates your IP address and location to protect your browsing from malicious attacks.
Change Your Password Regularly
Research has revealed that three-quarters of millennials in the U.S. use the same password on over ten devices, applications, and other social media pages. It also claimed that most of them used the same password at more than 50 locations. Therefore, ensure you have a strong and complicated password that is almost impossible to unlock and change frequently. If you have several wallets, use different keys. For additional protection, opt for two-factor or multi-factor authentication.
Maintain Multiple Wallets
Since wallet creation is limitless, you can diversify your crypto investment portfolio by holding various wallets. For example, you can use one wallet for regular purchases and store the rest in a different wallet. In addition, having multiple wallets safeguards your portfolio and reduces the losses of crypto account breaches.
The crypto industry is rapidly evolving, and it’s your absolute duty to secure your digital assets by protecting your wallets with necessary security measures. Update yourself with the latest crypto safeguarding measures, attack strategies, and preventive tactics since cybercriminals use advanced, sophisticated techniques to steal and transfer your assets without your knowledge.