Bitcoin appears to be bouncing back, which brings with it a lot of new buyers into the crypto market. While this is good for the industry as a whole, it brings along with it scammers who see “newbies” as easy targets. To avoid falling prey to these scammers and hackers, it’s vital that you keep your funds safe and secure. How can you protect your crypto from these nefarious miscreants? While no single method is completely effective against hackers, we’ll go through some steps you can take to combat crypto scams in the article below.
We’re not going to waste your time with a bunch of meaningless and time-wasting words here. Let’s get right to it.
Two-factor authentication, or 2FA, is one of the easiest things you can do to prevent scammers from accessing your crypto. If the exchange, app, or platform you’re using offers 2FA as an option, set it up.
Every time you access your crypto, you’ll be asked to enter a code from your phone via 2FA. This could be through a text message or by accessing a specific application. Sure, it can be a nuisance to have to do it every time, but it could be the difference between keeping your funds safe and losing them to a hacker.
Without 2FA, you’re relying entirely on the password you’re using to access your crypto, which sophisticated hackers may be able to easily circumvent. For example, hackers might get your password from another website, change it via the “reset password” functionality, and take complete control of your funds. It can happen that quickly.
On the other hand, if you have 2FA on, the attacker has to have access to your text messages. While it’s not impossible for this to happen, it does make it more difficult for the hacker and could be enough to make them move on to their next target.
Authenticator apps go hand-in-hand with 2FA since they perform the same task but do so through an external application like Google Authenticator. These types of apps don’t rely on SMS texting, so even if the hacker has access to your text messages, they can’t get the withdrawal code.
With an authenticator app, the hacker has to have your phone in their possession to get past this level of security. That means using one gives you an additional layer of security for protecting your crypto.
If you’re not familiar with seed words and phrases, don’t worry, you can read all about them here. These words are the key to your wallet or account. Any person who has access to these seed words can access your crypto.
Backing up your seed phrases means you have access to your crypto, even if your device suffers a fatal mishap. Fortunately, you can easily keep track of your seed phrases by writing them down on a piece of paper. Keep them in a safe place where no one will find them; that way, you’re the only person who has access to them. Many people keep them in a waterproof and fireproof safe.
One thing to note, when you write down your seed words, make sure they’re in the correct order. To access your crypto, you have to enter them in the order they were given; otherwise, the app won’t recognize the seed phrase.
Another easy way to combat crypto scams is to validate URLs before you click on them. Scammers like to use fake wallets on popular social media sites to lure their victims into a false sense of security. That’s why you want to confirm any URL before you click on it. Don’t just follow a link you find on a random Facebook page.
The best thing to do is to avoid these links completely. If you need a wallet, download it directly from the developer’s website. This is also true for iOS or Android app stores. Scammers place fake wallets in the stores so they have easy access to your crypto. Again, the best thing to do is go to the wallet’s website and follow the link from there.
Of course, before you click on that link, you want to make sure you’re on a legitimate website. Hackers and scammers like to create fake websites that look similar to the real ones. Double-check the URL to confirm it’s spelled correctly. If you’re not sure, you can visit reputable news sources to confirm the URL is accurate.
One additional thing you can do to validate a URL is to look for the lock icon located on the left of the address bar. If the icon is read, the site has been hacked, so avoid using it until the issue is resolved.
Hackers and scammers will send users emails with malicious files attached to them. When they’re opened, these files steal user information, giving them access to their crypto. Usually, these emails will look as though they come from a legitimate business, which is why many people are so willing to open up the attachment.
Or it may prey on people’s situations. For example, if you’re expecting a response from a potential customer or employer, the email may mention something about an opportunity. All you have to do is fill out the attached form. Being wary is one of several steps to combat crypto scams. These attachments contain malware ready to gather your personal information and distribute it to the scammer.
When you’re out in public, it’s tempting to connect to an open wifi network to keep from using up your mobile data. However, these networks are breeding grounds for scammers and hackers. While you’re on a public network, others on the same network can easily access your internet traffic.
Armed with this information, these deviants might be able to tell which crypto sites you are visiting. In certain situations, they can even see your transactions. While this in and of itself may not give a scammer the info they need to steal your funds, it might attract unwanted attention.
So if you can’t use public wifi networks, what are you supposed to do when you’re out and about? Fortunately, there’s an answer to that.
If you find that you absolutely have to use public wifi, use a VPN when you do. We recommend using a VPN for any crypto transaction you’re performing to avoid and prevent hackers and scammers from accessing your data and running off with your cryptocurrency.
VPNs mask your IP address, making it difficult to determine where you’re actually located. Plus, they hide your network activity, which prevents hackers and scammers from viewing your online behavior, which includes buying Bitcoin. When you use a VPN, you’re minimizing the chances of being targeted or attacked by those who have nefarious intentions.
Protecting your cryptocurrency is no joke. There are plenty of hackers and scammers out there who are more than willing to take the necessary steps to get your funds into their wallets. It’s imperative that you take the necessary steps to combat crypto scams and hacks, thus ensuring your crypto is as safe as possible.