The crypto world is full of exciting possibilities, but it’s also a dangerous place for inexperienced investors. Block-chain-powered and cryptography-secured currency are safe, but the intermediary’s security is not always guaranteed. This means that the theft of digital crypto assets remains possible. Here are some ways to invest safely and ensure your crypto funds are protected…
Maintain online privacy
Avoid unintentionally making yourself a target for malicious individuals by revealing sensitive information online. Consider the risks of mentioning your balances, successful trades and sensitive identifying information online.
Use antivirus software
For added protection, install antivirus software on your devices. Antivirus software is used to prevent, detect, and remove malware.
Use unique, strong passwords and enable the 2FA (Two-Factor Authentication) protection for all of your online accounts. Also make sure to create a secure password for your mobile provider account, as hackers have been known to hack into phone numbers.
Subscribe to a secure email service
A secure email service will offer advanced security features such as end-to-end encryption to ensure your emails and personal data are protected from hackers.
Install a VPN
A VPN or Virtual Private Network reroutes your data traffic through a secure encrypted tunnel, allowing you to access the internet anonymously. A VPN will hide your real IP address and replace it with the IP address of a remote VPN server. When you log in to your crypto account through a VPN connection, hackers will be unable to view your precise location or private data.
Use a separate device/ burner wallet
It may also be worth considering using a separate device solely for crypto-related activities. And, when minting NFTs or trying out protocols, make sure to do so from a burner wallet.
Use a Crypto Wallet
It’s also a good idea to store your private keys offline. Exchanges are safer than ever before and as an average investor holding funds on an exchange isn’t a bad idea, but there are still risks. Also, remember that you should only keep significant amounts on exchange accounts if you’re an active trader.
Let’s take a look at the different crypto wallet options available:
A hot wallet is connected to the internet and is the most popular place to store crypto. Examples include Trust wallet, MetaMask, and Exodus wallet. However, as they are connected to the internet, hot wallets are at a higher risk of being hacked. Hot wallets are easy to access and therefore useful for making quick transfers and trades. But, never store large holdings on a hot wallet unless you’re actively trading or exchanging.
A cold wallet is not connected to the internet and is, therefore, more secure. The only way to access a cold wallet is with a private key. Cold wallets are typically hardware-based USB drives. Examples of cold wallets include Trezor, and Ledger. We recommend cold wallets for maximum security. However, make sure to only purchase them from reputable websites. It’s also a good idea to keep funds in a mix of wallets to increase security.
How to connect Ledger and MetaMask
MetaMask (a popular crypto wallet) can be used in combination with Ledger hardware wallet for a higher level of security. To do so, complete the following steps:
1. Connect your Ledger Nano to your computer with a USB cable. Then open your MetaMask wallet in your browser.
2. Click “Connect Hardware Wallet” in your MetaMask wallet menu
3. Then, click “Continue” to connect to your Ledger device and choose the Ledger account you want to connect to.
Private keys & seed phrases
A private key is an encrypted alphanumeric code. In other words, a complicated password. A seed phrase is a combination of words that can be used to access your cryptocurrencies. Never share your private key or seed phrase with ANYONE. Write them down on paper and store them in a vault. DO NOT save them on an electronic device.
Becoming familiar with common phishing methods will help you invest safely and keep your funds secure. Phishing is a type of cyber attack where a scammer poses as a reputable party to trick people and steal their sensitive information. Malicious actors may send legitimate-looking emails or spoof a real website and change the wallet address to scam users.
There are many types of phishing:
Clone phishing: the scammer will alter an email previously sent by a reputable company and include a link to a malicious site, claiming that it is an updated link.
Spear phishing: the attacker collects information about their victim and creates a message based on this data to convince the individual to download a malicious file or visit a malicious website.
Pharming: an attacker poisons a DNS record to redirect visitors of a reputable site to a fake one created by the attacker.
Email spoofing: a form of phishing where the attacker spoofs emails from legitimate businesses. A phishing email may contain links to malicious sites where the attacks steals sensitive information.
Website redirects: send users to a different URL by exploiting vulnerabilities and inserting redirects or malware onto the victim’s device.
Typosquatting: involves directing users to malicious websites that mimic reputable websites but insert subtle variations in the URL to trick users.
Cryptocurrency transactions are highly secure, but it’s important to be aware that associated risks still exist.
Disclaimer: NOT FINANCIAL NOR INVESTMENT ADVICE. Only you are responsible for any capital-related decisions you make and only you are accountable for the results.
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