Thanks to its long, static history, the global financial sector isn’t adept at quickly responding to major changes. Despite the fact cryptocurrencies have existed for longer than a decade, many countries have yet to institute any crypto regulations whatsoever.
Traditionally, currencies have been created, monitored, and issued by countries’ national banks. Cryptocurrencies might be founded by private parties, but they’re traded without help from any federal government. They’re supported entirely by the people who trade and mine them.
Protection Lies Solely in the Hands of Cryptocurrency Users
On the bright side, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin can’t directly be manipulated by government officials. Although some people have been arrested and imprisoned for crypto-related thefts, cryptocurrency owners can’t reliably expect law enforcement agencies to find, charge, or try criminals who’ve stolen their assets.
In the first half of 2019 alone, the Silicon Valley-based CipherTrace reported that the global market value of criminal cryptocurrency efforts was $4.26 billion.
Most victims of cybercrime, including crypto asset theft, initially blame blockchain weaknesses and other external problems for their losses. In actuality, however, the majority of cryptocurrency thefts take advantage of breaches in individuals’ operating security efforts. Put simply, the responsibility for most cases of crypto theft rests in the hands of the individuals who own them.
Identifying the Most Popular Strategies for Stealing Cryptocurrencies
Here, we’ll focus on attacks that are focused solely on gaining access to users’ digital wallets. There are two other broad divisions of crime in the cryptocurrency industry: hidden mining software and direct attacks on digital asset exchanges, blockchains, and companies offering initial coin offerings.
Unlike the latter two, you can actively protect yourself from cybercriminals’ efforts to gain unauthorized access to your wallet. Whether you’re a seasoned vet or brand new to the cryptocurrency world, you should brush up on the following strategies cybercriminals routinely use to steal digital assets.
Public Wireless Internet Hacks
Across the Internet, you’ll find recommendations from cryptocurrency blogs to use public Wi-Fi networks for cryptocurrency trades. Although this precaution can protect you from inadvertently revealing your identity, it leaves you open to asset theft.
Public Wi-Fi networks are supposed to encrypt the information they relay. However, cybercriminals can perform basic attacks to gain access to public Wi-Fi networks, skimming all information users transmit. Avoid using public Internet networks to trade cryptocurrencies.
Even while at home you need to protect yourself from hackers. In large cities like New York or New Delhi India hackers will attempt to access your home WiFi to steal personal information. It’s a good idea to protect your home router using a VPN when trading BTC to INR. Also, make sure to check for new router firmware downloads before making any crypto trades.
Watch out for Seemingly-Legitimate Websites
Cybercriminals routinely make mock websites of cryptocurrency exchanges. They’ll buy domains that are just one character off from legitimate exchanges to trick crypto customers.
Protect yourself by avoiding exchanges that don’t use HTTPS. Don’t trust exchanges’ warnings to keep using their services despite a lack of HTTPS. Always copy links sent from crypto websites and paste them to your address bar. Never click on them directly.
Don’t Trust Android Apps
As a diligent cryptocurrency owner, you may download apps to manage your assets, keep up with trends, or monitor current events. Unfortunately, Android’s operating system can leave your mobile device open to security breaches.
Limit your use of mobile apps to avoid these issues. Only use Bitcoin-trading applications that use two-factor authentication. Although the Google Play Store may quickly remove access to mobile apps with security issues, don’t risk your portfolio for convenience. If possible, only trade digital assets using computers, preferably Linux-based systems.