Since cryptocurrency holders and traders are especially vulnerable to cyber attacks, how can you protect your bitcoins from cybercriminals? Listed below are 7 ways to dodge the clever snares of hackers.
January 17, 2021 | AtoZ Markets – A week ago, Kasperskyy researchers released a statement that an excessive number of cyber attacks on Bitcoin are expected in 2021. Basically, scammers engage in blackmail, requiring victims to send money in cryptocurrency. They also use bitcoin wallets to go unnoticed. How profitable to invest in Bitcoin while ensuring financial security.
Why Bitcoin Attracts Many
The covid-19 pandemic and the need to comply with the rules of self-isolation has made people worldwide to make adjustments in every area of life. Many now work from home, study online, do online shopping and many more. In fact, online banking became very popular in 2020.
Today, personal data is no longer private as traditional financial institutions require that we give too much information about ourselves to banks. However, if there is a data leak or the banking system is attacked by hackers, our funds are in danger of disappearing.
Dmitry Bestuzhev, a cybersecurity researcher at Kaspersky Lab, says:
“The past year was significantly different from any other period that we have experienced. In this regard, financial cybercriminals are using new strategies – reselling access to online banking, hacking applications through which users work with investments. Fraudsters steal credit card information and then use it for their own purposes. They also organize virus attacks on banks.”
Because many people now work online, users are increasingly opting to be paid in cryptocurrency. Bitcoin allows transactions around the world. At the same time, there is no need to inform the banking system of your own data and payment amounts. To conduct a transaction, you just need to provide an email address. Moreover, Bitcoin is a global cryptocurrency, and there is no need to be afraid that it will “collapse” under the pressure of the global financial crisis.
Bitcoin – A Tool & Target For Cybercrime
However, the positive sentiment about Bitcoin should not make anyone treat the cryptocurrency carelessly. It is worth remembering that the most mysterious and independent currency attracts not only users but also hackers.
Special social engineering technologies that allow monitoring, identifying, and gaining control over other people’s Bitcoin accounts have changed the activities of cyber fraudsters. Just like ordinary users, hackers are attracted by the secrecy of Bitcoin, the inability to the identity of the sender.
According to researchers Sean Foley (Macquarie University), Jonathan Kaolsen, and Talis Putnins (University of Technology Sydney), 72% of the billions of illegal activities rely on Bitcoin financially. This figure can be compared to drug trafficking in the US and Europe.
At the same time, back in 2018, a study conducted by Elliptic and the Center for Sanctions and Illegal Financial Activity, found that from 2013 to 2016, the number of illegal transactions involving Bitcoin increased 5 times. Analyzing the history of more than 500,000 bitcoins, the researchers found 102 criminal elements, including the sale of illegal goods on the dark web, pyramid schemes, and virus attacks.
7 Ways To Protect Your Bitcoins From Hackers
If you conduct cryptocurrency transactions without taking into account the cybersecurity rules, there is a risk of losing your Bitcoins in a hack attack. So before you start working with Bitcoin, you need to answer yourself a number of questions:
- Which Bitcoin wallet do you use?
- Is your Bitcoin wallet encrypted?
- Is your password strong enough?
- Do you love public WiFi?
Your answers to these questions would show if your bitcoins are safe from cybercriminals or not. To help you keep your bitcoins protected from getting hacked, we’ve listed seven ways you can dodge the clever snares of hackers.
1# Choose a Bitcoin Wallet That Suits Your Needs
What is a Bitcoin wallet? It’s a specialized electronic device that can be used to store, send, receive, and track digital currencies. You can find different types of crypto wallets online, and it’s essential to choose one that best fits your storage and trading needs.
For users that are particularly concerned about cyber threats, cold storage may be the best option.
However, a safe solution is to store your Bitcoin on something called a hardware wallet. Manufacturers like Trezor and Ledger offer various models of USB-like devices that come with pre-installed security layers and encryption features.
If you decide to go for other digital wallet providers, make sure you’re getting one from a reliable and reputable source.
2# Enable Two-Factor Authentication
It’s also important to get a Bitcoin wallet with two-factor authentication (2FA). This provides another layer of security for your funds by requiring verification before completing account activities like signing in and withdrawing or sending funds. It will ask for your 2FA code, so you will know right away if someone is trying to access your wallet.
3# Encrypt Your Bitcoin wallet
Apart from enabling 2FA, encrypting your Bitcoin wallet is another line of defense against potential cyber-attacks. This allows you to set a password and lock your coins whenever someone attempts to access your account. The hacker won’t be able to steal your Bitcoin unless he knows the password you set.
4# Do Not Access Unknown or Click Suspicious Links
Cybercriminals often lay their traps through deceptive links. They’ll put their best efforts to get their target’s attention and lure them into clicking on strange links that lead to unsafe websites that could steal confidential data and harm electronic devices. Clicking on a potentially dangerous link could put your Bitcoin wallet at risk, so avoid tapping links that aren’t familiar to you.
5# Never Share Your private Key
Treat your private key as you would treat your bank PIN. Private keys are for your eyes only. This is the key to your hard-earned money, so you better keep it secure.
One way to protect your wallet and crypto funds is to keep your private keys offline. You can either write it down on a piece of paper and keep it safe to avoid deterioration or use cold storage devices that can be accessed offline.
6# Use Different Strong Passwords For Different Accounts
Statistics show that 52% of people reuse the same password across different services. If you use the same password in all of your accounts, then you’re in danger. Avoid using phone numbers, birth dates, names, or favorite movies. Instead, use strong password combinations and login details for different accounts. You might consider including a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols to create a lengthy and strong password that is harder to crack.
Confidential information like your Bitcoin wallet password should not be shared with anyone, so it would be best if you can memorize it!
7# Use a Secure Internet Connection
Do you love public WiFi? Well, hackers do, too! Free Wi-Fi networks are often unsecured, making it easy for hackers to steal users’ confidential information. If you’re doing errands outside and you need to connect to the Internet, it’s ideal to use your mobile data to access password-protected websites and apps like bank accounts and online wallets, as well as business and social networking accounts.
You can also use a virtual private network (VPN) to secure your connection and turn off your phone’s Bluetooth connection to avoid unknown connections with other devices.
In the end, you are solely responsible for the security of your Bitcoin wallet. The cryptocurrency scene is constantly evolving and security systems are being improved, so you should take all the necessary safety precautions and stay up-to-date with the latest security improvements and updates to protect your bitcoins or any other cryptocurrency wallet from hackers.
Think we missed something? Let us know in the comment section below.