Despite 6.1% of the British population owning cryptocurrency, we’re still far behind the global average of 15.5%. One of the main reasons for this hesitancy is that many people (31%) believe it’s too risky.
But you’ll want to make sure you keep your online assets safe if you’re one of the burgeoning few who recognize the power of cryptocurrency.
Be on the lookout for scams
As online transactions in the UK amount to £24.7 billion, hackers are taking advantage of this growing pool of victims. It’s not just regular card transactions that are being targeted, but cryptocurrency too.
One of the most common scams is adverts for cryptocurrency investment ‘opportunities’. These adverts will ask for personal details and may include a link for some software. This software allows remote access to your device once installed. This enables the hacker to take over your accounts and drain them of funds.
To avoid becoming a victim, always use the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) website. You can search for the company to check if they’re legitimate and registered.
Use a secure internet connection
Whether you’re trading or making transactions, you should always use a secure internet connection. Never use public Wi-Fi. It’s wise to use a VPN connection in the UK, even at home.
A VPN will help hide your IP address and location. This keeps your browsing activity private and is virtually impossible to hack.
Use a cold wallet
A cold wallet is an offline storage device. Also called a hardware wallet, many look like USB sticks or external hard drives. A cold wallet is one of the easiest and most popular options for keeping your currency safe.
Many people new to cryptocurrency only use a hot wallet. These are connected to the internet and housed on a desktop, mobile device, or in the cloud. This makes hot wallets easier to infiltrate.
Don’t Get Phished
Phishing scams via malicious ads and emails are rampant in the cryptocurrency world. Be careful while making crypto transactions and avoid any suspicious and unknown links.
In a recent cryptocurrency heist, a hacking group “CryptoCore” targeted cryptocurrency exchanges via spear-phishing campaigns. Attackers stole cryptocurrency worth $200 million in two years, targeting companies in the U.S. and Japan since 2018. ClearSky stated that CryptoCore initiated a reconnaissance phase to identify the email accounts of the cryptocurrency exchange’s employees and security executives before conducting a spear-phishing attack. These attacks were performed using fake domains impersonating affiliated organizations and employees, and by embedding malicious links in documents via emails.
Change passwords frequently
It’s important that you use strong, complex, and different passwords across all your accounts. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) found that millions of people use weak and easy-to-guess passwords. Pet names, favorite football teams, ‘password’, and ‘123456’ were top of the list.
It’s estimated that a hacker only needs around two seconds to crack an 11-character password. A password generator is the easiest way to create complex passwords. And a password manager app can help ensure you’re never locked out of an account again.