Keeps Your Bitcoin Safe
In less than 5 months, Bitcoin has increased its value by 3 times from $10,000 to $34,000, a new all-time high. This gargantuan increase happens once every few years and ushers in a new wave of investors. Bitcoin’s bull market also drags up the so-called altcoins in price value with a few experiencing percentage gains as high as 400%.
Apart from the potential investors Bitcoin attracts, a set of malicious people also set their eyes on cryptocurrency. They’re cyber criminals and will do anything to lay their hands on your digital currency portfolio. The truth is, no matter how high your gains are in the crypto market, a single hacker can wipe your investment down to zero.
There are various methods these hackers can use to breach your Bitcoin wallet. Below, they’re discussed and the solutions to each problem is highlighted.
Also Read: What makes bitcoin a store of value?
Methods Hackers use to Steal Bitcoins
Phishing is a technique used by cyber-criminals to steal your login details to your wallet. It involves the creation of a bogus website that looks exactly like a legitimate website. Any user with an account on the original exchange website that falls on the fake page can experience bitcoin theft
Contrary to what you might be thinking, falling for this scam is easier than imagined. The hacker sends email messages to potential victims that have accounts on the exchange. This email sparks up a false sense of urgency that prompts the victim to click on the fake link and land on the page. The email can come with a subject line stating ‘Your Account has been Locked for Security Reasons’.
This type of headline catches the victim’s attention. Some cyber criminals also engage in spear phishing which targets individuals with lots of bitcoins.
Breaking into Online Exchanges
Also Read: Basics Tips on Cryptocurrency Trading
A significant percentage of cryptocurrency investors store their coins on an online exchange. This is because exchanges allow speedy trading of bitcoins to alt coins and vice versa. The issue is, online exchanges use wallets that are always connected to the internet, making them susceptible to threats.
Once an online exchange gets breached by a hacker, account users can lose all or part of their bitcoins. The cryptocurrency space is plagued with lots of exchange hacks. At least twenty high-profile exchanges have been hacked since Bitcoin’s network came into existence.
Hundreds of thousands of new malware get created every day. Bitcoin-stealing malware is one of the latest that diverts Bitcoins in the middle of a transaction.
The way it works is by changing the receiving bitcoin address in your browser when you’re transferring the digital currency. This change is performed through a memory change of the device. Most users don’t take note of this change and authorize the transaction.
The victim only notices this when the coins do not arrive in the intended wallet. Bitcoin-stealing malware can also be disguised as legitimate browsing extensions.
Also Read: Make money while crpto rate is falling
Protecting your Bitcoins from Hackers
Check your Emails and Websites
Learn to scrutinize emails you receive and the links in them. Verify that the email sent to you is really from your exchange. If there’s a link in the email, hover above the link to check for any discrepancy in the URL address.
You also have to be careful of the email attachments you download. An attachment containing malware can grab your bitcoins in an ongoing transaction.
Get a Hardware Wallet
Since cryptocurrency exchanges experience high rates of hacks, you should consider getting a hardware wallet. A hardware wallet is considered the most secure type of wallet because it is usually offline and thus, highly immune to cyber threats.
Investors that buy Bitcoins for a long period can secure their portfolios better with this cold wallet. The best types of hardware wallets range in price from $50 to $100.
Also Read: Ultimate Guide on Cryptocurrency Trading
Download a VPN
A VPN is a security tool that boosts the privacy of your internet and protects your activity from third parties. You can be tracked by various entities through your IP address and browser cookies. This can make you vulnerable to spear phishing.
A VPN download renders your online activity untraceable. Also, VPNs that blacklist harmful websites protect your device from getting infected by Bitcoin-stealing malware.
Activate Two-Factor Authentication
This tip protects your online exchange wallet in case your details get stolen. There are active traders that scalp and make quick spot trades and as such, need online exchanges. Two-factor authentication asks for an additional passcode when you attempt to login into your online wallet.
Check your account settings to activate this option. You can choose between an app authenticator or an SMS authenticator.