Crypto Security is Just as Relevant as Ever
After recent news of Twitter curbing cryptocurrency related ads on their platform, scams are on everyone’s minds. Cryptocurrencies are lucrative not only for investors, but for those looking to take advantage of them as well. Everyday there are more scams coming to market to deceive new investors. Let’s break down 5 of the best crypto security tips for protecting your assets from scammers.
1. Offline Storage
This is one of the fundamental tenets of crypto. Remember the old saying:
If You Don’t Own Your Private Key, You Don’t Own Your Crypto
This old adage has been relevant for everyone involved in cryptosphere, especially those using centralized exchanges. The point is simple: control your assets. Exchanges and online wallets offer high convenience for investors, but at what cost? Unfortunately, leaving assets in third party storage is placing a lot of trust in someone else.
Sometimes the trust is valid, sometimes it’s not. Major exchanges and online wallets paint targets on their back for hackers and scammers. Unlike an individual holding coins in their wallet, these large exchanges hold thousands of times that in value. This point is number one in our list of crypto security tips because of last year’s news of Coincheck and NiceHash. Consider alternatives like the Trezor or Nano Ledger S.
2. Bookmarking Crypto Exchange Sites
Number 2 on the list of crypto security tips may seem a bit obvious, but it’s an important one. Phishers are constantly looking to take advantage of those willing to hand over login credentials for exchanges and online wallets. If you’re using traditional exchanges, always ‘bookmark’ them. Likewise, if you have to use an online wallet even temporarily, bookmark the page.
A common phishing tactic is to create a similar site to the official page with one or two letters missing. When unsuspecting users Google the site they’re looking for, the scam site may appear in the results. After clicking on the fraudulent site, the page looks almost identical to the official one and BAM–the phishers have your information.
Always bookmark the official sites you use and double-check the URL before entering in any sensitive information.
3. Avoiding Crypto Giveaway Scams
Crypto security isn’t always about stopping an attack, sometimes we need to focus on not getting scammed. Twitter is working on cutting down the number of fake accounts now, but that doesn’t mean investors shouldn’t be aware. Social media outlets provide scammers a robust outlet for taking advantage of users who don’t know any better.
Always be on the lookout for anyone claiming to be running a giveaway with names like “Vitalik Buterin” or “Satoshi Nakamoto.” These fake accounts spam a public address and ask for users to send a “small” amount of ETH or BTC to enter a contest. The accounts are not legitimate. There is no “official” Ethereum sweepstakes going on.
4. Avoiding Support Scams
Along with not trying to enter any nefarious sweepstakes, remember to keep an eye out for other scams online. Social media platforms play host to so many fraudsters because they work so well.
Never hand over confidential information or login credentials to another user online. Those claiming to be “support” for Binance, Bittrex, or Coinbase on Twitter and Facebook are more than likely not. Additionally, official support staff will never ask for users’ email and password in a direct message (DM) or email. If someone is asking for those, you should be seeing red flags all over.
5. Most Important of all Crypto Security Tips: Use Your Common Sense
Last, but most certainly not least, is use your common sense. The crypto markets can be hectic at times and investors have to monitor a lot of information all at once. Throughout all the chaos and commotion, remember your common sense. To borrow another old adage:
Common Sense Isn’t So Common
Remember that if something sounds “too good to be true,” then there’s a high probability that it is. Keep an eye out for Ponzi schemes, lending platforms, and projects promising more than a reasonable return.
Any team ‘promising’ returns of 50%+ a month are likely only paying older investors with money coming in from newer investors.
That being said, there are still far more good actors in the market than scammers. Don’t get discouraged when it comes to protecting your hard earned crypto, just be aware. By incorporating some of the industry’s best practices into your daily routine, your crypto assets will remain safe and secure.