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How to keep your crypto secure

Wed, 03/11/2020 - 18:59

The internet is a dangerous place. There are countless hackers, phishers and would-be thieves just waiting for any opportunity to profit at your expense. Online scamming is nothing new – but as more and more ordinary people of all age groups and backgrounds take to crypto – their pool of potential victims is getting larger by the day. Luckily, security has never been tighter and the cryptographic complexity of blockchain tech means that it’s virtually impossible for anyone to steal your money without your help. Apart from very rare cases of online exchanges being infiltrated, almost all digital currency thefts are a direct result of the rightful owners’ failure to take adequate steps to protect their coins. So what can you do to prevent crypto bandits from rifling through your wallets? It’s actually pretty straight-forward, really. Just follow these simple recommendations below and you won’t have to worry about cybercriminals getting their grubby hands on your digital cash.

Keep your account details to yourself

It might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people have lost their crypto fortunes this way. Nobody, I repeat, nobody needs access to your personal wallet. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your wife, best friend or even your own mother, your private account should always stay exactly that – private. So if someone representing a company or official organisation asks you to reveal this information, don’t even think about it! You shouldn’t even keep it in a Word file or email draft on any computer that is connected to the internet. If you absolutely must back-up your login details, make sure they’re on paper and hidden in a secure location with no identifying information that could reveal what they’re for. Also, if you really have to use someone else’s device to access your account, make sure you disable auto-fill and sign out afterwards!

Two-factor all the way

This one is so simple that it’s almost hard to sympathise with people whose accounts are compromised because they didn’t set up 2FA. For those of you who don’t know, two-factor authentication refers to a security protocol whereby any new sign-in requires the user to enter a time-sensitive code in addition to the relevant login details. The code is automatically generated and sent, usually by SMS, to the phone number you provided when registering your account. Now, this method isn’t totally fool-proof in light of recent SIM swap attacks (where cyber crooks convince your mobile operator to transfer your number to a SIM they control), but thankfully there are other 2FA tools that are more secure than SMS-based systems. StormGain, for example, offers its clients the option of using Google Authenticator, thus eliminating this risk.

Second email

Remember that Hotmail or Yahoo account you haven’t used in years? Well, instead of just letting it sit there doing nothing, why not put it to good use? When you register your crypto account, use this one in place of your primary email address. Again, this is a very simple precaution to take and is definitely worth the effort when we’re talking about the difference between protecting and exposing your hard-earned money. Think of it as a final layer of security that makes the hackers’ job that little bit harder. To understand why, we need to return to the topic of SIM swapping. When fraudsters eventually manage to transfer your SIM, this is just the first hurdle. They then usually have to use that to gain access to your email account. That’s why it’s a good idea to have another email address that you only use for high value data like your crypto exchange details. Don’t use it for anything else and be sure to keep it private. You should also back that address up with some form of hardware-based 2FA, preferably not SMS-based!

To recap

There’s a clear trend towards digital assets at the moment, with more and more average Joes (and Josephines) entering the market by the day. Whatever their reasons, the upshot of all this is that cryptocurrencies are well on their way to becoming mainstream investment vehicles. But with this rise in popularity comes an increased risk of fraud as cybercriminals set their sights on these new, less tech-savvy crypto holders. Thankfully, when you work with a reliable exchange like StormGain, you don’t have to worry about hackers sneaking in the back and plundering your wallet. In fact, if you do find yourself a victim of crypto scammers, it’s most likely because you gave them the keys to the front door. That’s why it’s never been more important that you follow our advice to ensure your deposits remain protected. So remember: total account secrecy, 2FA and dedicated email. Then, once you have that peace of mind, you can focus fully on what really matters – trading and growing your digital fortune. For more information on StormGain’s unbeatable terms and conditions, just click here.

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