In 2019, criminals stole around $4.3 billion in cryptocurrency. According to analysts of one custom software development company, the number of thefts and fraud using digital money increased by 150% compared to 2018, and by 2600% in two years. This suggests that the crypto market is becoming more and more dangerous, and it is more difficult to defend. We will tell you about the main methods of deception and how you can protect cryptocurrency.

Ransomware

One of the most popular ways to steal cryptocurrency is extortion. The malicious program encrypts all data on the victim’s device and gives it back only if money is transferred to the perpetrator. Catching such a ransomware virus is simple – open an infected email or click on the same ad.

How to protect yourself?

The most important rule is to have a reliable antivirus program that can resist complex viruses in real-time. It is also necessary to back up the data. For example, store all your important files in the cloud, on a USB stick or external hard drive. After saving, do not forget to disconnect the device from the computer, otherwise, it may also be infected.

Fake wallets

Apps for storing cryptocurrency often appear on Google Play that are not genuine. In fact, the program does not show your new address, but the hacker’s wallet. All the money is transferred to him.

How to protect yourself?

Trust your funds only to the best Bitcoin wallet. Before you start using a new application, find out all the information about it: how long has it appeared, who are the developers, what reviews. Try to create a new address in the application. Most often, the fake program does not generate them; the wallet is left alone, belonging to the criminal.

The list of approved wallets can be viewed on Safetrading. This is the cryptocurrency listing platform that can help you to find secure services for trading or holding crypto.

Defunct cryptocurrencies

Last year, several financial pyramids closed at once, causing billions of dollars in damage. Such projects are covered with the idea of ​​creating your own cryptocurrency, but in fact, this is out of the question. The organisers create a classic fraudulent scheme and then disappear with the investors’ money.

How to protect yourself?

Projects that promise guaranteed profits and work according to the network marketing scheme often turn out to be financial pyramids. Before investing in any project, you need to study in detail its purpose, team, technical component. In the field of cryptocurrencies, the topic of investing in new startups is especially difficult, so you can invest here only at your own peril and risk.

Account hacking

The most classic method of stealing funds, but no less pressing, is account hacking.

How to protect yourself?

In addition to the hackneyed rules about using complex passwords and two-factor authentication (but not over the phone), the main thing is not to keep money on the exchange. Criminals can gain access to marketplace wallets regardless of what security measures you are using. Therefore, you need to add to your account exactly as much as is necessary to conclude a deal. And then immediately withdraw the profit, preferably in a cold wallet, which is stored in a safe place.

SIM swapping

One of the security measures to protect your account is two-factor authentication. But hackers have already figured out how to use it for their own purposes. Often, to enter an exchange or a cryptocurrency wallet, you need to get a code on your phone, and this is what criminals use.

First, they find out the phone number and personal data of the user through open sources or employees of the operators, then they block the SIM card (for this, it is enough to contact the support service and report the loss of the SIM card). Then the attackers try to transfer the number to their SIM card and gain access to the account.

How to protect yourself?

The only thing that can completely protect against SIM swapping is the issuance of a separate SIM card for registering accounts on exchanges and in wallets. Such a phone should not be used in everyday life, should not be published anywhere and should not be communicated to anyone. You can also create an additional password for the SIM card. In this case, to block the number, you will need not only your full name.

A simpler and less expensive method to protect cryptocurrency is to use special software for two-factor authentication, not the phone. Nowadays, most cryptocurrency exchanges have such a function.

I hope this article will help you to understand how to protect cryptocurrency, any other tips, leave them in the comments.

Remember – forewarned means armed! 

Written By: John Scudd

One of the Editors for Tech on the Go, I love covering mobile tech and social media. I also manage the reviews we cover so all the writers stay on my good side!