The cryptocurrency grandfather, Bitcoin, was first released in 2009. The second most popular blockchain platform, Ethereum, was only released in 2015. That is incredibly young! Both projects, along with many other crypto projects, are still heavily under development. Most blockchain projects are also open-sourced, which means anyone can see the source code, and thus, are free to exploit their vulnerabilities. So, what can we do to be protected from scammers? Below are some crypto security DOs and DON’Ts recommend by experts:
Always be cautious and on alert.
This one may seem obvious, but most people fall for crypto-related scams when they make hasty decisions. Remember to not trust easily, always take third-party claims with a grain of salt, and conduct your own research. Always ask questions, and do not blindly trust any single source. Consult multiple resources so you can make an informed decision.
Keep multiple backups of your private keys
Do not just keep a copy of your keys on your computer. You will lose your wallet access in event of a hardware failure or theft. If you do not have a hardware wallet, write down your keys on a piece of paper and store another copy in a USB drive. Then store them in different secure locations, such as bank’s safety deposit box or your safe at home.
Maintain good password practices.
Some of the most famous brute force password hacks are achieved by trying combinations of the most common (and worst) passwords. A secure password should be at least 16 characters long, is composed of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.
Bookmark official URLs for frequently used crypto wallets and exchanges.
Most phishing sites spread malicious links through channels such as emails or ads. Always visit your favorite cryptocurrency exchanges and web wallets through your bookmarked URLs, or manually type in the official URLs yourself. DO NOT Google cryptocurrency related sites and click on the top ads results. The number of phishing sites that show up for crypto exchanges and wallets-related searches are simply atrocious.
Only enter sensitive information over secure wifi and on HTTPS websites.
Avoid using public WiFi for crypto exchanges and web wallets logins. You never know who else have used/are using the same wifi network as you and what malicious intents they may have. If you must use a public wifi network, consider paying for a VPN service.
Report scams and malicious sites.
It is the best way to fight against scammers and fraudsters.
Don’t ever install software from site you do not trust.
Do not download software from sources you do not trust. Especially don’t install or ever run any remote-access desktop on the computer where you store your private keys. That is just asking for trouble.