Intensifying Digital Protection for your Cryptocurrency Portfolio

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by Amy Cavendish

October 8, 2020

There have been numerous stories of individuals becoming rich as they invest in cryptocurrency. Because of the surge in crypto value, cyber-attackers are escalating efforts in a bid to lay their hands on valuable cryptocurrencies.

In the cryptocurrency space, hacking is considered to be one of the biggest threats to crypto users. It has been estimated that at least $20 billion in cryptocurrency has been lost to hackers since 2011. These cybercriminals think up ways to siphon digital coins from unsuspecting crypto investors.

Methods used by Hackers to Steal Digital Currency

  1. Ransomware

A ransomware attack ensues when hacking software makes its way into your computer. This program locks out your files and prevents access to several functions on your computer, with the hacker demanding a ransom payment.

Usually, the payment is made in cryptocurrency. Hackers can sometimes target crypto users with a considerable net worth to infect with ransomware.

  • Cryptojacking

Cryptojacking involves the illegal utilization of another individual’s device without consent. It is a technique highly used by a hacker to sneak malicious code on numerous computers to facilitate cryptocurrency mining.

Mining is the way through which new digital coins can come into existence. As such, individuals that own machines with high computing power mine crypto to make money. Hackers that want to avoid the electricity and computation costs of mining cryptocurrency use cryptojacking.

Basically, the victims unknowingly deliver value to the hacker.

  • Phishing

Phishing is a type of scam perpetrated by hackers as they pose as banks or reputable organizations. These scams are mostly propagated through emails and can include the affixation of a bogus link or an malicious file. Once users click on the link or download the file, the attack steals information from the infected device.

Cybersecurity Solutions to Crypto Hackers

  1. Taking Measures against Ransomware

To prevent ransomware from getting on your computer system, you need to take specific measures.  First, you need to update all programs on your device. While you’re learning how to secure your bitcoins from ransomware, the ‘update your software’ tip emerges as the most significant. Ransomware creators take advantage of loopholes in the software to sneak in their files.

Second, you’ll need to be alert when checking emails. There are links in emails that can force you to download ransomware files. Some emails also come with attachments that contain ransomware programs. Avoid clicking links and attachments from unknown senders.

Finally, install an anti-malware program. This will serve as the last line of defense if the ransomware program manages to slip onto your system.

  • Use Anti-cryptojacking tools

Cryptojacking is a very subtle form of hacking. However, it can still be detected through close observation. A cryptojacked computer system is typically slow. It also uses unusually high amounts of processing power and gets overheated.       If you notice CPU usage increasing once you connect to a network, you’re most likely a victim of cryptojacking.

To start guarding against cryptojacking, install anti-crypto mining extensions on your browsers. Since browsers serve as the point of entry for crypto mining scripts, these extensions and add-ons will block them.

  • Install a Security Tool

One of the most reliable security tools for cryptocurrency investors is a VPN. A Virtual Private Network works by encrypting your internet traffic. This way, external parties will find it difficult to spy on your internet activity.

Its usefulness can be broken down into three parts. The first is that it protects you from public Wi-Fi hackers. Cybercriminals sometimes set up fake Wi-Fi hotspots or hack free Wi-Fi to intercept traffic from users connected to the network. These hackers can spy on your activity and get your login credentials for your crypto wallet.

The second use case of this tool is that it protects you from phishing. Some VPNs add phishing websites to their blacklists, so they don’t get loaded while you’re connected to the network. Even though VPNs can’t stop phishing emails, this blocking function is beneficial.

The third is that through the spoofing of your IP address, a VPN renders your internet activity genuinely private. A lot of people think Bitcoin gives you financial privacy, but that isn’t entirely true. Your internet service provider and the government can monitor your crypto activity. When a VPN encrypts your internet traffic, you will be able to exhibit real financial privacy.

Conclusion

Cybercriminals are always thinking up ways to make money from the booming cryptocurrency market. To prevent them from making you a victim, utilize a VPN, install anti-crypto jacking extensions, and be wary of emails sent to your address.

Amy Cavendish is a content strategist at TechFools, a tech blog aiming to inform readers about the potential dangers of technology and introduce them to the best ways to protect themselves online. As an outspoken advocate for digital freedom, Amy is dedicated to empowering her readers to take control of their digital lives with her thought-leadership articles.

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