Cryptocurrencies are arguably the most popular assets to look into in the 21st century. Thanks to their massive success in recent years, it has one them a lot of attention, however, some of that attention is definitely not welcome. The attention I’m talking about is the one from hackers. Numerous times have we seen headlines saying “Crypto exchange X hacked! X amount of cryptos stolen!”. Because of this, many investors would get discouraged, cash out their assets and further influence the market.
Despite all of the security failures in the past, crypto exchanges have upgraded their measures and are now more capable of combatting hackers, however, these are not prevention methods. To say it more simply a hacker will not be stopped when he is trying to break into the system, it will just take him a lot longer to do so. The complex structure of the security measures requires a lot of computing power to break into, and some of them are so strong that, even the whole world combined computing power would take years to break. But there is always a chance that a single hacker will be lucky and accidentally find the right correspondence of characters. Therefore it is best to take your own security measures as well.
Let me try and show you some of the simplest ways you can prevent hackers from accessing your personal data.
Simple mining blocker extensions
Some hacks are more elaborate than others. Mining blockers are used to filter any hackers trying to access your device’s computing power. These types of hacks have been quite rampant in South Africa, however, their presence globally is dwarfed by the more “brute force” approach. Thanks to the fact that BTC trading in South Africa was on the rise, the hackers took advantage of the users’ computing powers and would connect to the devices without the users even noticing anything.
Usually, the hack is followed up by, heating devices, slower functionality, and overall poor performance. The South African police urged the population to install mining blockers on their browsers and it has been helping so far. There are numerous extensions for Chrome, but they may be a bit harder to find for browsers like Safari and Opera.
Disable password autofill
Should a hacker be able to access your device, he will most likely try to immediately access your Gmail and crypto exchange accounts. Both of these platforms offer their users the password autofill function, which saves a lot of headaches and unnecessary hassle when accessing the account. However, this may prove to be a detriment as the hacker will just simply walk in your personal data and easily clean out the accounts.
The best way to combat this is to simply disable the function. Also, try to diversify your passwords on each platform and keep them in a hand-written manner. If you’re worried that you may lose the paper, just use a simple phone case, where you will keep the paper. Since you always have your phone with you, you won’t have any discomfort of forgetting your passwords and not having the paper with you.
This may create some inconvenience of filling the password every time you want to access your account, but at least you’ll be safe.
Go for a hardware wallet
A hardware wallet is virtually impossible to hack into. Thanks to the fact that in most cases it is not connected to the internet, the hacker simply has not enough time to figure out the sequence to hack it while its in motion.
Furthermore, you can have an extra hard key for the wallet, meaning that even if 1 key is discovered, the hacker will need another one, which only you possess. But this may also cause some inconvenience as when you want to start trading, you’ll have to first transfer the funds to the crypto exchange account.
De-syncing your mobile device
If you want to utilize a software wallet instead of a hardware one, in order to avoid any unnecessary hassle, there are a few steps you may need to take.
Software wallets are usually tied to specific trading platforms, in order to make the transactions fast and fluid. Make sure to always erase the wallet address one you make the transfer to your crypto account. What you can also do is de-sync your mobile device from the crypto exchange and Gmail.
Because of the de-sync, the hacker won’t be able to access any accounts through your mobile device, which is more likely to be hacked. What you can do is get a completely new phone which will never be connected to the internet. Have that phone sync with your Gmail and crypto exchange accounts and have the verification emails go only there. Because its never connected to the internet, it virtually doesn’t exist for the hacker.
This is just scratching the surface, however its the most simple measures you can take to protect your coins. There are a lot more complex ways to so as well but remember. No matter how many measures you take, there is never a 100% guarantee. A hacker may break in with the “brute force” method out of sheer luck.
Giorgi is a Georgian-born financial enthusiast. He has been trading and studying cryptocurrencies for over 3 years now on various popular platforms. His expertise helps him deliver news and guides with helpful insight. He is currently a news reporter at www.forexnewsnow.com