Technologies have arrived as a hurricane and have imposed a new game board. This economic revolution is unstoppable. It is so powerful that it can be very helpful if you are in favor of its current, but it is precisely that complexity that makes it necessary to have absolute control over it, so as not to drown within its tides. In this guide, you will learn the keys to protect yourself and your crypto assets, how to recognize a crypto threat and possible ways to avoid them. These tips will also help you know what to do in case you mistakenly fall victim to these heartless cyber criminals who work tirelessly to snatch you your hard earned crptocurrencies. You will also learn how to recover your stolen or lost cryptocurrencies.
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Many people distrust cryptocurrencies, without really knowing what they are afraid of. Possibly because they were told there are a lot of risks and threats involved. But they also forgot that no system is risk-free. It has also been discovered that most people fall victim to attackers simply because they cannot recognize a cybersecurity threat. Therefore they become victims. But once you know the various forms these cyber threats take, you are likely not to fall victim.
This article concentrates on giving you the keys to protect yourself and your crypto assets, how to recognize a crypto threat and possible ways to avoid them. These tips will also help you know what to do in case you mistakenly fall victim to these heartless cyber criminals who work tirelessly to snatch you your hard earned crptocurrencies.
- 1 Strategies Used by Cyber Criminals to Steal your Cryptocurrencies
- 2 Tips to help you Protect your Cryptocurrencies from Getting Hacked
- 3 How to Recover your Lost Cryptocurrencies
- 4 Conclusion
- 5 Recommended Business and Entrepreneurship Books
- 6 Subscribe to Our Blog Newsletters (Enter your email address)
Strategies Used by Cyber Criminals to Steal your Cryptocurrencies
As a cryptocurrency trader or investor, you need to understand the tools, cyber security terms and means that cyber criminals use to compromise the security of your cryptocurrencies.
All computer programs with malicious intentions that are undesirably entered into the computer of the person to be attacked are classified as malware. It can be of several types. The most common are:
- Computer Virus: They are small programs that are introduced in the code of our own system, causing it to stop working in the worst case or causing some kind of discomfort if they are milder. In the case of your desktop or mobile wallets, if they access the internet at some time, they can be attacked by a virus that would stop them being useful.
- Computer Worms: They are viruses with the dangerous ability to self-replicate. In the case of the virus, it must be activated more or less consciously by the user, and affects only the part for which it was programmed. However, worms can multiply and affect foreign parts, even transmitted through networks. That is, if you are infected by a worm or worm that in principle is not designed to affect your wallet, it could reach them.
- Trojans: These are programs that allow outside access to your computer. They receive this name from the famous Trojan Horse that opened the doors of the wall of the legendary city to the Greeks, and in fact does the same with your computer. It allows that, through the connection, a third party can access and control all the content of your computer. Within this type of malware, there are several subtypes, depending on their purpose: allow third-party access to the system (backdoors), theft of bank data (bank worms), theft of passwords (password stealers), keyboard logging (keyloggers), etc.
- Spyware: It is a software programmed to investigate the victim, allowing access to their records, and temporary files. Its main function is to find your passwords to be able to use them later. Keep in mind that if you opt for the option of more privacy to preserve your cryptocurrencies, the one in which only you know the access data, this type of malware directly affects your greatest advantage.
- Adware: They are programs whose purpose is only to show advertising at discretion, being able to delay and saturate the system, but that does not pose an imminent danger in relation to the security of your assets.
- Ramsomware: This type of software is based on stealing your data and then request an economic rescue for them, rather than using them at will. Keep in mind that depending on the wallet or platform you use, on many occasions you will be the only one who will have access to that data, with no one behind who can return it to you in case of forgetfulness, so in the cryptoeconomic world, this type of malware can have a big impact.
- Exploits: They are small programs whose function is to facilitate vulnerabilities. Its task is to destroy defensive elements so that other malware can act more easily.
- Rootkit: This is a program that allows third-party access to your computer, but also focuses on eliminating the evidence of it so that it is not detected. It is responsible for deleting the traces of the cybercriminal’s passage so that, if not detected, no measures are taken to eliminate this malware, thus prolonging its actions over time.
They are all those resources that cybercriminals use to obtain the data with which you operate. The most common way to proceed is to supplant the identity of reliable entities or to be shown as secure platforms, so that you enter your data to interact with them, so that, instead of obtaining the desired access or benefit, you end up sending them all your credentials.
The way in which each cybercriminal uses this technique can be personal, and its effectiveness lies in ingenuity, since it is nothing more than a hoax. The more information they have about the victim, the more effective it will be, because they will know what platforms they use to impersonate them.
A booming variant of this type of attack is pharming. In this case, you enter your data in a real page of habitual use with complete peace of mind, but at some point in that exchange of information, by attacking the official URL of the page you are using, derive the sending of data to another page of your interest to get hold of them. Often, the submission is usually made to a page identical to that expected so that the victim does not suspect this interference.
Something similar is the phishing car. In this case, the data is entered when making a purchase and a payment is made on a similar page but that is not the one in which we believe we are operating, so that the payment is made in favor of the cybercriminal without a real purchase, and product shipping is never done. Instead of losing data, in this case only the purchase money is lost.
Since purchases with cryptocurrencies are not as widespread as with traditional money, this type of strategy may be less effective, but it should be taken into account because these criminals might implement these strategy in the cryptosphere in future.
These are just some of the popular tools and strategies that cyber criminals use to rob the real owners of their valuable assets, including cryptocurrencies.
- Simplified Guide to Cryptocurrency Market Analysis & Tools
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Tips to help you Protect your Cryptocurrencies from Getting Hacked
You have now seen some of the tools and strategies that cyber criminals use to rob you your valuable assets. The next step is to know the various ways to protect your cryptocurrencies, so as not to fall victim to these criminals.
Never use your Exchange Wallets to Store your Long Term Crypto Assets
Only keep the funds you will for regular trading in your exchange wallets and then move the rest to a more secure location, preferably a cold wallet or a wallet where you have access to the private key or recovery phrase.
If you are using a Mobile Wallet, make sure you Activate all the Mobile Phone Security Features
While it is very difficult for a desktop computer to be stolen due to its size and its fixed and secure location, a mobile phone can be stolen more easily. Its small size and lightness makes it easily stolen and transported, and even taking it everywhere can cause us to accidentally lose it. The consequence is that if someone is steals your device, they could have access to the data you have in it, and even the wallet where you store your cryptocurrencies that you have stored if we are using it as a purse. Therefore, do not forget to have activated, all the anti-theft security options which include:
- Inbuilt Security Features: PIN code, Automatic lock, screensaver pattern, fingerprint identification, etc.
- User-Added Security Features: Installing a phone encryption app, remote eraser app (explained below), etc.
Be Careful when Downloading any App from Google Play Store
What most cyber criminals do is to create an app that resembles the original app of a website. They usually include malicious scripts that steal information from your device without your permission. When most users search the original app on Google Play store, these clone apps appear. A user who has no prior knowledge of this trick might mistake the clone app for the original app. When the user launches the clone app and inputs the login details of the original account, the malicious scripts send the login details to these hackers, who now use it to login to your original account and rob the user.
For example, when you search for Trust wallet app on Google play store, you will discover two apps with the name; one developed by DApps Platform Inc and the other developed by Sam Finance. Obviously, the latter is a malicious clone of the former.
Another way to distinguish between original and fake apps is by number of downloads and reviews. The original app usually has more downloads and reviews than the fake version.
How to Recover your Lost Cryptocurrencies
In the crypto world, you are the maximum and only responsible for your assets. You are your own bank. The decision to delegate more or less to platforms such as exchange houses or wallets, to invest in one or another type of currency or to make free transactions is yours. You are completely alone.
No one can manipulate your money if you do not want, or deny access to it, or invest it without your consent, and only you decide the value it has and the movements you want to make. The utopia of a free financial system is at your fingertips. But on the other hand, you officially have no one behind who responds to the losses or helps you with the dangers.
There are, in principle, no official entities or bodies that respond legally for your cryptocurrencies. In the future there may be, as in the cases of Japan or Korea, countries that are already more friendly with crypto economics and that feel certain bases of regularization, but today a somewhat complicated paradigm is presented. It is the governments that have to promote these initiatives and are not very excited to favor a free system that “harms” the current economic system, very controlled by its mechanisms.
So, you should be aware of your own responsibilities and, where appropriate, know what external forces can act in your favor in this poorly regulated environment.
Fund Recovery in Hot Wallets and Exchange Platforms
When you deposit your cryptocurrencies in a hot wallet or keep your assets in an exchange house you are ceasing, in a way, to be your own bank. Your assets no longer depend exclusively on you. You already know that in case of theft, closing of the company or scam, you could lose them.
Some exchange houses, wallets and web platforms, in their own internal policies choose their ability to secure currencies and return policies, but this is no more than good intentions as there is no legal framework that obliges them to do so. The only obligation they have to keep their word is to maintain their honesty and reputation for attracting customers, but as we have seen before, if they had not had the real capacity to materialize these good words, they would not have the legal obligation to do so.
Even so, before interacting with any of these platforms, you would be interested to inform yourself if they have any type of insurance or policy to compensate for losses in case of an incident. Better than nothing. It also looks for past information on cases in which they have made use of that policy to verify that this is more than words. Although, remember that being able to compensate for a first attack does not ensure that you can do it again with a second.
But, above all, what you should value is that the purse or the exchange house offers you the private keys of access to your stored cryptocurrencies. This will allow you to access them at any time. In case the company disappears, or decides to freeze the funds for some reason, you would always have access to your stored assets. As long as you have the permissions to act directly on the blockchain, you will still own your money.
You should also inform yourself of the means that the platform in question puts at your disposal to recover the access passwords in case you lose them. If you could not access the wallet (and also did not have the private keys of your cryptocurrencies), you would lose the funds deposited in it that would remain in possession of the platform and, technically, it would not be a robbery.
Fund Recovery in Cold Wallets
Cold wallets are the only ones that allow you to be the exclusive and sole owner of your assets. At least, as long as you keep the private keys in desktop purses, hardware type or paper and derivatives.
But what would happen if you lost these accesses? Indeed, you would lose your money. Therefore, even in this very restrictive method, you should have certain supports, come from yourself or from companies that work with this storage method.
Regarding becoming your own support, you should keep some copy of the private keys. It is true that the more you multiply them, the more exposure and capacity they are captured. But printing at least a couple of times your keys on paper and keeping them in secret places would give you the opportunity to recover them if you lose one of them. Similarly, sporadically copying the contents of your hardware wallet or installing a desktop wallet on several devices would give you the option of being your best help in case of loss by having another recovery point.
As for some cold storage systems, they have methods to recover lost passwords that you should rely on. Many cold storage platforms originate a random sequence of about twelve words called seeds with which you can recover lost data. Or, for example, Ledger devices allow you to use other compatible devices to recover passwords. Find out about these media well, as they can become your only allies in the cold storage system.
If we do not find an efficient response in public services, we can always go to a private service. In the same way as in the physical world, there are detectives of the virtual world that track potential criminals until they find them and the foreign cryptocurrencies they took away.
It is not a standardized trade and it is difficult to find a good detective, but there are experts who offer themselves as such and whom you can turn to in case of theft.
Here are some helpful guides:
- How to Recover Funds Sent to a Wrong Public Address
- How to Recover Coins Sent to the Wrong Address
- How to Recover Crypto Transferred to the Wrong Network on Binance
- Simplified Cryptocurrency Trading Basics for Beginners
- Blockchain Technology and the Evolution of the Internet
You have now learnt some of the strategies used by fraudsters to steal your cryptocurrencies from your wallet and how to secure your crypto portfolio against these online scammers. You also learnt how to recover your stolen cryptocurrencies. Always remember that “prevention is better than cure”. Do not wait till you fall prey to this criminals before you can protect your funds. There is no assurance that you will be recover your stolen crypto funds due to the nature of blockchain. You can easily track the stolen fund, but you can’t easily recover the funds once they have been moved from your wallet. This is why you need to fully apply these recommended security tips even before you start trading with your crypto wallets.
Feel free to drop your contributions and questions about this topic in the comment section below. Enjoy!
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