Updated: Aug 23, 2019
Like any asset, cryptocurrency is also prone to theft, and only takes a few simple clicks to do.
As the value increases, there is a huge drive for motivation for someone else to possess it.
With BTC being the 11th currency in the world in terms of market capitalization, it has become a highly coveted luxury item for those who see the its value and its potential to the financial market. Unlike stealing a Van Gogh in an art gallery, there are more sophisticated forms of technology to get it stolen anytime, anywhere which are fast with no need to travel or risk physical injuries while doing so.
I'll be spilling some tea on what went down with some institutions this August and why I find the need to air my concerns in a blog with a helpful tips in the end on how to keep your cryptocurrency safe.
I have come across a recent news update that Coinbase has mismanaged via error about 3,500 passwords ENTRUSTED to them. Ouch.
Another case is a 19-year old is sentenced for 20 months after being traced and proven to sell data in exchange for BTC.
"Coinbase’s disclosure comes on the heels of Binance and Huobi suffering from actual data breaches. Unlike Coinbase, Binance and Huobi appear to have lost control of client know-your-customer data, including identity verification documents."
And let's not forget the years that have gone by
Bitstamp In 2015 cryptocurrencies worth $5 million were stolen
Mt. Gox Between 2011 and 2014, $350 million worth of bitcoin were stolen
Bitfinex In 2016, $72 million were stolen through exploiting the exchange wallet, users were refunded.
NiceHash In 2017 more than $60 million worth of cryptocurrency was stolen.
The main lessons for me before when I was starting out were the following:
1.Do not share how you do your trading via livestream (remember Ian Balina?)
2.Make no mention of specifics with your crypto net worth, private key, or your wallets.
3.Do not use public-wifi for crypto transactions... remember CoffeeMiner?
4.Once your transfers and trade (triple check the address!) are finished-
send the money back to your hardware wallet!
5. VPN everything. And if you must provide your location, do it hours after you've left the place.
But it seems like despite these top tips that has been circulated over and over by cryptoenthusiasts all over the space, we still experience hacking at its purest form, through ever-changing, unimaginable, and arguably sophisticated methods than yesterday.
Can't mess with technology and the efficiency game. But maybe here's how you can keep your cryptocurrency safe further.
My aim for this simple write up is to educate people who are still placing themselves in this massively evolving industry.
Since we can't hack time like this guy, let's go over how you can secure your growing cryptoassets so as you grow your wealth, you decrease the risk of it getting away.
1. ENABLE YOUR 2-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION
This is a must. I consider Google Authenticator the best since it auto-generates 6 digit codes real-time as opposed to a one-time code saved on your phone, that can just be hacked immediately and is vulnerable to sim swap attacks.
2. GET A HARDWARE WALLET
They say you should only get one when your cryptoasset has grown to 5000 USD but with all the hacking and the insane history of hacking in exchanges, this is a necessity NOW.
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3. GET A PAPER WALLET
If you're being extra cautious. Just remember where you placed it though. And ensure it's safe against fire and water.
4. DO NOT USE PUBLIC WI-FI
When in doubt, log out. Prevent the potential identity theft, password hijacking, and location tracing. Think of it as having a huge sign on top of your head saying "STEAL FROM ME!"
5. Keep reading and STAY VIGILANT with your personal information.
In this day and age, as much as I want to provide you all the information you would need to invest securely, there are clever hackers out there that can just find more creative solutions with the help of emerging technology. I plead for you to remain vigilant and open to the possibilities, good and bad, on finding better ways to secure your not just your information, but your assets too.
Thank you for reading. I hope this helps you.
S O U R C E S
About the writer:
Belle is an early investor and has been a community manager for some blockchain projects starting with FSTK.io, HIP Token, Ormeus Coin, and THORChain having experienced the highs and lows of cryptocurrency since 2014, and being paid in cryptocurrency for doing so. The writer is a proud student of Said Business School from the University of Oxford's Fintech Programme's first batch. An avid learner and a fundamental trader for cryptocurrencies, she seeks to improve her day trading skills on a technical level to have the stomach for its volatility. Working remotely, she manages her time with attending meetups within Asia as she builds her online presence as a practical output to her course certifications. She thinks asset diversification is key to a healthy portfolio. Strategy for the next 6 years? Buy THEN hold. Accumulation is key.
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