How to prevent scams or hacks in crypto?
Everyday, thousands of people in the cryptic scene are getting hacked or scammed, or experiencing a hacking attempt of some form. On average, $100,000 is stolen by hackers per day. You probably know someone who has been hacked, scammed – a friend, a family member, or even yourself.In the decentralised Crypto world, decentralisation makes it more possible to hack or scam, because the culprits can often do so anonymously, and get away with it.In this article, I will guide you on ways to prevent yourselfagainst Crypto Hacks & Scams, as well as my personal tips and tricks to secure your Crypto wallets, and what you can do if you ever get hacked or scammed.
Telegram scams or hacks in crypto space:
There are many advantages in using the Telegram application. You can discuss Crypto with the like minded, there are specific coin chats where the CEO can share important messages or where chat admins can offer help and support to investors. There are channels where you be updated on a coin you follow. But, there is also a bad side to Telegram.
Hackers and Scammer are often lurking in Telegram groups, waiting to steal your Crypto assets. How do they do that?
The innocent Whitepaper file above, is not as innocent as it seems. It is a Malware file, that’s with one open click, you have downloaded and opened the “Pandora’s box”, leaving your phone or laptop vulnerable to hackers’ access. With that, they can withdraw all your Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP or any other cryptocurrency assets.
You can recognize these type of Malware files by the “SCR” behind it. If you come across a “SCR” file, delete the message before you accidentally click it. You can also help others by reporting the poster of the Malware file by sending a message to the admin of that particular chat group. If you have accidentally downloaded an SCR file, delete the file immediately. Check whether it has been deleted with a virus scanner. Then change all your passwords and disable your withdrawal access temporarily (if this is possible), so that no crypto asset can be withdrawn from your accounts and wallets.
Pump & Dump groups:
Pump and Dump groups seems very intriguing and profitable. They seduce investors with alluring promises of 20-30% profit within 5 minutes. The only people who make a profit in these types of groups are the owners and a few people who step in and out in time. The owners often have bought the coin in advance, often at a low volume. They would then announce a Pump and Dump signal, enticing excited investors to buy in. When you buy into the hype thinking that you’ll be making a profit, the owners will be dumping their coins and you end with a loss of 20-30% if lucky, and the sky is the limit. Please avoid these groups and do not take the risk!
Fake copied crypto websites:
There are creative scammers out there who would make an (almost) exact copy of a crypto exchange – they do this by copying the design of a crypto website and would often purchase a domain almost identical to the original one. Their goal is that you’s mistake their copycat site to the original, login with your credentials including email, password and 2FA code. Once they manage to “log” this information through your attempted log-in, they’d log into your account themselves and steal your crypto assets. If you suspect that you have been hacked, quickly change your password and deactivate your withdrawal access temporarily (if possible). How can you prevent that you end up on a fake crypto website? Check the domain name, check that your password is safe (the lock left corner ) if it’s green, you are safe, save the official crypto website address as a favourite so you can access it from your desktop at any time safely.
Do your research before investing into cryptocurrencies
Before investing in a crypto currency, always do your research first. Look at the website, see if their domain name is ‘sustainable’ and don’t expire within a year, look at the code, find out the team behind the company, look at their Linkedin profiles, check their professional credentials, if it is an ICO type project, look at the use-case of the coin. Make a list of requirements that an ICO / Coin must have, if they do not satisfy your requirements, skip the coin and try to find the next gem.
Set a strong password
Hackers can hack and steal your password within 15 minutes, how do you ensure that you have a password you can easily remember but is still difficult to hack? Make sure you do not come with simple passwords such as: “Qwerty123!”, “Bitcoin2018” or “12345678”. Here are some tips that make it harder to hack your password:
- The more characters you use, the safer your password. Think of 8 + characters Use numbers and special characters (! @ # $% ^)
- Do not use personal information in your password, for example, your dog’s name or your birthdate
- Change your password every month
- Never use the same password twice
- Never use the same rhythm in your password, for example: “Cheese 123!” “Cat1818!” Once hackers have your password, it is easier to find the other passwords
Always setup 2 Factor authentication in crypto space
There are 2 different types of 2FA (2 factor authenticator) apps, Google authenticator and Authy. The 2 FA app generates a 6-digit code automatically, every 30 seconds. If you have 2FA on an Exchange you need to enter your 2FA code in addition to your email and password. You will receive the code on your phone. This makes it a lot harder for hackers to take over your account.
2FA Setup step by step:
Step 1. Download the 2FA app (see link)
Step 2. Open the 2FA app
Step 3. Create an account, if you use google authenticator go to step 6
Step 4. Save the security code properly
Step 5. Set your PIN code or Fingerprint
Step 6. Click at the ‘+’ button
Step 7. Scan the QR code that you see on the Exchange
Step 8. Save the security code properly
Step 9. Save the 2FA and enter the code on the Exchange
Step 10. Congratulations You have successfully saved your 2FA!
You can download the Google authenticator and Authy for free in the Google Play store (Android) and the App store (Apple), see the links below to download the apps: