A crypto wallet offers one of the best ways to store cryptocurrencies and conduct exchanges. However, owning one is a significant responsibility that requires users to safeguard their digital assets. Hackers are constantly prowling the internet. They are looking for vulnerabilities in wallets that they can exploit.
Wallets become more secure as technology advances, but there is always a chance that hackers will also find their way in using the same technologies. Still, there are several things that safest crypto wallet users can do to mitigate the consequences of being hacked.
Attempts to Get Your Sensitive Data
Phishing is an attempt to access someone’s wallet by creating a fake website similar to the real one, or posing as a trustworthy party, such as a representative of the wallet service provider. There are other means too. A phishing attack aims to trick the user into providing the details necessary to access a wallet or exchange account. Signs of a phishing attempt are emails, text messages, or even phone calls asking for sensitive information.
They could come from someone claiming to be affiliated with a provider or IRS. If such a message is received, call the organization that the sender claims to be from.
Strange Funds Going Through Your Account
Once a thief has someone’s crypto, they will not likely send it directly to their account. Instead, they will route the funds through several different accounts to make it harder for the police to trace them. The danger here is that an investigator could mistakenly recommend prosecuting the victim. Defending oneself from prosecution is expensive and emotionally draining, especially in the United States. This situation can be avoided by monitoring your account’s transactions. Report suspicious money transfers to the service provider. Do not report any transactions to the police or FBI without an attorney present.
Suspicious Charges Appear on Your Bank Statement
Many people believe that hackers will wipe a wallet clean of its funds at the first opportunity. But that is not always the case. Some thieves are more subtle. They instead steal the details of the user’s credit or debit card linked to the crypto wallet and use it to make small purchases. The way wallet users can catch them is to monitor their bank accounts and look for odd purchases they do not remember making. If there is a string of small purchases made in other states or countries, the wallet has likely been hacked. Cancel all cards associated with the wallet and notify the wallet provider immediately.
You Are Being Followed or Threatened
Not every attempt at stealing cryptocurrency takes place online. There is still the threat of someone using physical violence to steal it. Cryptocurrency owners who are being followed or face aggressive panhandling could be facing a robbery attempt. Also, messages threatening harm towards the owner or his loved ones, or threatening to post compromising photos or information, can turn out to be attempts at extorting cryptocurrency.
Do not give in to such threats. Users should notify the police and take every precaution to protect their safety and that of their loved ones. Wallet owners should also be discreet with their transactions and not tell people that they own large amounts of cryptocurrency.
How to Protect Your Wallet from Hackers
Even with these risks present, several things can be done to protect a wallet. They are easy to do and do not take a lot of time.
Create a Challenging Password
One of the biggest mistakes wallet users make is that they create an overly simple password, like a four-digit number representing a birthday or a pet's name with a number at the end. These passwords are very easy to hack. Instead, create a password with different upper- and lowercase characters and symbols. Write it down if it is hard to remember or use a password manager.
Download a Reliable VPN Service
A VPN (virtual private network) will encrypt the user’s connection, preventing third parties from monitoring the wallet’s activity. These services are especially useful for people who use public wi-fi.
Use More Than a Password
Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of protection to the wallet. When a password is entered, the wallet will send a code to the user’s phone or email address. Once the code is input, the user can access their funds. This ensures that someone with the user’s password still cannot access the wallet.
Keep All Antivirus and Software Updated
Download antivirus and keep the software on the device updated. Using an antivirus program will protect the wallet from malware. Updating the device to which the wallet has been downloaded will remove any vulnerabilities in the software.
Always Be Discreet
This tip is meant to protect wallet owners from robbery, extortion, and blackmail. It is built on what was earlier mentioned. Crypto users should not tell anyone that they own digital assets. Even telling a trusted family member or friend can be a bad idea because they could tell their friends and acquaintances. The more people know about a crypto user, the more likely it is that someone could try to rob or blackmail this user.
Cryptocurrency trading can be highly rewarding and lucrative but involves many risks, not only because of economic downturns but also because of hackers. Carelessness with a wallet or disregard for personal safety can result in losing thousands of dollars worth of cryptocurrency. Take every precaution with the wallet by being discreet, keeping the software updated, and constantly monitoring the transactions.