Cybersecurity: A Real Concern in Virtual Currency MarketsDate Written: October 26 2018 Written By: Samantha Joule Fow
Our lives are becoming increasingly virtual. As we develop more immersive and authentic online experiences, lines dividing what’s real from what’s not start to blur. Regardless of whether it’s physical or virtual, online experiences can feel incredibly real. So, in our increasingly virtual realities, what do cryptocurrency users truly recognize as real? Opening up your coin wallet to discover that there’s no more cryptocurrency in it – that’s real.
Cybersecurity threats in the cryptocurrency markets have been a major challenge to the mainstream application of this new financial technology. Fortunately for the cryptocurrency investors of the world, there are a few simple things that you can do to keep your virtual coins safe and sound.
Cybercrimes Continue to Hit Crypto Investors
Cybertheft has been a major issue in cryptocurrency markets pretty much from the beginning. By its very nature, cryptocurrency is characteristically hard to regulate and nearly impossible to recover once lost. If your wallet’s private key is lost or stolen, there’s no company that will reset it for you. Once your coins are gone, they’re most likely gone forever.
The fact that cryptocurrency has no physical form makes many potential investors nervous. After all, if you lose control of your accounts, there’s often no way to get it back. So, when it comes to cryptocurrency cybersecurity, the best defense is a good offense.
Avoiding Cryptocurrency Hacks and Scams
Experts estimate that over $2 billion have been lost to cyberscams and hacks aimed at cryptocurrency users. While both scamming and hacking fall under the category of real cybersecurity issues, they are two different means that cybercriminals use to achieve the same end.
In a hack, someone uses computer code to break into some online system with the intention to commit a theft or other crime. While individual cryptocurrency investors have been hacked, more often than not hackers will go after the big fish, like cryptocurrency exchanges. After all, hacking into someone else’s system is hard – you might as well go after a big payout at the end.
Most of the time, small investors who lose their cryptocurrency holdings do so by falling for someone’s crypto scam. Scamming is rampant in the crypto community, as crafty criminals leverage the anonymity and immutability of cryptocurrency transactions to defraud less tech-savvy users. Scammers will often try and manipulate people into divulging personal information, which they then use to gain access to your accounts.
More often than not, scammers will access your personal information without ever giving any clues that it’s happening. They use tactics like phone porting, which involves cloning an individual’s cell phone and using the copy to crack mobile two-factor authentication. As a result, it’s critical to actively protect your personal information online. Even if you don’t personally care whether the whole world knows every detail of your life, it’s important to remember that some bad apples will use this information to open fake accounts and make fraudulent transactions. Anyone who’s ever experienced the sudden shock of total loss due to a cybertheft knows that fake people can do some very real damage, especially in our virtual coin markets.