Cryptocurrencies are a relatively new world that has generated great interest in the last two years. Many people are rushing to buy them, either because of their low transaction costs, confidentiality, or decentralisation, among others. But this boom also entails certain risks that are economic or financial. In fact, cryptocurrency-based ransomware has been involved in thousands of cybersecurity incidents worldwide in recent months and continues to increase.
For this reason, Check Point® Software Technologies Ltd., a leading provider specializing in cybersecurity worldwide, wants to alert its buyers of the cyber risks present in the purchase of cryptocurrencies and provide the necessary advice for its users to be protected against cyber criminals present on the platforms dedicated to this new market:
1. Diversify wallets: Having a private wallet is the first step to be buy and sell cryptocurrencies. One of the keys to keep them safe is to have a minimum of two different wallets. The objective is that the user can use one of them to store and hold their purchases and others to trade and exchange cryptocurrencies, in this way, they will keep their assets more protected because only one wallet interacts with external sites and exchange coins. If a cyber criminal manages to access your trading wallet through any attack on the external site connected to your wallet, the other wallet your holding wallet will be kept safe.
2. Ignoring the ads: Many times, users search for wallets platforms through Google. And it is at that moment when they can make one of the biggest mistakes: They click on one of the Google Ads ads, which appear in the first places. Cyber criminals are often behind these links, creating malicious websites through in order to steal your currencies from your wallet. Therefore, it is safer to go to the web pages that appear lower in the search engine and that are not a Google Ads ad.
3. Test transactions: There are times when many people err on the side of caution and cyber criminals take advantage of this. To avoid falling into one of their traps, one of the measures that can be put into practice is that before sending large amounts of crypto, you must first send a “test” transaction with a minimum amount. In this way, in case we are sending it to a fake wallet, it will be easier to detect the deception and we will lose much less.
4. Double attention to increase security: One of the best measures to be implemented to protect against any type of cyber attack is to activate two-factor authentication on the platforms on which you have an account. In this way, when any attacker tries to enter any of them in an irregular way, a message will be received to verify its authenticity, preventing a cyber criminal from gaining access. With two-factor authentication, instead of requiring only a password for authentication, logging into an account will require the user to submit a second piece of information, making it more secure.
Cryptocurrencies: A Boon or Bane?
“The cryptocurrency market is becoming more and more widely used. Transactions using this new form of payment are increasing exponentially and, as a result, cyber criminals have targeted it. It is important that all users and owners of cryptocurrencies take extreme precautions and put all their senses alert to avoid falling into the trap of the attackers. Details such as having two wallets for different activities or not accessing Google Ads are some of the measures that should be kept in mind to keep the cryptocurrencies acquired safe”, explains Teong Eng Guan, Regional Director, Southeast Asia and Korea, at Check Point Software Technologies.
According to Forbes, cryptocurrencies present us with some very specific and unique challenges around safeguarding our assets. But it also provides us with incredible opportunities to push the boundaries of financial technology to directly improve our lives.
By implementing good safeguarding practices, you can significantly reduce the chance of loss while experiencing the many benefits that cryptocurrency has to offer. For most, the tradeoff is well worth it. Perhaps, over time, the tools and knowledge will be developed to better track thieves and discourage theft in the first place. Until then, let’s not make their jobs any easier.