Cybersecurity for Crypto Exchanges: Preventing the Most Common Attacks
August 1, 2019 (Investorideas.com Newswire) If you use cryptocurrency exchanges on a frequent basis, you might be wondering how you can protect yourself against the threat of cyberattacks that could have a negative impact on your finances. Of course, that's a reasonable concern considering how common cybercrime is in today's world, and with cryptocurrencies being financial super hubs that are based entirely around technology, there's no shortage of hackers and cybercriminals who are targeting these platforms and their users on an ongoing basis.
Fortunately, with some precautions and the right preventative steps, you can minimize your risk and still enjoy using your favorite crypto exchanges. Plus, you don't have to be an IT expert or tech nerd to understand basic cybersecurity concepts that could keep you from becoming the victim of fraud or theft. In fact, here are six steps you can take to prevent the most common kinds of attacks that target crypto exchange users and platforms:
1. Install an Anti-Virus Suite to Prevent Malware Infections
The first thing you should do to provide a basic level of protection for all your online activity is installing a reputable anti-malware program. Some of the top choices include Malwarebytes, Avast, Kaspersky, Bitdefender, and Norton Antivirus. If you're using a cryptocurrency exchange without an anti-virus software on your computer, you're just asking for trouble. Try to choose a program that offers live scanning abilities and consider the advantages of paying for their premium version for extra protection.
Bonus tip: You can find a list of the top cryptocurrency exchanges along with their current prices, 24 change stats, and overall market caps at coins.live.
2. Validate the Legitimacy of All Correspondence to Avoid Phishing Attacks
Phishing, also called social engineering, is when a hacker or other malicious party impersonates a trusted website or contact in an effort to extract information or payments from an individual or company. For example, they might pretend to be bill collectors with the goal of tricking you into paying them. Any time you receive an email that appears to be from your cryptocurrency exchange, it's important to verify that it's coming from their site and not someone who is phishing. As a general practice, it's best to never respond to emails with any financial data – handle sensitive transactions directly on an official website or on the phone.
3. Be Careful About Which Financial Details You Use for Online Shopping
If you really want to keep your cryptocurrency safe, it's best to use it to load up virtual cards with limited amounts that are designated for online shopping, instead of paying directly from your crypto account on sites that accept cryptocurrency. Taking this approach will ensure that you don't accidentally give a hacker your account details or the information for an important credit card. In essence, only shop with cards that are loaded with sums that you could hypothetically afford to lose. You never want your main account information getting stolen because then you run into a situation where a hacker could drain all your cryptocurrency in one fell swoop, which has, unfortunately, happened to people before.
4. Use Live Protection Features and Firewalls to Safeguard Against Hackers
In some cases, a skilled hacker can gain access to your operating system and spy on everything you do on your computer, including keeping a log of every keystroke you type in order to steal your passwords. The best way to prevent such unauthorized access other than having a comprehensive anti-malware program with live protection features installed is to utilize one or more firewalls. These programs prevent unwanted incoming and outgoing connections, so any information that is being sent to or from your computer will be monitored and managed automatically. If suspicious activity occurs, the firewall will block the connection or quarantine the file in question and notify you about the issue.
5. Perform Frequent Backups and Have a Redundancy Plan for Ransomware and DDoS Attacks
Ransomware has become one of the most common forms of malware used to steal cryptocurrency from unsuspecting victims. This type of virus will make it appear as though your files have been completely erased, and then prompt you to make a ransom payment in order to get your data back. Sometimes the files are still hidden somewhere in the operating system, while in other cases the attackers may actually transfer your data onto their machine and delete it from yours. The only fool-proof way to protect yourself from having to shell out cryptocurrency after a ransomware attack is to make backups on a frequent basis and have a method for resetting your operating system to factory settings and restoring the files.
6. Choose Strong Passwords and Don't Use Password Managers
Using a simple password is a common mistake that some cryptocurrency exchange users make because it keeps them from forgetting their password and having to reset it. A weak password can be cracked by hackers, which would be a worst-case scenario if they're able to gain access to your crypto accounts. Try to use a strong and unique password to minimize the chances of having your accounts hacked. Likewise, don't fall for the trap of using password managers in the form of browser extensions and software, as these tools can be vulnerable to malware. If a hacker were to exploit a password manager, they could instantly gain access to all of your accounts.
Any Serious Crypto Exchange User Should Study Cybersecurity
In closing, whether you're just starting to build your crypto collection or have been a cryptocurrency user since the early days of Bitcoin, it would be wise to learn the ins and outs of cybersecurity if you're serious about protecting your digital wealth. You don't necessarily need to become an IT specialist, but it's important to at least know the basics of how to protect your computer and accounts from intrusion and theft. There are many free courses you can take or videos you can watch to build upon the tips given above.
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