It seems everyone wants to try their hand at investing in bitcoins, or Litecoins, or other alternative cryptocurrencies. With the value of multiple digital currencies soaring, it’s easy to see why. Value can spike within days, it teaches us about investing – when to buy, when to sell, how stocks work – and these cyber coins are a popular topic of conversation. You might not want to miss out on this opportunity!
If you want to educate yourself on the technology behind cryptocurrencies first, this video will make things easier to understand:
So where do cryptocurrency and cybersecurity intersect? What do you need to do to secure your venture into the digital currency market?
Two-Factor AuthenticationWhen creating an account on platforms used for buying, trading, and selling cryptocurrencies, check that you’ve set up their two-step authentication process. This will add an extra layer of protection to defend against cyber criminals trying to access your wallet. Go the extra mile by installing a 2FA (Two Factor Authentication) option from the trading platform for all your devices.
2FA will enhance your security by generating a unique 6-digit code and sending it to your smartphone, which you then use to reauthenticate your accounts. Try Google’s Authenticator app for your Android or iPhone. If you’re doing your trading from home, try this version available for desktops.
For directions on how to set up these apps so that your cryptocurrency accounts have that added security, try this guide to activating your 2FA.
Keep your Cryptocurrency from being LostPeople have “lost” nearly four million bitcoins. This can mean a number of things. Some may lose their cryptocurrency by forgetting their password or private keys, having their hard drive destroyed, or by their death. So how can you protect your coins from disappearing?
Don’t Fall for Fake CurrenciesWith words like ‘bitcoin’ and ‘cryptocurrency’ trending, imposters are looking to take advantage of all the hype. Cyber criminals will trick their victims with Initial Coin Offering (ICO) fraud. ICO refers to when a company opens up a newly created cryptocurrency for investors to buy, trade, and sell.
One of the fraudulent schemes occurs when criminals spoof a legitimate cryptocurrency. Criminals will impersonate an already created currency, pass it off to investors, and steal any money that investors use to buy the counterfeit coin. They can easily accomplish this by creating phony websites or social media accounts, then sending out phishing emails to their bait – potential investors. These phishing scams have taken $225 million from their victims.
Another form of ICO fraud happens when criminals create a hoax cryptocurrency. The same outcome occurs, whatever amount you pay for the fake coin get stolen by the creator of the fake company. Take PlexCoin as an example. PlexCoin was an illegitimate cryptocurrency that stole up to $15 million from those who took the bait and invested.
So how can you tell a fake ICO from a real one?
Research, Research, RESEARCHDon’t believe everything you hear or read. With the aforementioned hype comes a lot of false information.You might have your money in your hand, ready to pounce, on the newest alternative coin that has the promise of a good investment, but how do you tell a legitimate ICO from a counterfeit one? Watch for these warnings when doing your research:
With any investment, you would do extensive research on the stock. So treat cryptocurrency the same way and make all your decisions informed ones.
Cryptocurrency is fun, educational, and profitable. But imagine losing money or information instead! Buy, sell, trade securely!