2022was the year with the highest levels of hacking in the history of the cryptocurrency industry, with a total of $3.8 billion stolen from the sector, and a record of 32 large asset thefts in the global crypto sector with $775.7 million in stolen crypto assets during the two peaky months of March and October alone.
Faced with such market risks, what can the average investor do to protect and manage their cryptocurrency?
Over the past few years, the global crypto assets have shown a geometric growth, and crypto assets represented by NFT are increasingly accepted and welcomed by mainstream communities. The continuous emergence of Web3 and metaverse innovation industries has stimulated the desire of some players in the crypto space.
According to CoinMarketCap, the cryptocurrency market hit another all-time high in November 2022 as the prices of the world’s two largest cryptocurrencies soared to all-time highs, reaching a market capitalization of $3 trillion. Compared to $620 billion in 2017, the market capitalization of the global cryptocurrency market has quadrupled.
However, the rapid expansion in the size of crypto-assets has also attracted scammers and hackers into its space. It is for this reason that the security of crypto-assets is the most “head-scratching” issue. On the one hand, it is a pressing challenge, but on the other hand, it is not so easy to solve.
How do investors keep cryptocurrencies?
To protect users, this article gives security advice for crypto asset theft. Also, in the event of an unavoidable hacking loss, users can take some rescue measures.
1. Keep private keys safe
The nature of cryptocurrency determines that it is cryptographic in nature, and many cryptographic techniques are used in its design, among which are asymmetric encryption algorithms, which contain public and private keys. The public key is a string of characters consisting of numbers and letters, which indicates the address where the cryptocurrency is stored on the blockchain. Similar to a bank account number, the private key is an array of 32 bytes that identifies the owner of the cryptocurrency. Similar to a bank card PIN, with the private key, you are the real owner of the cryptocurrency.
Therefore, it is crucial to keep your private key safe to keep your crypto assets safe. Loss of private keys in one of the major reasons for theft of individual crypto assets.
Therefore, the extent of keeping the private key should be paid as much attention as the bank card passwords.
2. Do a good job of asset isolation
Try not to keep crypto assets in centralized wallets or exchange pools. The FTX bankruptcy incident is the best warning, and the safest way to keep crypto assets is in HD wallets or hardware wallets, both of which are the best means of asset isolation.
At the same time, HD wallets have a higher priority than hardware wallets. Although hardware wallets have huge advantages, they can be tampered with before users receive them, and it is difficult to determine whether the hardware wallet is a security risk without expertise.
3. Don’t click on any suspicious links
In the form of crypto asset theft, individual users and institutions such as exchanges face a completely different form of attack. Most of the hacks we see in the news are aimed at large institutions, while for individuals, the most direct and common form of hacking is: implantㄕㄛ viruses.
Most of these viruses are carried through external links, so don’t click on any suspicious external links.
It is worth noting that external links are not necessarily in the form of links that we commonly see, but can be attached to images, web pages, and installation packages, so do not click on any suspicious links, images, or downloads when using encrypted assets for any operation. If you really need to do so, please log out of your account and log in before proceeding.
4. Distinguish between regular websites and phishing websites
The typical scam of this kind of problem is: being chatted by a scammer, logging into a fraudulent website, entering the platform password and finally causing the virtual coins to be withdrawn.
Some people may think that this “phishing” attack is very old, but this simple scam is still effective. From the surface, it is difficult for users to see the difference between the links or pages of phishing websites. And, according to statistics, hackers have used this method to steal at least $225 million in digital currency. There are many more cases like this.
In addition to phishing, there are also impersonating (exchange/wallet) customer service, clipboard trojans, as mentioned in the subheading. Scammers sending us executable files containing viruses in the name of sending screenshots, etc.
5. Beware of acquaintance’s crime
As mentioned before, private keys are as critical as bank card passwords, but since they are very difficult to remember, many people put them in books, wallets, cell phone memos, etc., and are seen by acquaintances around them, leading to asset theft.
For this type of theft, there is no particularly good way to prevent theft, and it depends very much on the degree of personal care, except to say that please strengthen your awareness in this area.
The number of cases of crypto theft may be more than we can imagine, but you just don’t see it. And there is a high probability that they cannot be recovered.
Taking care of asset security and managing our private keys/helper words is the way to go.