Tips on Staying Safe in the World of Cryptocurrency
If you are a newcomer in the world cryptocurrency trading, you may be alarmed by various reports of fraudulent behavior that one can hear on a regular basis. Various scams exist, along with seedy people who will try to rob you of your honestly-earned cryptocurrency. Even experienced traders need to be very cautious, as the danger of being scammed is very real. Luckily, with the right precautionary measures and our hopefully useful tips, you should be able to steer clear of trouble.
Don't listen to the advice of strangers without previously conducting sufficient research
First of all, as you probably already know, doing plenty of research is vital for successful cryptocurrency trading. However, while doing research, it is very important not to trust just anyone's opinion. Remember that the people who are giving opinions are usually doing that anonymously, protected by their avatars and the shroud of the internet. Other than because they are good people who enjoy helping others (which could very well be the case), they could also have another, less moral reason for doing so.
Therefore, it is very important to remember that one of the ways to lessen the risks of using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency is to be very careful about who you can trust, but also to do as much research on your own without relying too much on the advice of anonymous individuals. Think hard on your every decision, and only take the next step after you've conducted sufficient research.
Be careful not to become a victim of phishing frauds
The next thing to be aware of is that your personal information is also at risk of being hijacked. There are numerous ways to become a phishing victim:
- You could install a seemingly legit executable (.exe) file that was shared by a seemingly trusted user. Malicious .exe files usually install key-loggers on your computer, sending everything you type directly to the fraudulent user who uploaded the file.
- ICO (initial coin offering) sites can look real, but in reality, they could be fake. These sites will lure you into investing your currency, only to later realize that your money was actually stolen that way.
- Crypto exchanges can be cloned, providing the scammers with access to your crypto wallet. In fact, just a few months ago, six scammers were arrested after stealing 24 million dollars this way.
- Harmful Twitter bots also exist. Fake giveaways and links to other fraudulent websites are the tools they use to con unsuspecting users.
The only way to remain safe is to be very careful. If a link wasn't shared by a channel you know you can trust - don't click on it. And even if you know that you can trust a certain website, you need to make sure that you haven't opened a phishing website instead, that aims to emulate the look of a more trusted website. Bookmark the sites you trust and check their addresses for suspicious spelling to make sure that you're not browsing a phishing website.
Keep your private keys in cold storage
As big money is involved in cryptocurrency trading, hackers are very busy with creating new hacks to steal your money. As old crypto exchange hacks are being squashed, new ones are constantly appearing. Unfortunately, some crypto exchanges aren't up-to-date with their security protocols. And even if they were, as we said, new hacks can easily catch everyone off-guard.
Therefore, the only way to ensure your safety is to keep your currency in cold storage, offline. If an exchange isn't offering cold storage, it is usually best to avoid it. A good cold storage option that isn’t too expensive comes in the form of a paper wallet. Storing your funds offline in a hardware wallet will be safer, but more expensive. You can also store your keys on a USB drive, however, as they are prone to experiencing hardware failures, USB drives are not recommended. Whatever you choose, remember that the only time you can rest assured that your funds are safe is when you are keeping them in cold storage.
Don't trust anyone who approaches you first with a seemingly lucrative offer
While Telegram channels are an extremely important part of cryptocurrency trading, they are sometimes also the site of many nefarious cons. Being so important, Telegram channels have drawn-in plenty of scammers. These scammers are constantly lurking, waiting for naive users who will fall for their too-good-to-be-true proposals to invest in some of the most exciting cryptocurrencies.
The trick they use to gain the trust of their victims is to present themselves as admins or as a part of the technical support crew. Then they offer you a great deal - the only thing you have to do is share your personal information with them.
Sure, you can check the list of admins to see if these individuals are really telling the truth, but even admin accounts can get hijacked. As our civilization is constantly moving closer and closer to becoming a cyberpunk society that we know from books and films, the general rule is: don't trust anyone who appears out of the blue with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to earn you some easy money. In fact, admins of the respected Telegram channels will never be the first ones to approach. And if they do - don't give them your personal data.
Keep important information to yourself
And while we're talking about Telegram channels, you should always be careful not to divulge too much information. As we said, scammers are just waiting for an opportunity to con you. Any unnecessary personal information or the amount of funding that is currently in your possession shouldn't be publicly shared, and not just on Telegram channels. Basically, anything that you say, write or share can be used against you.
So, tread vigilantly and be careful about who you can trust. Don't share information recklessly and don't listen to just anyone's advice without conducting proper research on your own. Always remember that the world of cryptocurrency trading can be a dangerous world indeed. Big money is often at stake, and with it come the risks that should not be taken lightly. Take note of our advice, check out our Hall of Shame list of fraudulent companies and, of course - stay safe.