Learn how to stop the Crypto-Grinch from stealing your crypto during the holidays in this beginner’s guide on digital asset security.
While most of us are spreading Christmas joy, hackers and scammers love to use the holidays to get their hands on other people’s crypto. Much like the Grinch, there are out there trying to ruin Christmas for the rest of us.
Read on to learn how to stop the Crypto-Grinch from stealing your assets and robbing you of your festive mood.
Every year, more and more people fall victim to crypto holiday scammers. Unlike most of us who take time off work to relax and celebrate with family and friends, the same can’t be said for scammers. If anything, the holiday season is usually a high season for scammers.
In fact, according to the Internet Crime Complaint Center’s (IC3) 2021 report released by the FBI, non-delivery or non-payment scams cost people over $337 million during the holiday season. In addition, credit card fraud accounted for around $173 million in losses in the same year alone.
Crypto holders aren’t safe from such scams either. If anything, crypto investors are a welcome sight for cybercriminals because once someone gets ahold of your crypto assets, you stand little to no chance of getting them back. This is because of the irreversible nature of blockchain transactions.
But how exactly can you keep your assets safe to prevent becoming a victim to scammers and bad actors? Let’s take a look.
Safety starts with you. That also applies to your crypto assets. Cybercriminals typically try to steal your digital assets using phishing scams targeting your wallet recovery phrase or crypto-stealing malware.
Since you never know when the Crypto-Grinch will sneak in, it’s best to stay ready and know how to protect your crypto assets.
Here are seven tips that you can incorporate to ensure you keep your funds safe from the Crypto-Grinch.
A non-custodial wallet is a crypto wallet that gives users complete control of their funds because only they control the wallet’s private keys. As such, using a non-custodial wallet such as Trust Wallet means that third parties can’t have access to your private keys and, in retrospect, your funds, unlike through custodial wallets.
However, with non-custodial wallets, you will still need to ensure your recovery phrase is kept in a safe place to avoid losing all your funds. There is also no know-your-customer (KYC) process, which makes them more private and easier to use.
If you are looking to keep the Crypto-Grinch far away from your crypto assets, getting yourself a secure wallet like Trust Wallet is just the first step. You also need to ensure that you securely back up your wallet.
Backing up your crypto wallet ensures that you can restore your funds if your phone gets lost or broken or your wallet gets deleted by accident. You can use your recovery phrase to restore your wallet and get access to your funds.
Your crypto wallet’s private keys are like your bank account’s personal identification number (PIN). Just like how you do not share your bank account PIN with anyone, the same rule applies to your crypto wallet’s private keys.
Sharing your private keys with anyone means that you are giving them access to your funds. Should they land in the hands of bad actors, you will be susceptible to losing all your funds. To ensure this doesn’t happen, securely store your secret phrase to avoid people gaining access to your crypto wallet.
Crypto malware disguised as links has become increasingly commonplace, and you will probably find an uptick during the Christmas period.
Cybercriminals use links that might look genuine to get you to access fake websites and apps and steal your credentials before making away with your hard-earned money. To ensure you don’t become a victim of such hacks, don’t click on any strange links sent to your social media channels or emails during the Christmas season and after.
A phishing scam is a type of social engineering attack commonly used by cybercriminals to steal your personal data, such as credit card numbers, login credentials, or wallet private keys.
To carry out a phishing scam, a bad actor will front themselves as a trusted entity and dupe victims into opening an instant message, email, or text message and clicking on a malicious link. The malicious link can then be used to install malicious malware or steal sensitive information. Should a bad actor be successful in getting access to your crypto wallet via a phishing scam, the chances of them leaving any funds for you are close to zero.
Public Wi-Fi might sound like a good idea when you need to go online in a rush. However, cybercriminals can easily position themselves between you and the Wi-Fi connection point.
This means that a hacker can intercept your data because your connection is not encrypted.
Should this happen when you are accessing your crypto wallet, it will be very easy for hackers to get your information and steal your funds. If you don’t have to use your wallet when connected to public Wi-Fi, then wait until you get to a private network.
Alternatively, if you must log on using public Wi-Fi, make sure you have a VPN on to encrypt your traffic.
Owning crypto is exciting, especially when there is a bull run and the value of your investments is skyrocketing. While this can be exciting, choosing to brag about your crypto wealth online or to people can easily make you a target to bad actors. You should, ideally, not share that you own crypto at all to increase your chances of avoiding the Crypto-Grinch.
While the steps discussed above can help you stop the Crypto-Grinch from stealing your assets, the first step in ensuring your funds are safe is by getting a secure crypto wallet.
Trust Wallet is one of the most secure crypto wallets you can find in the market today.
The multi-currency wallet allows users to store over 4M+ digital currencies and tokens, earn staking rewards, and access Web3 applications using the in-app DApp browser. Given that Trust Wallet is a non-custodial wallet, users have access to their own private keys, which means they also have control over their own funds.
As a crypto investor and user, it’s important to remember that securing your funds on any digital wallet is a 24/7 job, not just for the holiday season. Therefore, always ensure that you use a non-custodial wallet, frequently back up your wallet, and don’t click on any malicious links or share your recovery phrase.