Cryptocurrency has become a massive industry, with a collective value worth over 160 billion dollars only in the space of 11 years. The upsurge in the popularity of cryptocurrency could be blamed on the nature of modern living. We’ve become so used to convenience, and purchasing items with a wallet full of bitcoins is quicker than any other payment method.
However, with every new financial trend comes a new wave of scams and hackers, who are here to cheat you out of your hard-earned digital cash.
What are the dangers you face with cryptocurrency transactions?
At only 11 years old, the cryptocurrency market is prone to scams and bogus investment schemes. It’s a fresh, new industry that hasn’t quite ironed out all the issues. Sometimes, an investment opportunity appears seemingly out of thin air, offering returns that will keep your digital wallet bulging. All it needs is a couple of thousand dollars worth of capital for a new cryptocurrency. There isn’t much you can do to verify those claims — you just need to have blind faith. As we know in finances, blind faith is not a worthy enough motivator for new investors.
The problems of having a currency that is entirely electronic become apparent when you look at the added risks associated with any online activity. What happens if you accidentally click on a malware-ridden ad? What if you fall victim to an email phishing scam? Once that worm or virus is injected into your network, all your credentials are compromised. When a hacker has a backdoor to your computer and sniffs out your hot wallet, say goodbye to all that bitcoin.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop when you go offline. If you think you’re dodging a bullet by regularly disconnecting yourself from the net, think again. Some spyware can remain hidden on your computer, gathering every keystroke you make and logging any passwords and usernames you enter. As soon as you reconnect to the web, that information is sent back to the hacker. What they do with that data depends on what kind of data the spyware collected. If you’re unlucky, it gathered the passphrase to your hot or cold wallet.
What can I do to lessen the risks?
The first step is knowledge. Cybercriminals rely on the uninformed and ignorant. Train yourself to notice scams and research what the telltale signs are. Are they offering a new form of cryptocurrency at a premium price? Probably fake. Look into common scams that hackers will try and inflict on you. Send suspicious emails straight to your junk folder and never click on any email links you don’t recognise.
The best way to protect yourself and your online transactions is to reduce the target on your back. A VPN is the perfect solution.
With a VPN, your online activity will be completely hidden, as will your IP address. If a hacker were to spy on your network, they wouldn’t be able to see what you’re doing. And if they persist, they’ll find several roadblocks. Firstly, your physical location is hidden. Your IP address will be the same as the IP address of whatever server you chose to connect to. Secondly, they’ll need to break through an encrypted tunnel.
With a service like NordVPN, that tunnel has the same encryption protocols that Silicon Valley tech giants use. Your standard hacker will not be able to break through with their setup. Even dedicated hacker teams would need thousands of years to try and decrypt the cipher. Once they spot the type of encryption they’re up against, they’ll realise what a waste of time it is to continue with their fruitless endeavour.
The best thing about NordVPN is that you can use it on the go. We all know how crucial a last-second transaction can be and just how handy having a cryptocurrency app on your device is. Unfortunately, being on the go also means having to rely on public Wi-Fi sometimes. Once again, hackers will be thwarted in their spying attempts. The NordVPN app is compatible with all devices, and all it takes is a tap of a button to activate.