After the explosion seen with Bitcoin back in December 2017 where it went from costing $900 USD to $20,000 USD, 2018 started off as the year of the cryptos! Though the market has been on a bearish trend, it still has been a remarkable year for the adoption and development of the cryptocurrency technology.
With that said, 2018 was also a crazy mess of crypto scams. The dark web has taken advantage of the technology and people ended up in prison for life. Twitter, Facebook, and Google banned all ICO ads due to all the reported frauds, phishing attacks and spoofing all over the web. Swindlers were able to mine crypto via Youtube commercials! Who would´ve expected that? Many scams though could have been prevented if we did our part.
There are several incredible authentic and legitimate cryptocurrency projects out there at the moment, please do your homework, so you do not get caught up in scams. (Hopefully, this post will help you.)
Cryptocurrency technology is still an entirely new ecosystem to the entire world; we are all learning about cryptos, even developers are still learning about it, and we´re learning even more with our mistakes. With this never-experienced-transitional-phase, all of these “setbacks” are expected until the system settles, regulates and becomes common knowledge. Out of our failures will come solutions so we can all derive better experiences in the future.
“If you really think about it, all of human evolution is really nothing more than abstracting problems and automating solutions to earlier problems, which leads to new problems and new solutions in a never-ending cycle.” — Daniel Jeffries at Hackernoon
Cryptos are no longer something unheard of, the world has heard about it, and we have learned lots of details we didn’t know before. We have come a long way into a new cycle.
With simple cybersecurity 2019 can be different especially for beginners. In the past years, people were excited with cryptos, but they were coming from a centralized mindset, which means they were used to having a central authority making their “security” for them (like a bank), with zero knowledge of how the new system works, and they ended up engaging in all sorts of frauds.
Scammers will take advantage of any situation they can without mercy. So it is important to understand, in the decentralized world of cryptocurrency, you are responsible for your own safety, the safety of your keys, passwords, and cryptocurrencies. You and only you have a saying of when, where or whom to trade with, no one controls your transactions for you.
· First safety tip: when navigating this ecosystem´s realm prepare yourself to shift from a centralized mindset, to better understand and protect yourself from the risks of a decentralized cyber system. We, or at least most of us, never questioned the risks of centralized authority; we just accepted it as the safest way to deal with any organization, especially when it came to our money. With decentralization, it is highly encouraged by the community that we question.
In 2018, many countries self-regulated, regulations and supervisions over the crypto industry have taken place to advance the technology with security. Meanwhile, we are still waiting for the G20, a global intervention, to release regulation proposals that should have been presented back in July 2018 but was delayed to October 2018, but we have yet to hear anything from them.
Here are some simple tips on how to stay safe while transacting the crypto realm to guarantee a better year in 2019. Ready?
• Never disclosure your funds to avoid attracting the attention of potential hackers. Many traders in the crypto industry love to expose themselves and end up hacked.
• Never use the same email for all your accounts. Create new emails for your crypto accounts, and create a backup for all your emails. And never reveal them publicly, nor use them for other things like social media. Also, create new emails when engaging in Airdrops and things of the sort.
• Never reveal your full name, date of birth, address (not even your city and state), on your social media or cryptocurrency communities. Use nicknames. We are used to giving away all of our personal information on the internet, but we are learning this is not safe to do.
• Always make sure you are accessing legitimate websites by looking for the green websites and the green locks on the left-hand side of the browser. DO NOT TRUST WEBSITES THAT ARE NOT SECURE.
• Most exchanges and applications give the option of double authentication (2FA- Two Factorial Authorization) do not neglect to apply. 2FA codes expire every time you log out, meaning you must acquire a new one from your phone application every time you log in. This is fantastic!
• Never share your passwords or private keys. At the first sign of suspicion of loss or theft change your passwords immediately. You can change your passwords periodically to be even safer.
• Backup your passwords and keys in safe places, paper notebooks, preferably in more than one secure place, like a bank or a safe. In case of computer failure, or loss of one backup you do not lose all your information and funds. Capito? Keep in mind: in most cryptocurrency platforms NO ONE CAN RECOVER YOUR INFORMATION FOR YOU.
• Excess coins, coins not being used daily, should not be stored in hot walletsor exchanges for too long, instead, have them stored in cold storage like a Trezor or a Ledger. Check out : Hot Wallets & Cold Wallets Blog for everything you need to know.
• Never store your passwords and keys on your computer where hackers could gain access to it. Never store your passwords on web browsers, you know when your first log in and it asks if you´d like to save your password? Make sure to click NEVER.
• Be very careful with phishing, scamming and hacking. If it smells fishy, it probably is. Never discard your intuition. Check out: Spoofing & Security
• Never reply to emails containing links to the company’s offerings of any sort of cryptocurrencies. One click on a phishing link or website hackers can gain automatic access to information stored in your computer, and they will wipe you out without mercy! Always proofread the domain on emails and links for misspellings, for example, you receive an email from someone spoofing BINANCE, and their email reads firstname.lastname@example.org, notice the double “nn”, that is not BINANCE. Ask yourself: Did you request such email? Information? Do you know the company?
• Always choose STRONG passwords. PasswordsGenerator.net helps you to create strong passwords and gives you a list of very important tips to keep your passwords safe. Tip: choose passwords you cannot memorize easily.
• Never trust “experts” offering you services to help you manage your funds by requesting access to your passwords and private keys. NO COMPANY OR PROFESSIONAL IN THE TRADING FIELD SHOULD EVER ASK YOU FOR YOUR PRIVATE INFORMATION.
• Keep yourself informed and updated, study the market, real-time price listings, blogs etc. Always know before you advance, seek good reviews, and communities (Twitter, Telegram, Youtube, Medium, Facebook etc.) that could testify authenticity to whatever you decide to get involved in this industry.
• Never trust coins, tokens or company’s offering you to become rich overnight. Every good project takes time, time to deliver the promises made, time to be consistently present and engaging with partners, and time to develop something unique. After all of this, yes, it may skyrocket like bitcoin did December 2017, but mind you it had been consistently sowing and growing in the market since 2009.
• Always read and study the white paper of the project you have chosen to invest in. Seek reviews, podcasts, communities, green address websites and enough valid information on a coin before investing. Especially when taking part in ICOs. You can go to Coingecko and check out all the best ICOs, Coins, Tokens and Exchanges out there.
• Make sure to have good anti-virus software to protect your computer to the best of your abilities. Crypto risks are a matter of cyber security so stay in tune with updates about it.
For a safer experience in this industry focus on these three major parts: the protocol or project you are considering investing, the exchanges involved and the wallets. You must revolve your reviews, researches, security, and care around these three basic layers. Understand how they function and the best way to transact through them by getting involved with its communities (Blogs, social media, chats, and forums, etc.).
Invest in learning more about cybersecurity because the world of technology is growing daily and life as we know it is changing rapidly. And to safely survive we must learn and adapt.
2019 can, and I sincerely believe it will be a safer year for the industry for the simple reason that it has been a year of education and expansion. We all have learned a lot.
There are lots of people to be educated on this topic, and we would be thrilledif you shared this with somebody.
Let us know your thoughts and security hacks in the comments.
Hope this has been helpful in hope for a more secure 2019.
Best wishes to all traders and investors,
The Winco Team.
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