Generally, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are safe to use, trade with, and invest in. They work using a technology called the blockchain, which stores information about every transaction on an extensive network of nodes (computers).
The decentralized nature of the blockchain makes it secure and impossible to break. After all, you’d have to hack into all those nodes at the same time! However, this doesn’t necessarily mean your cryptocurrency transactions are 100% secure and anonymous.
While cryptocurrency transactions don’t require personal information, it’s still possible to connect them with your crypto address. They also can’t be reversed – meaning once you’ve sent funds, they’re gone for good.
Unless you use a VPN on your Mac and follow some basic practices while using cryptocurrencies, the chances of your money getting stolen are high. Below, we’ll go over the security threats to cryptocurrency owners, and they can mitigate them.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
Common Security Risks Related to Cryptocurrencies
Since cryptocurrencies are digital in nature, they’re too always vulnerable to certain security risks. Let’s take a look at some of the most prominent ones:
- Crypto Phishing Scams Are Popular: Using emails as a medium, attackers impersonate a legitimate entity (crypto wallet provider or exchange platform) and trick unsuspecting victims into visiting a phishing website to steal their personal information or funds.
- Self-Compromised Wallet Addresses: Your crypto address should NEVER be shared publicly, period. If you post your address on social media or elsewhere, it can easily be linked to your actual identity.
- Cryptojacking is a Common Malware Technique: Your phone or computer could get hacked by the bad guys to use its processing power for mining cryptocurrency without your consent or knowledge.
- Crypto Addresses Can Get Traced: Contrary to popular belief, crypto addresses aren’t completely anonymous. It’s possible to link your crypto address to your device’s IP address and identify you.
- Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) Attacks: If you’re making a deposit using cryptocurrency, cybercriminals can very well change the destination of your transaction through MITM and leave you out of money.
Why Should Use a VPN When Using Cryptocurrencies
By arming yourself with a virtual private network (VPN), you can increase the security and privacy of your cryptocurrency transactions significantly. Here’s how the tool makes it possible:
- Encrypts Your Data: A VPN uses modern encryption technology to safeguard your cryptocurrency traffic from outsiders. This makes it nearly impossible for third-parties to intercept or eavesdrop on your transactions.
- Hides Your IP Address: When you use a VPN, your original IP address is masked with one shared by multiple users at a time. As a result, your computer’s IP address can’t be connected to your crypto address.
- Stores No Logs: Unlike the free options out there, a paid VPN won’t keep any records of your online activities. To be on the safe side, we’d recommend sticking to providers that have independently audited no-log policies.
Other Precautions to Keep Your Cryptocurrency Protected
Besides using a VPN service, other measures that should be taken as well to protect your cryptocurrency. These include but are not limited to:
- Install a powerful anti-virus and anti-malware program. Keep all your protection up to date by downloading updates as soon they’re available. This will help keep you safe from threats like cryptojacking.
- Don’t make transactions from your mobile phone. Stick to your desktop when you have to make a deposit using cryptocurrency. Phones are vulnerable to physical theft, which can be disastrous.
- Choose a strong and unique password for all your crypto wallets. Password security is essential yet overlooked by many, so take it seriously. Password managers can prove useful here.
- Avoid using cryptocurrency on public Wi-Fi. If you absolutely have to, you should connect to a VPN first for top-notch protection.
- Always activate two-factor authentication where possible. This will add an extra layer of security to your crypto wallet and exchange platform account.
- Use encrypted email and messaging apps. In this way, you can rest assured that your communications are safe from any prying eyes
- Never click suspicious links in emails. Always be cautious when it comes to clicking links in emails. This will go a long way in avoiding phishing attacks.
- Use cryptocurrencies that are geared towards ensuring your anonymity. Bitcoin is pseudonymous and not fully anonymous.
Wrapping Things Up
Cryptocurrency is more secure than traditional payment systems, there’s no doubt about that. But the security of your funds lies in your own hands as the technology behind it is decentralized in nature.
By using a VPN service and putting the measures mentioned above into practice, along with maintaining good cyber hygiene, you can keep your cryptocurrency transactions safe from hackers.