Staying Safe With Cryptocurrency: Choice of Apps and VPNs

As with all things involving the Internet and money, cryptocurrency has also come under attack by hackers from time to time. Study says cyber criminals netted $4.3B from crypto-related crime in 2019. While the cryptocurrencies themselves are strong, hackers often target the institutions holding large amounts of currency.

“The results show that privacy coins are barely used in dark markets and at dark vendor sites (e.g. only 4% of instances involve Monero (XMR). Instead, Bitcoin remains the coin of the realm in this shady world, with BTC used in 76% of dark market cases and ETC used in only 7% of instances.”.

Cryptocurrency Owners: How to Protect Yourself?

While there may not be much you can do about the security of cryptocurrency exchanges or platforms, you can still do your bit. For example, securing your own devices and communications between your devices and service providers can go a long way to keeping you safe.

Some of the things you can do include:

1. Run a VPN

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) help keep you safe in two ways. They protect your identity by routing communications through secure servers. At the same time, all data is encrypted for additional protection. Always opt for a reputable VPN service provider like ExpressVPN to avoid less savoury service providers from selling your data.

2. Keep applications up to date

Always make sure that the software you use are the latest versions. Developers often release patches which safeguard against known vulnerabilities. This is especially so for mass market software like Microsoft Windows.

3. Use reputable Internet Security apps

Always install and use a security program which can help you safeguard against viruses and other malware. These are common tools that hackers use to gain access to digital devices.

Past Incidents

Nice Hash

Hackers struck Slovenian-based Bitcoin mining marketplace NiceHash back in 2017 and made off with 4,700 BitCoins. The value of the haul at the time was about $64 million.

Bitpoint

Crypto exchange Bitpoint was targeted and lost the money of half its users at the time, valued at approximately $27.9 million. While the company said it also lost its own money, users were not impressed.

Mt. Gox

Former leading crypto exchange Mt. Gox was targeted several times over a number of years, losing a total of more than 750,000 BitCoins over time. Then valued at almost $460 million, it is the biggest loss of current times.

If you think that this may not affect you, hackers have also been known to go after individuals holding cryptocurrency as well. Thanks to the age of digital, even hackers can make use of readily available tools for almost any need. 

And there are more.


Go Further

Read Bitcoin’s Security Model: A Deep Dive

When discussing consensus mechanisms for different cryptocurrencies, one issue that often causes arguments is a lack of understanding (and definition) of the security model that they provide for the historical data in the ledger. While each consensus model aims to prevent various theoretical attacks, it’s important to understand the goals for the model.
Looking at the current cumulative work performed by bitcoin miners, it would take nearly 1026 hashes to build an alternative blockchain from genesis with greater cumulative proof of work that full nodes would consider to be the “true” chain.
Andrew McEwan

Author: Andrew McEwan

Make crypto, not war.