Cryptocurrency Exchanges, or Crypto Exchange as they’re also known, are places where you can buy and sell cryptocurrency, or crypto. This could involve trading your current crypto for another, or for regular currency, also known as fiat money. There’s not one specific exchange that you should opt for, but you should consider one that will cover you against hacking, whether it’s via insurance or their practices. With this in mind, this article’s looking at whether cryptocurrency exchanges can be hacked and how you can protect your crypto.
As most of you will know, crypto can be used as a form of payment for goods and services. They work using blockchain, which is a decentralized technology, spread across many computers that manage and record the transactions made using crypto. However, as with anything online, crypto exchanges are at the mercy of hackers, who want to gain instant wealth by stealing your crypto, as this list of hacked crypto exchanges will demonstrate. Although the amount of crypto exchanges have been decreasing, there were 19 exchanges that fell foul to the skills of hackers. At the time of writing this article, Hotbit was the last crypto exchange to be hacked. They were unable to gain access to any crypto, but they did manage to obtain some users’ information.
Add a Second Layer of Security using 2FA
Although Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) is not the magic answer, it can provide an extra layer of security to protect your crypto. Once installed, you’re given a time-sensitive passcode that changes every 30 seconds, making it more secure than SMS. As an extra measure, use 2FA for all your accounts associated with your crypto, whether it’s your social media or email.
Use a Password Generator
Despite constant reminders about having secure passwords, and avoiding the obvious, it’s astounding to know that “123456” and “password” are still two of the most used passwords across all devices. Talk about making it a hacker’s dream!
Passwords of pure numbers are limited in the sequences they can provide you, so instead have a password that consists of more than one word, and use a mixture of numbers, letters, and signs. These are the ones hardest to break because they can consist of anything. You could use a line from a favorite quote, or song, and incorporate numbers, symbols, and a mix of lower and upper case letters.
Alternatively, you can use a password generator to take the stress of creating a strong password from you. What’s more, is that you can use this generator to create as many passwords as you require.
Have a Mobile Kill-Switch
If you use your mobile phone to access your crypto, like many of us do, when was the last time you checked it was secure? We ask this because most of us don’t think about adding extra security on our phones. This is usually because it’s with us for most of the day and the chances of it not being is small.
However, what if your mobile was pickpocketed, or the bag or coat it was in was stolen? Imagine if a hacker got hold of it, and was able to break your passcode and gain access to your crypto, and all because you hadn’t protected it. In this situation, a kill switch would be a great option to have. Once it’s activated, it will wipe all of your data and basically lock your phone, remotely, giving you peace of mind.
Delete ALL Remote Access Software
A lot of apps have areas of software that can be penetrated because of numerous security gaps. Remote access software can leave your phone wide open to hacking, which means your crypto could be stolen this way. It can be done by overwriting all your security precautions, like any 2FA, rendering it useless.
Watch your Wallet!
Like with your fiat currency, you’ll keep an eye on any suspicious activity, with your bank or building society contacting you if any suspicious activity is flagged up. With your crypto, you can have an app to do this for you. For instance, having one installed on your wallet’s public address will mean your wallet is regularly checked, with you receiving notifications of any suspicious behavior.
Disable your Wallet Auto-Updates
Crypto wallets are subject to regular updates for various reasons, including security threats. Failure to complete these updates could leave your crypto exposed, however, we would suggest you wait a few days for any reported issues to be resolved. This way, you’ll update the new version, minus any bugs or problems.
Use a Secure Mail Service
Yes, a lot of us use GMail or Yahoo for our crypto communications, but think about using a secure one specifically for your crypto. This is because Gmail, for instance, has in its terms and conditions that you grant permission for Google to not only read your emails but track your activity, even when you’ve left your Gmail account. This potentially puts all of your login information, including passwords, open to being hacked.
Have a VPN
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) basically provides you with online anonymity and privacy. This means it’s harder to track your crypto trading. Ensure it doesn’t store user logs because the traffic can lead to you, and also avoid free VPNs as they can sell your data, leak your identity or run ads that could be risky to have running when you’re trading, just to fund them.
You need to regularly keep aware of developments in both the crypto world and security-related issues. Be prepared to act on reliable news from valid sources. Had people done this beforehand, many wouldn’t have lost their crypto because of hackers. There’s no need to worry about having to sift through the mountains of articles that seem to instantaneously appear about crypto. Instead, use an app to filter relevant articles to you, as this will save you plenty of time, freeing you up to read those articles that are relevant.
So, yes, crypto exchanges can be hacked. Just with anything online, there is always an element of risk, thanks to the continuous advancement of hacker knowledge. However, the more they learn, the more secure we learn to become. The unfortunate thing about this is that as soon as a new security measure is implemented, hackers are already looking at how to penetrate its defenses so that they can get what’s behind it. This is basically a never-ending cycle, but the suggestions in this article will get you off to a strong start.