7 Online Privacy Tips for Crypto Users
Learn online privacy best practices to protect yourself and your crypto.
Preserving your online privacy is becoming increasingly important as the world becomes more and more digital. Read on to discover our top online privacy tips for crypto users.
Privacy Matters (Especially in Crypto)
In a time of data harvesting, mass surveillance, and increasing cybercrime, online privacy matters more than ever, especially for cryptocurrency users.
The less of your personal information there is on the Internet, the better because it provides potential attack vectors for hackers who are looking to get their hands on your crypto.
Gaining access to personal information like your email address, phone number, or home address enables nefarious actors to deploy various social engineering attacks, such as phishing emails, texts, or phone calls.
Preserving your financial privacy as a crypto user is particularly important. If your wallet addresses can be linked to your real-world identity, anyone — including criminals — can view how much crypto you hold and all transactions you make on a public blockchain explorer.
To add a layer of protection for your digital asset holding, it’s advisable to stick to online privacy best practices.
So let’s look at our top tips to help you preserve your privacy in an online world filled with prying eyes.
Top Online Privacy Tips for Cryptocurrency Users
1. Avoid Public Wi-Fi
With the rise in free public Wi-Fi in airports, restaurants, hotels, and coffee shops, it’s tempting to save on mobile data and log into free Wi-Fi connections. However, that’s not a good idea.
Using public Wi-Fi, even when free, may come at a steep price.
Data transmitted through a public Wi-Fi connection can be intercepted by hackers using a small device that connects to the network. If you are not using a VPN to encrypt your data, a hacker can intercept anything you type into a website (including usernames and passwords).
You should, therefore, never access your cryptocurrency wallet or exchange using public Wi-Fi. And in the case where you absolutely need to, make sure to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Alternatively, you can hotspot using your smartphone to have a safer Internet connection.
2. Never Publicly Disclose Your Crypto Holdings
It may be tempting to share how well your crypto portfolio is performing during a bull market. However, nothing good will come from it.
You are putting yourself at risk from cyberattacks and physical attacks by sharing how much crypto you have on social media, especially if you are using social accounts with your real name on them.
There have been several instances of people being physically assaulted in an attempt to steal their crypto holdings. Additionally, if your email address can be found online, you will almost certainly start to receive phishing emails and emails containing crypto-malware.
3. Beware of Phishing Scams
It’s common for hackers to disguise themselves as trustworthy entities to get sensitive information from users.
Phishing scams involve building a fake version of a popular crypto exchange or wallet. The victim is then sent a convincing email or text message that will tell you about an enticing offer or an issue with your account and ask you to log in and take instant action.
The majority of the time on these phishing sites you will be asked to enter your 12-word secret recovery phrase, which should never be given to anyone. No legitimate employee of the crypto industry will ask for it, nor will ever need it.
To mitigate this threat, always make sure you verify the link displayed in your browser to ensure it is the same as the exchange or web wallet. Also, bookmark the original website so you can always use that as a reference and never be in a rush to input personal information on any website.
And never ever give out your wallet recovery phrase to anyone!
4. Protect Yourself Against Crypto-Stealing Malware
Cybercriminals often deploy malicious software designed to steal crypto from infected devices.
There is malicious software built to search a user’s device for a file named “wallet.dat” and other files related to your crypto holdings. With access to these, hackers can potentially drain you of your cryptocurrency.
Other malware gives the criminal remote access to your device without your knowledge, allowing them to read your SMS and calls.
The basic way malware gets into your system is through downloading infected email attachments and applications. Therefore, you need to ensure that any applications and attachments you download come from verified sources.
What’s more, you should have antivirus and anti-malware software installed to protect your devices.
5. Use Unique, Complex Passwords
When setting up a wallet or a cryptocurrency exchange account, you have to use a unique and secure password. It should be a combination of numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters, and symbols.
**The password should be different from what you use on social media or any other platforms and shouldn’t be derived from your name. **
Ensure you store the password in a safe place or use a trusted password manager.
6. Use a Generic Email Address to Open Crypto Accounts
While this may sound a bit odd, it’s better to open crypto exchange accounts with an email address that doesn’t contain your name.
The chances are that your primary email address can be easily found online. If that’s not the case, it can probably be bought on the dark web along with other personal information that can be found online from one of the hundreds of data breaches occurring each year.
Once your email address is in the hands of cybercriminals (especially if they know you hold crypto), you will almost certainly start to receive phishing and malware-containing emails.
To be safe, you should create a new email with a strong password and use it only for crypto exchanges and web wallets.
That way, you reduce the chance of malicious emails coming into your inbox.
7. Confirm the Safety of Any Software You Install on Your Device
There is malicious software that can grab your login credentials without you knowing. This kind of software existed before crypto and was often used to access individuals’ banking app logins.
With more money in crypto nowadays, cybercriminals have turned to capture credentials of people’s wallets and exchanges using login credentials-stealing software.
The first step to keep yourself protected is to have updated antivirus software. It will help you prevent, detect and delete malware from your device.
Additionally, you need to research the reputation of any software you’re downloading and installing on your device. If it looks off in any way, don’t download it, especially if it was sent to you or recommended by a stranger on the Internet.
Securely Store Your Crypto with Trust Wallet
Trust Wallet is arguably the most secure mobile crypto wallet on the market, enabling anyone with a smartphone to safely store 160,000+ digital currencies and assets.
By following basic online privacy and internet safety practices and holding your crypto with Trust Wallet, you can rest assured that your digital asset investments are safe.