- Are you invested in crypto but aren’t sure how to protect yourself?
2023 is already shaping up to be another difficult year in terms of cybercrime. Since 2020, the global occurrence of hacking events, malware, and phishing emails has only risen, with each year seeing around a 27% increase in total cybercrime events. While the vast majority of this is directed at businesses, that doesn’t mean that individuals are safe from the rising threat.
Especially for those individuals that are invested in cryptocurrency, the decentralized finance sphere is seeing a rising number of attacks. As crypto is still not a regulated medium, it’s much easier for those with malicious intentions to get away with online crime. For those that invest in crypto but aren’t sure how to protect themselves, this article is for you.
We’ll dive into everything you need to know about phishing in cryptocurrency, demonstrating why it occurs and exactly how you can start to build up better email security practices. Let’s dive right into it.
Why Does Phishing Occur in Crypto?
At present, around 6.5% of all phishing attacks are leveraged directly at crypto companies. This could include crypto PR businesses, DeFi exchanges, wallet services, and more. While this percentage is still under 10% of the global total of phishing attacks, we have to remember that there are millions of attacks per year.
Cryptocurrency companies often host tens of thousands of user accounts. Many cryptocurrency platforms, although dealing with a decentralized currency, operate in a centralized manner, often holding the currency that a user buys. This means that they’re a prime target, as they have potentially billions of dollars of cryptocurrency on their systems.
Some of the biggest crypto hacks and scams, even only across 2022, totaled billions of dollars, demonstrating just how lucrative this can be for attackers. With that in mind, we must do everything we can to protect our accounts from unwanted users accessing them.
How Do I Protect My Email Account from Crypto Phishing Emails?
Most businesses will have further levels of email security in place that help to keep them safe. However, if you’re an individual that wants to protect yourself from crypto phishing emails, we’ll outline some of our best defense tactics. If you’re using a cold wallet, you’re the only one that’s responsible for your cryptocurrency – meaning all levels of security come down to you.
The best tips for ensuring that you don’t fall for crypto phishing scams are:
- Understand the Threat
- Ensure Your Firewalls Are Enabled
- Avoid Action Bias
Let’s break these down further.
Understand The Threat
The very first step when looking to decrease your chance of falling into a cryptocurrency phishing scam is to understand why someone would be targeting you. Most of the time, a person that’s sending out phishing emails is looking to get two things: account details and money.
Most of the time, the account details are the direct pathway to stealing your money or investments, meaning that almost every phishing email will have something to do with one of these two things.
You’re likely going to encounter emails that ask you to log into webpages, type in your account details, write your password, or give out information that could be used for breaking your security questions.
And, just because an email looks like it’s coming from a company you recognize, doesn’t mean that it’s true. Be sure to double-check the email against your address book if you’re not 100% sure.
Knowing what these emails look like will always be the first step toward recognizing them and then blocking the sender.
Ensure Your Firewalls Are Enabled
Firewalls are naturally included in the vast majority of email service providers. These will keep out the bulk of spam content that arrives in your inbox. That said, not every email service comes with the same level of phishing protection. While Gmail and Outlook have their solutions, they’re not 100% effective.
If you’re getting a large number of spam emails, be sure to go into your accounts and check on the current state of your firewalls. Equally, if you’re still worrying about emails that are arriving in your account, you could always start working with an additional email security service that focuses more specifically on emails.
Avoid Action Bias
Finally, let’s turn to one of the biggest causes of crypto phishing scams – action bias. Action bias is a human trait that causes us to want to respond to something urgently when it comes to our attention. Most of the time, this is responding to an emergency with the speed it needs to quickly remedy the problem.
Emails should never be the site of action bais. Even if an email arrives in your inbox that demands you do something ASAP, telling you your account is hacked, suspended, or that you’ve incurred a fee, never react quickly.
Always take a second to assess the email. Ask yourself, is this coming from a known address? Does this email look fraudulent? Could the information they’re asking from me be used to break into my crypto wallet?
Understanding that many scam emails try and evoke a rash decision will help you slow down and better assess the situation. Not everything is a rush – and when it comes to your crypto wallets, slow approaches are always safer.
If you invest in cryptocurrency, you need to do everything you can to protect your money from hackers and scammers. As a decentralized currency, crypto is a huge target, especially via phishing emails.
Considering that most phishing emails are only successful due to human error, if you take into account the tips we’ve outlined in this list, you’ll be much less likely to succumb to an attack.
By incorporating these email security tactics into your life, you’ll be able to reduce the chance of falling for a cryptocurrency phishing scam. With that, you’ll be able to invest in this decentralized medium in the long run without encountering any security issues.