Whatever your opinion is on cryptocurrency – whether you think it’s going to be the only kind of money around someday, or you hope the “crypto winter” lasts forever – there’s no doubt that it has changed the landscape of digital finances and online shopping. While some have leveraged the crypto market for their gain, others quickly found out that when money meets the Internet, it’s a feeding frenzy for threat actors.
What’s a Crypto Exchange Hack?
Have you ever traveled out of the country? If so, you should remember that when you first de-board the plane there’s usually a ton of kiosks around where you can exchange your money for whatever they use at your destination, and they’ll handle all of the conversions for you.
People trading digital money need that too. Crypto has got its own market determining how much your “coin” is worth, just like how the dollar fluctuates with the economy. Basically, crypto exchanges allow you to buy and sell digital currency, and then exchange Bitcoin for Ethereum, Dogecoin or any other digital coin.
Sounds convenient to put all that in one place, right? It would be….except in the last decade, 47 exchanges have experienced severe data breaches and many went under as a result. In total, $2.72B has been stolen in crypto since 2012.
This affects the platform, the investors, and everyone who uses the exchange. Meanwhile, finding the perpetrator and getting back the stolen crypto doesn’t happen all that often.
How to Protect Your Digital Wallet
Blockchains are decentralized, encrypted ledgers that keep track of crypto and supposedly couldn’t be hacked. This year, however, has already seen over 20 breaches and $1.6B stolen from users, effectively proving blockchains are indeed exploitable.
What can users do to secure their assets? There are monitoring services for crypto theft, similar to network security software you (hopefully!) have set up to automatically notify you about suspicious activity. You should also make sure to double-lock your exchange accounts with multi-factor authentication so that hackers can’t break in to your wallet that way either.
When choosing an exchange platform for your online money, make sure the site you settle on is secure. Platforms can and should perform security and compliance audits regularly, to make sure that their systems are up to the fight against modern day cyber-threats.
When you put money online, bad actors will always follow. Exchange hacks are getting more popular, or at least the hackers are getting better at crashing through the defenses. Anyone using cryptocurrency needs to be careful when they’re buying and selling digital coins.
Protect your digital assets just as fiercely as you do your bank account or wallet! Hackers are getting savvier at stealing crypto. Don’t be on the next list of crypto users who lose all their digital money in a data breach!