$7.7 billion of crypto was stolen in 2021—how to stay protected

Imagine investing your time in figuring out where you should invest your hard-earned money, and decide that cryptocurrency is where you’ll be putting your money where your mouth is.

 

Now imagine, that all your hard work dissipated and your money disappeared, as part of the $7.7 billion of crypto that was stolen in 2021, according to cybersecurity company Bitdefender.

 

Given that there are more than 15,000 digital currencies that are publicly traded, it’s no surprise that hackers are also setting their eyes on the proverbial dollar signs, but don’t worry, there are ways you can make sure you—and your investments—remain protected.

 

But first, we’ll start with the basics:

 

What is cryptocurrency?

 

A cryptocurrency, crypto-currency, or crypto is a digital currency designed to work as a medium of exchange through a computer network that doesn’t rely on a central authority of any kind—like a government or bank—to uphold or maintain it.

 

The total crypto market cap grew from $750 billion in 2020 to more than $3 trillion in late 2021, according to US News.

 

Some of the most popular cryptocurrencies include: Ethereum (ETH), Dogecoin (DOGE), Tether (USDT), Litecoin (LTC), and of course Bitcoin (BTC).

 

What is blockchain?

 

Blockchain is essentially a shared database that is distributed and then facilitates the process of documenting transactions and monitoring assets inside the nodes of a computer network. When it comes to blockchain, an asset can be anything tangible, like cash, property, or a physical good, or it can also be a non-tangible good, like intellectual property, NFT, or even copyrights.

 

A big part of blockchain’s appeal is that it’s decentralized, which simply means that no centralized middleman—such as a governmental organization or even a bank—is monitoring or arranging the system. Instead, transactions become verified and are later documented through a ledger.

 

Given that basically anything can be trailed and exchanged or bartered on a blockchain network, because blockchain networks store their data electronically in a digital format.

 

Blockchains have become much more prominent because of their crucial role in trading cryptocurrencies.

 

Is Blockchain secure?

 

Blockchain is considered to be very secure for many reasons, one of which is that blockchain networks can quite easily support the rigorous security compliances and conventions many companies require when sharing sensitive information.

 

An example of this is what’s become known as Blockchain certificate verification. A Blockchain certificate verification can be viewed by all participants within a given network both comfortably and securely, which is something that may be extremely critical for companies looking to both tighten the flow of internal information, as well as steer clear of potential hacks or data breaches.

 

To reach the meticulous security standards that many corporations and entities need, the development of blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) has become increasingly more popular.

 

BaaS is where an external entity builds and manages blockchain applications for different companies, kind of like how a freelance developer would create specific apps for different companies.

 

A simple example of BaaS would be how managed service providers (MSPs) use MSP software like a remote monitoring and management (RMM) platform in order to streamline security as well as provide an extraordinary level of on-demand support.

 

Is cryptocurrency a good investment?

 

Firstly, it’s important to note that we aren’t financial advisor or have any finance backgrounds, so while we’re very comfortable giving advice on how to create top-notch service level agreements, or what metrics can help you manage your MSP business, we aren’t as keen on giving out any investment or financial advice.

 

But what we are comfortable saying is what is probably the golden rule of investing: don’t invest anything you can’t afford to lose.

 

By investing in cryptocurrency, you can make a ton of money, but you can also lose a lot. Besides their volatility and the fact that investing in nearly anything you can never really know how the market will react, there are some differences between cryptocurrency exchanges and “regular” stock exchanges.

 

For starters, cryptocurrency exchanges are more vulnerable to being hacked than the more typical stock exchanges we all know (and maybe love). As such, cryptocurrency exchanges have increasingly become targets of security breaches, hacks, and thefts that have led to sizable losses, or as BitDefender put it, $7.7 billion worth in 2021, to be exact.

 

BitDefender’s tips to help you steer clear of crypto scams:

 

1.Too-good-to-be-true investments with guaranteed returns – we’ve all heard the expression “there isn’t any free lunch” so in this case, there probably aren’t any free cryptocurrencies either. Make sure to look out for scammers or hackers that make false promises and even guarantee or promise suspiciously high returns in addition to special early bird pricing for new emerging cryptocurrencies.

 

2.Crypto scammers contact you out of the blue – if all of a sudden you’re getting phone calls, text messages, emails, or social media DMs from people that you don’t know and have never heard of that include pressure tactics to manipulate you into investing in cryptocurrencies, it’s probably not a good sign.

 

3.The fraudsters ask you not to promote their investment opportunity – if someone makes you incredible promises about your return on investments but makes you promise not to tell others, something fishy is certainly going on. Wouldn’t they want more business or commission? Clearly you should think twice about investing in cryptocurrencies that you’re not to talk to anyone about…

 

4.Be wary of cryptocurrency giveaways – if a crypto giveaway is taking place on varying social media platforms, especially if they appear to be sponsored by celebrities, it’s probably a good idea to not give out any of your personal—let alone your crypto wallets—information in order to maybe maybe have a shot on winning a sketchy crypto giveaway.

 

5.Individuals on dating websites who give you tips on crypto investments – when meeting or speaking with anyone on the internet who you’ve never met before, you should be wary. But if speaking to someone on a dating site who then gives you advice on crypto investments or even asks you to invest with them, be extra cautious (or avoid them entirely).

 

Now that you know what cryptocurrency is, how secure Blockchain is, and what methods cryptohackers typically use, you can be sure to not be a victim of next year’s crypto thefts!