One of the major merits of Web 3.0 is the added benefit of ownership, this means being able to own, track, and trade assets created on the blockchain. This could be digital art, a tweet, in-game items, crypto coins and many more. The way people interact with decentralized applications (dApps) built on a blockchain like Ethereum or Solana is through a crypto wallet. People that often transact on Web 3.0 generally have a few rules of thumb that they follow to stay safe when frequenting the many spots in the crypto space.
Web 3.0 has slowly moved into the mainstream with millions of users now transacting on the decentralised web. Crypto and blockchain adoption has seen a gigantic increase in the last few years, with the total transaction volume increasing over 500% in 2021 alone. This means that there is a massive increase in new users and money flowing in and out of crypto every year. Unfortunately, this also means that there are additional malicious actors that wish to profit from new entrants to the space. Since users now have the benefit of owning and managing all their digital assets on their own, the responsibility of its security also now rests in their hands.
How can I become less vulnerable to malware with my wallets, personal data, and when generally transacting on Web 3.0?
First and foremost, is the reliability and security of all the applications used to interact with dApps and the crypto space in general. Make sure the service provider is a trusted entity in the crypto industry and that their services contain all the essential and added security features.
It might not always be possible, but if so, try and keep all crypto-related activity to one device. Having a dedicated crypto device can greatly reduce the odds of exposing yourself to malicious actors. Users that browse the web and access unsafe websites might unknowingly download malware that can compromise the security of their wallets and devices. Keeping a good anti-virus online and up to date, as well as a VPN can help reduce vulnerabilities on the user’s side, keeping their crypto and personal information safe. When using your crypto wallet avoid public WiFi unless you have a VPN.
Users that keep all activity on one device should take extra measures to ensure they don’t expose themselves to these kinds of attacks. There are various types of malware that target crypto wallets and the assets contained inside. Users that want to connect to dApps should ensure they are always using official pages that are “https” secure.
Users should also be aware of phishing attacks that try to steal personal information. These can be in the form of links to “official” websites and support emails where information can be harvested when an unsuspecting user tries to sign in. Users should familiarise themselves with the different kinds of phishing attacks and their tell-tale signs. Some service providers allow users to enable an anti-phishing phrase that’s sent with emails to let users know the email has an official origin.
Security solutions for wallet protection
Since security mainly lies in the hands of the user, one of the other things a user can do is secure their wallet by creating a strong and complex password (private-key) or use a trusted password manager. The most common way attackers get to crypto is by getting their hands on the private keys of a user’s wallet. Wallet applications have additional security measures that users can enable to make getting into a wallet much more difficult; like biometrics and 2-factor-authentication (2FA)/multi-factor authentication (MFA). Some users have also recommended keeping multiple wallets so as to not keep all your eggs in one basket. One wallet is used for assets that want to be kept liquid and another (or multiple others) to keep the crypto safe you wish to HODL. Cold wallets/hardware wallets are usually a good solution to crypto that you don’t want to touch and can keep offline, far away from the hands of hackers.
When looking at users that hold crypto on an exchange, these services also usually have MFA, but they have additional security measures to keep crypto safe. These measures may be set to only allow transactions to whitelisted addresses or new addresses can only be transacted after a specified amount of hours.
Before connecting a wallet, downloading any files, or making any transactions one should make sure — as far as possible — the project you want to transact with is legitimate. A few simple checks can help users to sniff out a possible scam. A good place to start is to see if the project has a Twitter account, are the team members anonymous, and has anyone said anything about the project on Google or Reddit? Projects that have an audit certificate from a reputable audit company can also be a good indication if the project is a possible scam or not.
Education about the technology and the latest threats is paramount to continued safety. Threats in the crypto space are ever-evolving and so are the ways people can protect themselves. It’s highly recommended that users stay up to date with new threats and how they can protect against them. New users shouldn’t be overwhelmed or discouraged as there are millions of users that transact safely every day.
This article has been provided by Hacken as part of the security campaign for the PAID Network community.
Hacken is a fully-fledged cybersecurity ecosystem founded in August 2017 by cybersecurity experts, Big Four professionals, and white hat hackers. Hacken provides B2C, B2B, and B2G cybersecurity services to clients belonging to the blockchain, DeFi, and NFT ecosystems from Europe, Asia, and North America.
Hacken in figures:
>800 clients, including THORSTARTER, ConstitutionDAO, XTblock, Paribus, to name a few
>80 partners including Avalanche, Polkastarter, CoinMarketCap, Weld Money, CoinGecko, Solana Foundation, Simplex, to name a few
23/50 top crypto exchanges are Hacken clients
>$10B in users’ assets saved from being stolen by hackers
Strategic goal: get a 20% share in the Web 3.0 cybersecurity market by 2024.
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