Cryptocurrency is generally a very secure industry. Backed by the stalwart technology and security of the blockchain, crypto transactions are kept completely encrypted, ensuring assets are kept away from the prying eyes of potential fraudsters and firmly in the hands of their rightful owners. However, that’s not to say there aren’t ways that your crypto can be vulnerable when you’re online, and this is mostly true when you are completing a trade. Here are just a few things to look out for, and most importantly how to avoid getting stung by crypto fraud.
A recent report by the Federal Trade Commission of the United States highlighted the vulnerabilities of social media users towards cryptocurrency fraud. Social media is, after all, an active community of ordinary people — a world within a world, so to speak, and there are always certain things to look out for to ensure your safety and wellbeing online just as there is in the real world. Users lost approximately $770 million through fraudulent activities and schemes during 2021, and crypto scams in 2021 were 12 times higher in volume than in 2020. With that being said, there’s absolutely no reason why you should become a crypto fraud victim if you follow some basic steps to keep yourself — and your crypto — safe online.
First things first — get the basics right
To begin with, please, please, please, do not use the same password for your crypto account that you do for your Netflix or Instagram account. Make your password for your crypto platform of choice unique, random, and if you have multiple accounts, have multiple passwords. If you use Chrome, or Microsoft Edge, the browser itself can even generate a highly secure password for you — as can security apps like Dashlane, which allow you to unlock password access via Face ID. You won’t even have to remember the password either, as they will remember it for you and autofill it upon verification. If you really want to keep your assets safe online, don’t fall at the first hurdle!
Add Extra Layers of Verification
ZB’s digital trading platform has many authentication steps embedded into both its login process and its purchasing process. Logging into a crypto account and completing a crypto transaction should not be as simple as logging into a shopping account and buying a pair of trainers. All good trading platforms will provide you with the opportunity to fortify your account beyond the standard password — make sure this is available to you, and if it isn’t, we highly recommend that you find a platform that does support this (like ZB!).
Understand the Trading Process
This one sounds like it can be learned as you go along, but be warned — learning how to trade in a live environment carries its own risks. Here, it’s important to understand some basic principles with trading, and more specifically the platform you are trading on. Scope out what’s common to be asked for when executing a trade, what you should expect, and what’s not typical to be asked for and considered unusual. All of these particular things will help make you feel comfortable when completing trades and familiarize you with what the process should look like.
Complete Transactions in Full
Leave no room for doubt when you’re completing a trade, particularly when you are participating in OTC trading. Understand what the steps are for completing a trade, and do not deviate from them. This is particularly important when completing peer to peer trading, such as OTC, as you are then interacting with another human being. Always follow the instructions of the trading platform, and not the person you are trading with, to ensure you maintain basic security in your transactions. Top trading platforms like ZB will also embed further security protocols into their OTC trading services, and you should always look to opt for these platforms for these particular trades.
Watch out for Fraud Patterns
As stated above, it is critical that you only follow the instructions of the trading platform, and not those you are trading with. This is because they may look to manipulate trades, create urgency towards completing transactions that go outside of the remit of the trade you are participating in, and wrongly illicit funds from you when they have no right to. In particular, you must always be vigilant to:
- Fake notifications about completed transactions. Always ensure these are coming from the trading platform, and do not trust any other notifications
- Multiple orders of the same amount — fraudsters often do this and claim they have paid for the order in full when they haven’t
- Payment amounts matching the order amounts — keep an eye out for decimal points, and ensure that they are where they’re meant to be!
While cryptocurrency is one of the most secure means of transaction in the world, if you don’t pay attention to your own safety online you can leave yourself vulnerable to malpractice. Be sure to pay close attention to the steps listed above, and keep your account verified and secure at all times. With all that said, happy trading!