Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology is often touted as the most secure way to make financial transactions. While that’s true to some extent, you’re not completely safe just by using it.
Suppose someone wanted to hack their way into a blockchain to make fraudulent changes to the ledger. In that case, they’d have to hack thousands of individual nodes simultaneously—something which is pretty much impossible. And if someone did have the resources to do it, there are much easier targets worth their while.
This is why it’s much easier for hackers to target users and crypto exchanges. There is no end to the stories of crypto users and exchanges falling prey to hackers. And once your coins are sent from your account, it’s gone, often without a trace.
Along with security risks, your identity is not entirely secret, either. There are ways to link your IP address with a bitcoin address and identify you, likewise with anti-money laundering checks and KYC checks required by exchanges, you MUST identify yourself by sending in verification documents.
If you want to keep your information and identity as secure as possible, you may find the answer lies with a VPN.
When you’re working with cryptocurrency, you’re walking amidst a minefield of security risks, and just like a mine, you won’t see it until it’s too late. Before we get into the details of what a VPN is, why do you need one, let’s take a minute to quickly look at some of the most common cryptocurrency hacks that affect thousands of people every day.
Your offline wallet is a risk – Offload wallets are advertised as the safest way to store and handle your cryptocurrency as it’s a physical device that isn’t connected to the internet all the time. But programs that act as a Trojan Horse like Pony Loader 2.0, a nasty piece of malware, were updated to steal information from wallets on infected devices. Your physical device can also come pre-installed with malware if you don’t buy from a legitimate seller.
Your device is infected – Thanks to the proliferation of smart devices, cloud computing, and near-limitless Internet availability, all of your devices are connected. If you don’t use necessary security steps while surfing the net and downloading apps, you may inadvertently infect your machine with viruses and malware. Because all of your devices are connected, it won’t take long for the infection to spread. Sometimes the damage is minimal as the hacker is trying to steal your data to sell to 3rd parties, but not always.
Fraud currencies – The currency itself may be a fraud operation to lure investors and then steal their money. Early investors are often incentivized by the charm of low prices and even special deals.
Fraud exchanges – The crypto exchange itself may be one giant fraud operation. By pretending to operate as a legitimate exchange, criminals can lure thousands and thousands of users before running off with their currency.
Social hacking – More often than not, most successful hacks occur because of social engineering. By using social media and other communication tools, hackers can access your accounts by tricking you into giving them important information or breaking into your account if you have weak login credentials.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) helps to grant you anonymity and secure your online activities by creating a virtualized private network over the internet. It works by creating an encrypted tunnel between your device and the server’s location (physical server or cloud-based server) and uses those credentials instead. If anyone is snooping on your activity, they won’t see your IP address, but the address of the server.
Another major benefit of using a VPN is it encrypts all your data traffic. Traffic sent over an encrypted network, such as WIFI, allows anyone to see the data. But if it’s encrypted, they can’t unlock what’s hidden behind the scrambled data.
Due to the sensitive nature of dealing with cryptocurrencies and the lack of solid online defenses users like yourself have at your disposal, a VPN can help protect yourself and your devices from threats.
A VPN can help by:
Just like cryptocurrencies, not all VPNs are created equally. Some of the most important factors you need to look for in a VPN are: