Stealing Bitcoins. How Does This Happen and How to Protect Yourself?

steal bitcoin

In the cryptocurrency industry, unfortunately, quite often there are thefts and deceptions of ordinary investors. For example, last year the NiceHash site, which was engaged in selling and renting its own mining capacities, was hacked and about 60 million dollars were lost from its accounts. It is meaningless to deny, there are many scammers on the market, but it is not entirely correct to say that digital coins are unreliable. Often people, because of their own misunderstanding of how the blockchain and coins, in particular, are arranged, help themselves to steal.

To retain your digital assets, you do not need to be a specialist in cryptography or an advanced financier, just follow the simple rules of security and backup. In this article, we will talk about the popular methods of stealing bitcoins and find out how to protect ourselves from each of them.

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  1. Fake Wallets
  2. Extortion programs
  3. Phishing
  4. Conclusion

1. Fake Wallets

The theft of bitcoins by this method has recently lost its former popularity, but this does not mean that it should be forgotten, warned means armed. So, fake wallets are fake sites or even entire applications for iOS and Android, whose interface resembles the most popular services (logos, fonts, design, etc.). There have been cases when the application with viruses was moderated even in the Google Play Market.

The scheme here is extremely simple: a person downloads an application or visits a site and, without suspecting anything, passes their login and password into the hands of scammers. The rest is paperwork, they try to clean the trustful user as soon as possible.

In order to protect yourself from such an unpleasant scenario, you should carefully check the services to which you enter your personal data. If the application is in popular app stores (App Store, Play Market) this does not mean that they are genuine. Always look at the address bar of the sites you are visiting. If some service causes even the slightest suspicion, don’t log in it under any circumstances. It is better to spend extra 15 minutes to verify the authenticity of the wallet.

2. Extortion programs

This is the most popular way to steal bitcoins, which has been quite successfully used by hackers recently. Technically, this is not quite theft, since the victim decides whether to pay or not. It’s more like extortion and blackmail. The technique is simple: the victim’s computer is exposed to a virus that blocks her personal files. Malicious software tells the user that his\her files will be deleted after a certain amount of time if he\she does not transfer an unlimited number of bitcoins to the specified wallet.

As a rule, such programs are hunting large companies or state structures that cannot be categorically out of the working process for a long time. Such viruses are designed in such a way that independent treatment is almost impossible; it plays on the nerves of the victims and encourages them to pay the ransom.

But you should not relax, because no one is protected from such an attack and the computers of individuals were also infected. To protect yourself from extortionists, you need to follow a few simple rules:

  • do not go through questionable links;
  • do not open or under any circumstances download files from untrusted sources;
  • acquire a license for a good antivirus program;
  • backup important files to external media on a regular basis.

All this will make you practically inaccessible for hackers, and even if infected, you will not lose your important files.

3. Phishing

This method is somewhat similar to the first one, but it is more thoughtful and is based on social engineering. There are a few variations of how the scammers crank, but usually, their main tool is e-mail. They send people letters which are very similar to official inquiries from popular services with the request to confirm their data. To avoid falling into the bait of scammers, carefully filter incoming messages, look at the sender’s contacts and do not go over questionable links.

4. Conclusion

Scammers do not slumber and constantly come up with new ways of manipulating and deceiving ordinary users. There are also advanced hackers who are able to steal the bitcoins on the exchange. It is impossible to defend against such force majeure; the only thing that can be done is not to store more than 10% of its assets on exchanges.

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And you can easily protect yourself from all the methods of stealing digital coins mentioned above, if:

  • you carefully refer to the resources you are migrating to;
  • use antivirus software;
  • take care of backing up important files to external media.

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