Cybersecurity awareness month is coming to a close, but good security hygiene is a smart investment all year round. As crypto becomes more mainstream, cybercriminals who target crypto holders are also getting more creative and persistent. That’s why Coinbase’s security team has put together a simple guide for protecting your crypto and all the other valuable data you store online. Here are the takeaways.
- Use a password manager. Humans are really bad at remembering passwords, which is why too many of us choose simple phrases and repeat them across multiple websites. Password managers (like 1password and Dashlane) generate strong, secure passwords and store them for you — no memorization required. Use one. (Want to see if your passwords have been exposed by a known data breach? Check out haveibeenpwned.com.)
- Enable 2-factor authentication (2FA). 2FA can protect an account even if a hacker steals your password. There are several types of 2FA, ranging from less secure (SMS-based, where a verification code is sent via text message) to more secure (an app that generates verification codes like Google Authenticator) to most secure (a hardware security key like a Yubikey). We strongly recommend choosing a stronger method than SMS, because hackers can steal texts with a common method called “SIM-swapping” — in which your phone number is transferred to another device. If no other option is available, enable SMS 2FA — but if that’s not possible, consider using a different service.
- Protect your seed phrase. A seed phrase is a string of 12 to 24 words that is literally the key to a non-custodial crypto wallet like Coinbase Wallet or MetaMask. Anyone with access to your seed phrase has access to the crypto in that wallet. If you lose or delete your wallet, you can restore it with your seed phrase — but if you lose your seed phrase, you lose your crypto. (For many users, keeping crypto in the “hosted wallet” that comes with every Coinbase account is a more convenient option. You can add another layer of security without having to manage seed phrases by moving some crypto into a Coinbase Vault.)
- Don’t click that link! One of the most commonly used tactics by cybercriminals is SMS phishing. Phishing is a type of online attack in which a cybercriminal impersonates a legitimate entity or authority and attempts to deceive their target into clicking on a malicious link or attachment.
- Be wary of “airdrops.” If you’re a fan of NFTs or DeFi, you’ve probably encountered airdrops — in which a project rewards early adopters by sending tokens to their wallets. But in recent weeks, our security team has been tracking an ongoing phishing campaign involving airdrops. In the scam, randomly airdropped tokens appear in your wallet. If you try to interact with them, you’re prompted to connect your wallet to a website that looks like a DeFi app — but actually gives hackers permission to drain your holdings. To protect yourself, don’t interact with airdropped tokens from unknown sources, don’t connect your wallet to websites advertised by airdropped tokens, and don’t keep too much crypto in a wallet you regularly use to interact with crypto apps.
- Don’t make yourself a target. Don’t brag about your cryptocurrency holdings online, just like you wouldn’t advertise inheriting $50 million. Review your online presence and see how much personal information someone could learn about you to steal your identity. (The good folks at Consumer Reports put together this self assessment.)
Security incidents aren’t unique to crypto, but when they happen, Coinbase works with industry partners to mitigate negative exposure. By following these few simple guidelines on protecting your crypto, you can also play an important role in not only protecting yourself but also the entire crypto community.
Hackers keep getting smarter, but protecting your crypto is easier than you think was originally published in The Coinbase Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
Argentine Crypto Exchange Lemon Sheds Roughly 100 Jobs, Citing Challenging Industry Conditions
Lemon had planned to deploy almost the entire amount on its expansion in Brazil. Given the current context, its move into the South American country will be “more strategic and niche,” Cavazzoli said. The exchange put plans to expand into Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Uruguay by the end of 2022 on the back burner.
It’s time for crypto fans to stop supporting cults of personality
Many of the centralized cryptocurrency platforms that collapsed this year had something in common: a young, outspoken and cocky leader. Each gained outsized influence not by virtue of outsized intellect or talent but because of their piles of money and large Twitter followings. And each time, misplaced trust in their abilities resulted in disastrous consequences.
If crypto wants to avoid similar catastrophes in the future, it’s time for us to rearrange our leadership priorities. We need to ditch the cults of personality.
The theater of crypto on Twitter
Before FTX collapsed, founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) had garnered a reputation as one of the loudest voices in the industry. He was active in the political world and frequently commented on what was happening in Web3.
But perhaps most notable was his active involvement in a myriad of Twitter feuds and spectacles. SBF first stepped into the spotlight as the successor of SushiSwap after Chef Nomi abruptly abandoned the project — a drama that played out almost entirely on Twitter’s public stage. His ensuing Twitter antics, combined with the image of unstoppable success that FTX was broadcasting far and wide, gained him more than a million followers.
But even as SBF’s influence grew, it seemed he just couldn’t resist shitposting, regularly engaging with other Twitter users who threw stones.
Indeed, SBF’s penchant for Twitter drama played an important role in exposing FTX’s insolvency. It was his recent spat with CZ that ultimately led to the run on FTX’s deposits. His attention-grabbing antics carried on through the current ordeal, culminating in a bizarre series of cryptic tweets.
The loudest voices in the room
While SBF is the latest example of an industry figure whose highly public Twitter presence led to a highly public downfall, he certainly isn’t the first. Do Kwon and Su Zu, who were both at the center of monumental collapses earlier this year, were also notorious trolls. Do Kwon infamously sent an arrogant series of tweets just before Terra’s downfall, while Su Zhu’s infamously elusive comments during the 2021 bull run didn’t age well, either.
At our company offsite this week with all the drama happening. Debating who is the bigger villain in crypto:
a) Do Kwon – $58b loss from UST & LUNA
b) SBF – $10b missing deposits in FTX
c) Su Zhu – $3.5b loss from borrowers
d) Alex Mashinsky – $2.8b missing deposits in Celsius
— Bobby Ong (@bobbyong) November 10, 2022
But, the leaders of failed platforms aren’t the only ones guilty of social media braggadocio. Binance’s CZ, after all, was just as guilty as SBF of engaging in their public Twitter feud earlier this month. Digital Currency Group’s Barry Silbert, who has been at the center of alarm related to the FTX fallout, has also garnered a reputation as a shitposter.
There are many, many more tweeters who have used online spectacle and trolling as a means of controlling the industry conversation. Think Ben Armstrong (aka “Bitboy”) and Jim Cramer, to name just a couple more. There’s a small army of them. And, even though many are purged in each bear market, their successors are increasingly turning into powerhouses too vocal and influential to ignore in the space.
Jim Cramer said that he sold all of his crypto.
Then he blamed @APompliano for “putting him in” BlockFi.
So he… lied?
Now he’s on a crusade to blame anyone he can find for his own bad decisions, even “digital finance people,” which is literally a made up term. https://t.co/NTojFohvFQ
— The Wolf Of All Streets (@scottmelker) November 18, 2022
We need to end the cults of personality
So what’s the solution? How can we better identify this personality type and use this recognition to avoid future pain?
Instead of focusing on building cults of personality, the crypto community needs to focus on platforms and leaders building products that use web3 primitives to solve problems in a manner that’s orders of magnitude better than anything we’ve experienced before. The crypto community needs to stop listening to the loudest voices in the room and start listening to the wiser, more experienced ones — even if they are sometimes quieter. And by the same token, we need builders with experience in creating real value for users to speak up more.
Ultimately, the answer lies with us and with the people that we, as an industry, choose to lionize. We need to learn how to identify and support builders building transparent, secure, high-quality applications and decentralized applications — regardless of how many followers they have.
Corey Wilton is the co-founder and CEO of Mirai Labs, the international gaming studio behind Pegaxy. A renowned speaker and play-to-earn thought leader, he began his first company within crypto in 2018, a customer support service designed to assist cryptocurrency companies with their customer service.
This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal or investment advice. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.
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