Have you ever felt like you are being spied on online? Are you worried that someone could be tracking your private keys when you are making a crypto transaction? You’re not paranoid – it’s likely the case. In this era of digitization, protecting your privacy from malicious hackers and authorities is paramount.
What do spyware, malware, keyloggers, governments, and the NSA have in common? They all have something to gain from prying into your life, and all of them are here to track your digital activities. The bad news is, they’re getting better at it each day.
This should alarm crypto enthusiasts especially, as we have seen in many cases hostility from governments towards this nascent industry. Coupled with the fact that significant financial sums could be at risk here, your crypto wallets are also attracting malicious actors. This article aims to shine a light on how you might be spied on right now, and what you can do to protect against it.
Crypto malware is on the rise
Cryptocurrencies have the potential to offer increased financial privacy through some-what anonymous transactions, especially when using privacy coins like Monero. However, this will be of no use if your transactions are already being spied on due to your computer being infected with malware. The attackers have no moral limits when it comes to their targets as can be seen by a recent case when cryptojacking malware was found on the Make-A-Wish charitable website.
These programs will track your every keystroke and send them to third parties. Considering that crypto wallets make use of private and public keys in order to grant access to funds, this is one piece of malicious software that you definitely do not want on your computer.
Not only does this software steal your data, but it does so while presenting itself as something useful, clever huh? So, while you may be enjoying your free crypto applications, you may also want to make sure that they do not come with hidden charges, such as your passwords and private data being collected by someone you won’t like.
Adware allows third parties to track the websites that you visit. The data will then be used for targeted advertising based on your browsing habits. With so many crypto scams out there, from fraudulent ICOs to shitcoin pump and dumps, do you want these types of adverts targeting you?
Every time you visit a site with ads, the advert distributor will collect a cookie which provides info on your identity. The bigger the ad distribution network, the more cookies they collect, and a more accurate picture they can paint of your online activities.
Whether or not this actually amounts to spying is up for debate, but it is certainly a sneaky violation of your privacy, and do you really want third parties knowing about your crypto habits?
Unsecured internet connections leave you vulnerable
While you may have security software and a firewall running on your computer, and an authenticated ISP connection, you may not know if the path your data is transmitted through over the internet is secure.
The online data packets you send or receive could pass through the networks of government agencies like the NSA, and other surveillance operations on the way to and from its destination. These spying organizations may not like the fact you’re using crypto and may also have the power to do something about it. Last year Iranian investors claimed they had over 500 Bitcoins confiscated by the U.S. government.
The best way to ensure that you are not being spied on right now due to an unsecured internet connection is through the use of a VPN. A quality VPN service will ensure that no third parties are identifying you by your internet traffic and tracking your behavior, as your connection will be hidden. A VPN will even prevent your ISP from being able to monitor you.
Anti-spy advice for crypto users
After reading the above, you may now be terrified to open your crypto wallet in case spies are watching over, eagerly waiting to rob you blind. However, with some simple protective measures taken, you can continue to participate in the crypto revolution that is unfolding and feel safe while doing so.
Here are my simple steps a crypto enthusiast should take to prevent themselves from being spied on:
- Disable third-party cookies! You can do this on most browsers such as Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Chrome by simply accessing the settings.
- Install Quality Security Software! Security software like Malwarebytes will help protect you from
cryptojackingand other malicious programs. It’s is worth investing a little for quality services and always remember to keep the program updated.
- Use a VPN service! A VPN will encrypt your internet traffic on the internet and therefore unlock the true anonymous potential that privacy coins can offer.
Credits go to TechWarn.com