2021 was a pretty great year for crypto. Adoption was on the rise, and cryptocurrencies are poised to play a significant role in how people spend.
A recent survey shows one out of 10 Americans wanted to send cryptocurrencies to their loved ones for the holidays. It makes sense. Cryptocurrencies see significant price gains over time.
Now, people want to use their cryptocurrencies to pay for stuff, and more and more retailers are accepting crypto to help attract and accommodate customers.
That said, it's essential to learn how to protect ourselves in the upcoming year. Hackers and thieves are always lurking. So, if you have cryptocurrencies or plan to buy some, keep the following in mind:
Optimize Mobile Security
Your mobile device is only as safe as you are. We all know we should avoid free Wi-Fi networks, especially at public locations. But, you should also keep the following in mind:
- Secure your mobile wallets: If you have mobile wallets, be sure to secure them well. Use a combination of biometric security and two-factor authentication to ensure that no one but you can access the wallet.
- Continually update your software: Most software updates come with improvements to security infrastructure. Always heed these updates when notified.
- Try getting a VPN: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) offer encrypted tunnels where you can protect yourself. Besides just changing your location, this makes your device harder to crack. But, make sure to use paid VPNs. Do your research to find the top-rated VPNs and give them a shot.
Be Vigilant While Online
One of the most popular ways to use crypto in 2022 is to shop online. But online platforms store your data and could be points of interest when a hacker comes along. So, vigilance while shopping online can't be overemphasized.
Some of the safeguards you should practice while online include:
- Use virtual wallets: If the shopping site allows it, use a virtual wallet. These wallets encrypt your information, so no one gets your details when you make a purchase.
- Avoid suspicious online ads: Many hackers use adware to steal your information. Even if you get an ad in your mail, double-check to see if it's from your retailer, or avoid it altogether. Don't be quick to click on ads.
- Don't open email attachments: If you get an email from an unknown source and it comes with an attachment, don't open it. Phishing attacks were especially prominent in 2021. If you see a suspicious attachment, delete the email and move on.
- Use official retailer apps: Apps are better when it comes to protecting payment information. If you have a retailer you patronize regularly, get their app and shop from there.
- Beef up your password: As usual, you should always use a strong password when you're shopping. Try using a password manager, so you can set random and complex passwords and save them. Always decline if a retailer offers to store your login information—the less information they have about you, the better.
Watch Out for Identity Theft
If you want to protect yourself and your loved ones from identity theft, share these tips:
- Don't give out your wallet address: No one will ask for your wallet address or credit card number to confirm a purchase. If anyone does, decline.
- Use a Bitcoin tumbler: Bitcoin tumblers are services that mix up your wallet information when you make transactions. This way, it becomes impossible to track you through your wallet. Tumblers might delay your transaction a bit, but are worth it.