In recent years, cryptocurrencies have exploded in popularity, with valuations going through the roof. Because of this, even mainstream investors have jumped aboard the crypto bandwagon.
However, the news is not all good, as hackers and scammers have recognized how lucrative digital assets can be. Consequently, cybercriminals looking to steal cryptos often target crypto exchanges and wallets. Of course, if you download one of the top 5 safest crypto wallets you will likely have no troubles, but you still show look out for some dangers.
As cryptocurrencies are 100% unregulated and totally decentralized, it is nearly impossible to recover any stolen assets. This situation is not helped by the pseudonymous nature of cryptocurrencies, making it difficult to track crypto transactions.
Risks of Using A Crypto Wallet App
So, if you’re looking to make use of a crypto wallet app, you should at least be aware of these risks:
The wallet app could get hacked
As I’ve mentioned above, hot wallets have become a favorite target of hackers looking to steal cryptocurrencies. The same also applies if you’re using a wallet app to store your portfolio of digital currencies.
When that happens, there is the real risk that a hacker can transfer out your cryptos without you knowing.
You may accidentally download a fraudulent app
Fraudulent apps look and behave exactly like the real thing. But the only difference is that a hacker can use them to spy on you and even steal your cryptocurrencies. There have been instances where hackers have used fake apps to obtain sensitive information, such as TAC numbers, to bypass 2FA security procedures.
This is especially prevalent in the Google Play store where there is an absence of rigorous QA testing. Scammers often advertise these fake apps on social media such as Facebook and Tik Tok to lure in unsuspecting victims.
As a rule of thumb, if an app looks suspicious, then it probably is. Also, keep in mind that reviews cannot be trusted sometimes. So, instead, you should do your own research before downloading a particular app.
Mobile devices can get infected with malware
Another risk that comes from using a crypto wallet app comes from your very own mobile device. Like PCs, mobile devices, both Android and iOS, can be infected with viruses and malware.
And these harmful applications can do all sorts of nasty things to your mobile device, such as stealing your login information and tracking your online activity. From here, the perpetrators can access any apps you have installed on your phone or tablet — including your crypto wallet.
They can then use this information to steal your cryptocurrencies without you even knowing, which is why you must stay away from dodgy websites at all costs. If you’re a hardcore crypto investor, consider purchasing a separate device entirely for mobile crypto transactions, one for work and another for leisure.
The same applies to performing transactions with your crypto wallet app on public Wi-Fi, where hackers can perform man-in-the-middle attacks or install malware on your device.
Your mobile device could get stolen
Nowadays, most of us rely on our handphones or mobile devices for just about everything. So when a phone gets stolen, it often becomes a nightmare.
This is why it’s important that you keep your mobile phone secure at all times. Failing that, ensure that your crypto wallet has 2FA or two-factor authentication enabled. With 2FA enabled, a thief cannot perform transactions with your crypto wallet even if they somehow manage to obtain your login credentials.
While cryptocurrencies are one of the hottest investments, their decentralized nature exposes them to several risks, with hackers being one of them.
Taking the right precautions to stay safe can easily protect you from falling victim to cyber theft. And this includes practicing good security hygiene and staying alert.