Hackernoon logoWhy 2020 Could Be A Bad Year for Crypto HODLers? by@ks.shilov

Why 2020 Could Be A Bad Year for Crypto HODLers?

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@ks.shilovKirill

Blockchain enthusiast developer and writer. My telegram: ksshilov

2020 is a rough year for everybody. I don’t want to add another article on the pile of articles about the coronavirus pandemic, but what I’m about to say next is happening, first of all, due to the current worldwide situation.
First, the good news! The total market capitalization today is the same as two and a half months ago (~ January 1st) when the economy was unaffected by global events. While the majority of stock investors are losing big chunks of their investments and the EU and the US are printing money to stop the decline, your cryptocurrency funds are keeping their value. Maybe you were expecting more action this year after two years into the lows, especially with the halving happening soon but, let me tell you something – you are doing better than the majority and that’s a win in the investment business!
Now, the bad news and why you, as a cryptocurrency owner, are at risk to lose everything during this period!
The past few weeks had, most likely, a huge impact over your life and, more specifically, on how you are spending your days. With most outside entertainment places closed and the social distancing awareness in place, you might find yourself spending more time on your devices than before. Actually, the time each person spends on their phone almost doubled during the lockdown, according to the Apple screen time report
Some just discovered Zoom as a substitute for in-person meetings, some prefer to binge-watch their favorite TV series on Netflix, and some are actively working remotely from the comfort of their home. During these unusual circumstances, I won’t even dare to point fingers and remind you about the medical risks you are exposing to. I’m sure that you are very aware of these.
Anyway, most of you are not aware of the cybersecurity risks you are directly exposing your devices during this period. If your screen time doubled, be sure that your risks quadrupled (at least!) Here are the main reasons:
  1. Cyberattacks are directly related to the activity and software you are actively using at the time of the attack. For example, Zoom was the subject of personal data leaks and with the absence of end-to-end encryption, the privacy concerns are rapidly increasing.
  2. Black hat hackers are under self-isolation as well. But instead of watching movies or having video calls, they prefer to spend their time trying to hack into your devices.
  3. Actually, you don’t even need to be a programmer or even be tech-savvy to steal credentials, data or cryptocurrency. On the dark web, digital currency stealing malware is sold for as little as $2 and, guess what, the sales for such products increased lately.
  4. In 2019, hackers have stolen $1.1 billion worth of cryptocurrencies. 
  5. In the first quarter of 2020 alone, more than 907.000 Covid-19-related threats were registered.

How can you protect yourself in 2020?

Given the recent data, you should prepare for the worst. There is no such thing as ‘too secured’. Security is security and combining good practices with utility tools could make you less of a target and protect your data and, more importantly, your digital assets.
Source: xkcd.com
Starting from this premise, I scraped the internet for the most complete software solutions that could get your digital environment from 0 to a virtual fortress that could scare away even the most determined hackers. No matter where your security level is right now, these applications can help you increase it and keep you up to date in this fast-moving space. And the best thing is that they are either free or only cost a few dollars a month, which is incredibly underpriced given the amount of money you could lose if an attacker would get access to your private keys.
Norton 360 with LifeLock Select – I’ll start with a well-known name, Norton which partnered with LifeLock and created a suite of products that could offer you identity theft protection. The traditional device security software is included in the package: antivirus, firewall, cloud backup, password manager, VPN. All under Norton’s approval and developed by their cybersecurity experts. 
What’s new, though, and here’s what LifeLock brought to the mix is the dark web monitoring service that sends you alerts if any breaches related to your email addresses or card credentials have been found. From this point, an entire restoration process should start where the company is helping you with assistance and legal support.
However, the whole strategy of this package (which is available for $9.99/month) is around trying to recover your data and funds AFTER you’ve already been exposed. It’s true that you have an antivirus in place, protecting you day and night (and consuming resources while doing so) but these solutions don’t have a 100% protection rate and I doubt Norton and its lawyers would be able to do anything if the hacker already transferred your crypto away.
Rubica – The company began as a research-and-design project and today is offering a complete product focused on keeping you secure. The company believes that a software solution is not enough (so do I.) While Norton has a team ready to help you restore any lost data or recover funds, Rubica is offering human support 24/7 in order to assist you in the continuous battle against hackers, viruses, and unforeseen events.
Imagine a team of highly trained cybersecurity experts helping you set up a secured digital environment. Seems ideal. Anyway, I can easily see some flaws in this approach too. While the human component is essential to make contextual decisions, in the end, you are going to make these decisions. Of course, you can ask their experts anytime (24/7 support, right?) but that will only lead to taking more time becoming a chore. Cybersecurity is not hard to learn and apply in your day to day activities. They are making it as it is. Plus, I don’t want to mention that probably the tools they are helping you to set up are from their own suite and they might not be able to help you with anything outside their own products.
HackenAI – New product, new company, and decentralized! You hear me correctly, their solution is focused on cryptocurrency-related protection. They might be new on the market, but the team has vast experience in cybersecurity. There’s no surprise that they are already partnering with CoinMarketCap (their only cybersecurity partner), Etherscan, TradingView, and many other companies you most likely heard or even used their products.
All these signs are pointing out to an increased number of cyberattacks this year - which is already happening right now:
I apologize for the FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) but there’s no other way to explain the importance of cybersecurity and the huge risk that you are exposing yourself to if you are not taking it seriously - especially if you own cryptocurrency.
You don’t need to be an active trader or to own a large amount to become a target. According to studies, if you are a new cryptocurrency investor you have the profile for the perfect target. Getting started is when you make the most mistakes. If you are a veteran, don’t relax yet. Hackers won’t spare you either!
The author is not associated with any of the projects mentioned.

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