Paul Walsh


Why we should show more compassion for people who lose their crypto through phishing scams

Yesterday Ernst & Young reported that more than 10% of $3.7 billion raised in ICOs has been stolen. Phishing was the most widely used hacking technique for ICOs, with hackers stealing up to $1.5 million in ICO proceeds per month, according to the report. This is the #1 problem that MetaCert is addressing — helping to protect some of the biggest crypto communities in the world inside Slack. So it’s a topic I’m more familiar with than most.

I write a lot about cybersecurity in the crypto world and how companies and investors can stay more safe from phishing scams and other forms of attack. Today however, I’d like to write about a holistic topic — compassion.

I’ve noticed founders and employees who work for crypto companies, especially wallets and exchanges, speaking down on people who have lost their crypto in a phishing scam. I won’t link to them as I otherwise respect how they run their businesses.

Most people don’t read instructions.

I would like to remind everyone that we are all human. We all make mistakes. There isn’t a single person in the crypto world or beyond, who hasn’t made a silly mistake at some point in their career. And we all have more mistakes ahead of us. The trick is trying not to make the same mistake twice.

It doesn’t matter how often you tweet advice about anti-phishing techniques and tools to your techie followers. The vast majority of people buying and selling crypto don’t read your tweets and they most certainly don’t read your reddit posts. Well, some of them do. But you get my point.

By blasting people and making fun of them for making “stupid mistakes”, you only make yourself look mean and horrible. Even if it’s not your company’s fault, there’s no need to tell people that it’s their own fault for not following your instructions. It’s possible to show compassion without accepting responsibility for their actions — however “stupid” they were. Most people don’t read instructions.

By demonstrating more compassion, everyone benefits. You will feel better for it, the people who lost their crypto will feel less stupid and ashamed and everyone witnessing on the sidelines, will respect you a lot more for how you deal with such situations.

Cybersecurity and in particular, phishing, is growing exponentially and will be a VERY serious problem in 2018 — much worse than traditional email phishing. In the security world we have a saying — “it’s easier to attack than it is to defend”. We are all open to attack. All of us are a target in the crypto community, so let’s show each other more support moving forward. Without the “stupid crypto enthusiasts” none of us would be working in this field. So let’s be thankful to them and each other.

If you witness someone being nasty towards people who have lost their hard earned money, feel free to link them to this post in the hope they’ll change their tune.

Thanks ✌️ ❤️ 🙂

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