Money and, more importantly, finances are a crucial aspect of participating in modern society. However, the concept of money is being transformed with digital solutions. Online banking solutions are offered as both extensions of traditional banking and as wholly digital entities such as PayPal. However, cryptocurrency provides even more flexibility and, most crucially, security. The features that make crypto more secure and anonymous are still ultimately products of the internet age, and it is therefore subject to many of the same weaknesses as the internet at large. Here’s what you need to know.
Encryption and Decryption
One of the trademarks of cryptocurrency is that it offers encryption that makes its use difficult to track. However, this isn’t the only way to use encryption to protect your digital finances. Encryption and decryption protocols such as TLS and SSL have long been necessary tools for safely navigating the internet. This is because the exchange of data online gives hackers a chance to intercept that data, potentially allowing them to commit identity theft. With encryption enabled, data can still be intercepted, but it will be in a scrambled state in which it provides none of its true value. Without this vital function of online security, not only is user data subject to theft, but also unsecure websites themselves can much more easily be hacked without the encryption of data during exchanges.
When browsing the internet, it’s important to pay attention to the security status of the websites you visit. By looking at the URL, you can determine the state of things. HTTP is the default state of each new website in which it lacks encryption. HTTPS, on the other hand, is strengthened by encryption protocols. You need to avoid spending too much time on unsecure websites, but it’s even more essential that you avoid downloading things, because unsecure websites are often riddled with malware that lies in wait for unsuspecting internet users. Malware is, in and of itself, another potential way that hackers can obtain your personal and financial data, because many malware programs are designed with the intent to feed your data to hackers in secret.
In keeping with the anonymity of cryptocurrency, another essential cybersecurity tool is the VPN. Virtual Private Networks can help to anonymize your online presence as a whole, and they do so by obscuring your IP address. A given user’s IP address functions not unlike an ID card that distinguishes one user from another. There are many reasons for which this kind of identification is necessary, but it can also be used against you. Hackers can track you by using your IP address, giving them a way to find and potentially infiltrate your device or your network.
A VPN functions as a simulated network that you can connect to between your device and the broader internet. By doing this, you are effectively changing your location of origin and, with it, your IP address. This helps to keep your identity anonymous, and it also helps to reroute any hackers that might be on your trail to what is effectively a dead end. Another benefit of using a VPN is that it can allow you to customize and even change the nature of the simulated network. Often, this means that you can indicate a different point of origin, up to and including that of a different country altogether. This makes your ability to hide even more dynamic, allowing you to potentially lose hackers that have your scent completely by refreshing your anonymous identity. VPNs also typically feature additional cybersecurity features, such as antimalware software, making them even more valuable in today’s digital landscape.
Embracing cryptocurrency can be anxiety inducing, because it can be hard to understand, both in terms of the advanced technology at play and of the evolving legal status of the concept of crypto itself. However, the security it offers is certainly enticing, although it will take some additional work on your part to ensure that that security is fully realized. These tips can help you get the most bang for your buck.