What Is The Safest Way To Buy Crypto?

2 Sep 2022 | Cryptocurrency news

Crypto crime has been around since the invention of blockchain. And it’s no wonder that as the crypto industry grows, so does the crime rate. Which means there is never a bad time to ask yourself – what is the safest way to buy crypto?

This article will explain why keeping your transactions secure is crucial – with some very real examples. And of course, we will give you practical advice on how to keep your money safe from unwanted hands.

Read on to get crypto-secured! 🔒👇

How much crime really is there?

2022 has been a rough year for crypto – most currencies experienced significant price drops in spring 📉. One may think that since the market declines, so does the crime rate. But this couldn’t be further from the truth! Take a look at the statistics:

Safest way to buy crypto - cumulative crypto value reeieved by criminals by year

According to the Chainalysis mid-year report, the monthly value received by illicit entities has expectedly slowed down. The bear market is to thank for that, of course 🐻. But despite that, the actual illicit crypto value is still among the highest in recent years, with an enormous potential for growth 🔼! 

And since our main focus today is securing your online transactions, we must address hacking. Check out this graph showing how much crypto is being hacked every month:

Safest way to buy crypto - cumulative monthly crypto stolen in hacks in 2021 & 2022

As you can see as of July 2022 hackers steal almost 2 million dollars per month. Compared to ~8 million dollars received by elicit entities monthly, hacking makes up almost a quarter of all elicit crypto activities. 

So what can we conclude from this data? Two things:

  • Despite headlines talking about decrease in crypto crime, the volumes are still high and will definitely grow in the future📈
  • Keeping your crypto assets secure is still a major concern❗

Now we know how much crime is really happening, but how can criminals actually steal your crypto? Let’s keep growing our awareness by looking at some real examples!👇

How do they do it?

There is no shortage of tried and true methods to gain access to someone’s crypto assets. For instance, public Wi-Fi networks are everywhere now, but they are not as safe as most of us tend to believe.

Take this case for example: a couple years back, a man in Austria lost over 100,000 EUR ($117,000) worth of Bitcoin simply by being connected to a restaurant’s public Wi-Fi network 💸. The crypto was moved to an “unknown, untraceable account”.

Imagine checking your crypto balance while having lunch, only to see that your wallet has been completely drained later on.

Let’s look at a more recent example. Just last month three men were arrested and charged with running a scheme involving fake ID’s and deceiving banks. The scheme worked like so:

  1. The thieves used fake ID’s to register accounts on crypto exchanges.
  2. They used these new accounts to “steal” crypto from themselves
  3. “Stolen” crypto was transferred to a cold wallet
  4. The bank was contacted about this “theft” and would give reimbursements to the thieves.

Simple, isn’t it? 🧐 By imitating crime and making the bank believe in it they stole $4,000,000 worth of crypto. Of course, there is not much use for crypto while you are sitting in jail. But this case demonstrates, among other things, the importance of keeping your documents secure, since this could’ve easily been done with your stolen ID. 🪪

Another time-proven method to steal digital assets? Fake apps. In July, the FBI released a report regarding the usage of fake apps to steal crypto, and it’s pretty shocking. The report states that:

  • In November ‘21, criminals defrauded two victims operating under a fake company name – Supayos. The full amount stolen is not known, but one of the victims lost $900,000🔻 to this scam.
  • Between Dec ‘21 and May ‘22, unidentified criminals stole approximately $3.7 million🔻 by pretending to be a legit US financial institution. They simply made an app that asked people to pay tax on behalf of that institution. 
  • Between Oct ‘21 and May ‘22, criminals stole $5.5 million🔻 operating under company name YiBit, which closed in 2018. Familiar scheme: fake company -> dodgy app -> stolen crypto.

As you can see, criminals don’t have to reinvent the wheel to steal a couple of millions worth of crypto. Most thefts happen because of the human factor.

And this is both a problem and an opportunity. Of course, we can see a definite lack of awareness when it comes to online safety. With that said, if a person knows what measures to take to stay secure, they can easily avoid most of the scams going around. 💪

Now let’s discuss what measures you can actually take protect your crypto.👇

So, What Is the Safest Way to Buy Crypto?

To answer this question, we compiled a set of simple, but effective measures to making your crypto transactions. Let’s begin with… 

1. Always Use a Secure Device

As we discussed before, digital devices are not very secure. Here are 3 simple steps that you can use to change that:

  • Use antivirus software on your PC. This is often disregarded as unimportant or trivial, but a modern antivirus, such as Malwarebytes, will significantly increase not only your security, but also your privacy, and maybe even save you electricity
  • Avoid using public networks for anything personal – it will blow over if you are lucky, but you never know who’s sitting next to you in a cafe.
  • Use a stronger password – probably everyone has heard of this by now, but don’t use your maiden name as your password. Make it hard to crack!

Having a secure device is good for overall online security. However if you are buying crypto, you might want to to…

2. Choose a Platform That Uses KYC/AML

KYC stands for “Know Your Customer”, and it’s a process that a crypto exchange can use to ensure that the person that is supposed to be you – is actually you 🤨

You are probably already familiar with this, showing a proof of ID when making a crypto transaction is precisely that – a KYC step. It is used to check if you are actually who you are pretending to be. 

Imagine – a criminal knows your bank card info and tries to make a transaction with it. If a crypto service provider has KYC implemented – they will fail. That’s because they would have to verify the transaction with your personal ID or passport, which they can’t. 

This doesn’t mean, that KYC is 100% fail-proof, but it adds an additional layer of protection that can be hard for criminals to overcome. Pretty nifty, isn’t it? 💪

AML, on the other hand, stands for “Anti Money Laundering” and involves any other measures that a company may take to keep their customers safe from theft. These can include risk assessments and transaction tracking among other measures of keeping malicious activities under control. 🛡️

So the takeaway here is: always check that the crypto service provider you choose has a solid KYC/AML policy in place. 

And the final advice for today is…

3. Check Who You’re Dealing With

This last step is very often overlooked, but it can truly save you a lot of money and worry. 

Think about it – if people would have simply searched for YiBit (from the scam described above), they would’ve seen that the company closed down years ago. Millions of dollars could be saved with a tiny amount of research.

We would recommend using a trusted and popular review platform, such as Trustadvisor. Here are some tips to get the most value out of it:

  • Check the overall rating – optimally, you should choose a company with 4 stars or higher. That is not to say, that a million people can’t be wrong sometimes. 😄
  • Read the actual reviews – check what people actually have to say about a company. Make sure the reviews are real – if there are hundreds of similar one-liners, it’s a point for suspicion.
  • Check if the company replies – addressing the issues reviewers mention and just talking back to customers is a sign of genuine care.

In Conclusion

It can be daunting to worry about the security of your crypto with every transaction. Believe it, we know 🙂. But awareness is the first step to keeping your money safe from malicious hands.

And to take some weight off your shoulders, let us recommend you a safe and responsible crypto exchange platform.

Guardarian is a place to buy and sell over 300 different cryptos. People all across the world choose us for our:

  • Fast and secure transactions ⚡
  • Zero extra costs 0️⃣
  • Over 5 different payment methods 💳
  • Amazing customer service 🤝

And of course, we take our security very seriously. Our KYC verification is fast and friendly while offering the best protection. And yes, we have a top-notch AML policy too. You bet.

So come check us out at www.guardarian.com for a crypto exchange that takes security seriously.

And remember – your crypto security lies in your own hands, so do your own research and stay safe! 😉