One of the greatest strengths of cryptocurrency sometimes plays out to be its greatest undoing. If you are a Bitcoin user, one of the reasons you prefer it over the traditional measure of value is because digital currency affords you anonymity.
It is very rare that a digital currency account can be hacked into and your coins stolen. This is because there is no information provided to any party. Other than anonymity, the other reason why users resort to digital currency is because it is a fast, secure and easy way to make transactions; this is to say that security is a factor.
Traditional bank accounts require that you provide personal details which will then be linked to your accounts. This is not the case when using cryptocurrency. What you need to have a digital wallet is just your email and encryption password; which has nothing to do with your personal details. This means that your digital currency is not directly linked to your name and address. The implication here is that if anyone gets their hands on your precious coins, they are no longer yours.
The other thing is that digital currency is recognized through codes that are assigned to a coin. If that coin has to be divided into smaller fractions, then these fractions bear their codes as well. The ownership of the coins is attached to the bearer of the codes. Being that as it may, you cannot tell the difference between coins that have been obtained through legal trading and those that have been stolen through hacking wallets.
So here is the harsh reality – if you are hacked, then there is very little you can do to get back your coins, as they are simply no longer yours. The reason you use the alternative currency is because they are not regulated by any central agency. This means that no government or law enforcement agency has the ability to lock down the currency, let alone trace it.
Is there no hope at all?
Some cryptocurrency wallet companies or currency exchange facilitators may reimburse all or part of the account. This may happen if the hack occurred because it was their fault and not yours. But again, since this is an unregulated industry, the chances of a full reimbursement are quite slim.
What about reporting to police?
You might want to report the loss to the police because they can actually follow a trail. The trail can only be followed using the IP of the transaction requester but there is nothing much that can suffice from this kind of action because you can actually tamper with your IP, and therefore, it is unreliable.
As far as the police are concerned, someone stealing your precious coins is more or less like someone grabbing your profile picture on an internet forum. That, together with the fact that Bitcoins have no intrinsic value means that it is less likely that a hack into a crypto coin wallet would be treated as a crime.
Here is what you can do moving forward to avoid falling victim to cryptocurrency theft yet again:
Check your computer security
Hackers collect passwords using malware that has found its way and become installed into your computer. Regardless of the operating system in place, you need to ensure you have a reliable anti-malware and anti-virus. Keep these up to date.
Upgrade your encryption
Make sure that you encryption codes are active and strong enough to keep hackers at bay. A strong password is not necessarily one that is hard to remember but one that is hard to guess or figure out. Always be sure to use information that has nothing to do with you including pet names, age, favorite foods, etc.
Avoid transacting through that wallet
Once your wallet has been hacked, its security is compromised so you should avoid using the same wallet for further transactions. You either have to source another wallet service or hold your transactions to avoid further losses.
Store your coins offline
Storing your coins on an offline or cold storage will make you less vulnerable to hackers. Online access to your crypto coins should only be allowed when vital transactions are taking place.
You should also ensure that you turn your computer and other internet usable devices off and all your passwords are properly secured.
Ask your third-party wallets about their provisions for offline storage. Many exchanges do not have provisions for protection and offline storage; it is wise to go with exchange platforms that will allow you to store your coins offline and retrieve them fast and conveniently.
Online security is much dependent on the user more than the exchange platform. You get to determine just how easy or hard it will be to get to your hard earned coins.
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