ICOs sometimes get a bad rap. And while there’s plenty of blogs out there that help you spot the “bad” ICOs, we’re here to help you as a potential investor to be safe. Even if you find a reputable ICO that is worth investing, security should be a top priority. Hackers and other scammers have various stealthy techniques, and investors are top targets before and during an ICO. So, make sure you’re following these tips!
Don’t Reuse Passwords
There’s a lot of debate online on whether a long password or complex works better for securing accounts, cryptocurrency wallets, and so on. However, when it comes to password security, most security experts would agree that you should avoid reusing passwords at all costs. Are you the type to use the same password for every online account? If you are, hackers will have a much easier time cracking your password in just 1-5 attempts. This means your online accounts may be compromised, opening the door for hackers to impersonate you and funnel any ICO-related proceeds to their accounts.
Use Two-factor Authentication (2FA)
With techniques like phishing, networking sniffing, and keylogging, it’s no wonder that many security experts recommend enabling 2FA whenever possible. It’s an extra layer of protection that is backed by verifying an account through a secondary factor that the owner only knows or possesses (like a device). Even if your password has been stolen, there’s still a chance that your account isn’t completely compromised if you’re using 2FA. Not all 2FA needs to go down the SMS verification route. These days, Google Authenticator is rising in popularity; it can easily generate security codes for your device. Even if a hacker transferred your number to their device by fooling your cell phone company for example, with Google Authenticator, the hacker wouldn’t be able to gain access to your security codes.
Verify Code for Smart Contracts
As a potential investor of ICOs, you may already be familiar with smart contracts. Smart contracts are simply business contracts that work as small programs, which are defined, executed, and recorded as transactions on the blockchain. They essentially enforce the terms of the contract with cryptographic code, making them a viable choice among two parties who are engaging in ICOs because they also carry significant financial value. Because smart contracts run exactly as they are set up, errors can lead to loss or harm. Therefore, it’s not wise to engage in a smart contract without formal verification through the inspection of the code. Formal verification provides the highest level of confidence that the smart contract will run correctly. If your IT department can’t inspect the code or you lack the resources, consider hiring a trusted developer who will be able to check the code for you and your team.
Avoid Clicking Public Links
Are you a part of ICO chatroom? Platforms like Slack and Telegram are a great way to connect with the team members and developers of an upcoming ICO. However, because it’s public, anyone can join the conversation. This means they can also share malicious links that redirect you to sites intended to steal or credentials and gain access to your online accounts. While the conversation may move fast, avoid following links blindly — especially URLs that are shortened. One quick trick is right clicking the link and verifying that they originate from official blogs and websites.
Use SSL Encryption
Legitimate ICOs will have high quality projects — from its whitepaper to the product in the works. Having a working website is also important. Checking to make sure that the website is properly secured with encryption is highly recommended, especially when the website handles money or manages sensitive data. An ICO website that uses SSL gives visitors the impression that the website and creators are legitimate and can trusted since they took that extra mile to make sure that their website is safe for their potential investors.
As a potential investor, we understand your security concerns when it comes to engaging and participating in ICOs. A dependable ICO will make sure they are implementing the industry’s top security practices from smart contract security to SSL. But as an investor it’s also good to make sure you are practicing basic web safety tips too. Check back on our blog for regular updates as we updated you about our cybersecurity ICO set to launch its pre-sale soon!