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Your Bitcoin and Ethereum is in Danger: Protect Yourself From Hackers

Written By Alexandra Perry

Posted June 8, 2017

Ethereum has broken out of the $250 range. The digital currency shattered its weekly high of $267 and is now sitting around $275.

With momentum like this, we will likely see it climb over the weekend.

Plus the token is getting a lot of buzz.

It’s rumored that the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) will add new members on Monday. This rumor is not confirmed, but rumor and media acknowledgment does encourage Ethereum buying.

Either way, the EEA rumor came out hot on the heels of adoption news from Russia and other national governments. So your best bet is to buckle your seatbelts and enjoy the ride.

Which is why today’s article about digital currency protection is so important

The Verizon Ethereum Hack

This week, one hacker managed to steal $8,000 in digital currency from a Verizon customer.

And it all happened through a phone number.

In fact, the hacker didn’t even need personal information or pins. He extracted one billing record and was able to convince a Verizon representative to turn over the phone number to him. From there, stealing thousands of dollars worth of digital currency was easier than taking candy from a baby.

And the worst part? This could happen to anyone.

I come from a software development background, which means I can appreciate a well-executed hack. Not saying I am a hacker, but I am continually impressed with the ingenious ways that hackers manage to extract income from internet users.

In my eyes, the rise of internet hacking offers one positive: Investors are finally beginning to secure their online assets.

You wouldn’t leave your wallet unattended in a bad part of town, would you? Well, dozens of digital currency investors do this every day. The whole internet is a “bad part of town.” This is why it’s so shocking that 90% of internet users don’t take protective measures.

I don’t say this to detour you from digital currency. I have no doubts that digital currency security will get better in the future, and the profit-to-risk ratio is too good to pass up at this early stage.

Plus there are things you can do as an individual to protect you from theft. In the coming weeks, I am going to focus on some of the steps you can take to protect digital currency. Not everyone wants to crawl up in a bunker with an encrypted flash drive. There are far easier ways to boost account security.

For today, I want to focus on the newest security features offered by Coinbase.

Coinbase Google Authenticate

If you’re like me and obsessively check your digital currency accounts like a teenage girl does Instagram, you probably noticed some big changes this week.

Starting Monday, Coinbase started encouraging its users to move away from the current two-step authentication process. It prompted its members to use Google Authenticator, which protects users in cases of phone number theft.

I know, I know — setting up Google Authenticator is incredibly irritating. You have to download an application (God, forbid), and then you have to use it.

But Coinbase makes the process simple. You start by going to the website’s security preferences.

From there, you log in the way you always do. Coinbase will then present you with a QR code, which you’ll scan with the Google Authenticator app.

You can download the Google Authenticator here.

Once you get set up, you will be able to log into Coinbase through the authenticator.

Basically, your phone number has been replaced by the application.

This will shield you against phone theft, like what happened to our poor Verizon customer above. And it will offer another protective layer so that people can’t seize your online account by obtaining limited personal information.

Other Forms of Security

I could sit here and talk about online security all day. That is why I decided to commit to a few articles that will cover how you can protect yourself on other exchanges.

But if you have Coinbase, make sure that you have Google Authenticate set up by the end of the week. And make sure your password is something original, with a combination of both numbers and letters. Keep a record of that password on a written slip of paper instead of an online account.

Other security methods that we’ll cover are a bit more complex: Like setting up your own Ethereum wallet. But these things will become more important as the digital currency sector picks up speed. The more money you have in your house, the most appealing it will be to a thief.

Stay tuned for updates. You can ask me questions on Twitter at @AlexandraPerryC.