10 tips to avoid scams and stay safe on the decentralized web

The advent of the centralized web marks a distinct technological advance for humans. When Tim Berners-Lee invented the web, he did not know that it would also become a tool for fraudulent activities. His innocuous invention was to project the world into a more civilized and interactive community where humans can relate to each other regardless of their differential geography. Unfortunately, this has also attracted nefarious users who embark on scamming people to steal their assets.

According to CNBC$5.8 billion was lost to fraudulent activity in 2021 alone, which is a 70% increase over what was reported in 2020. FTC reported that around 2.8 million people have been affected annually, with investment scams consistently topping the list.

Although there is no particular way to scam people on the web, these internet scammers employ typical schemes to get people out of their hard-earned money. Their notable strategy ranges from phishing to fake lotteries, romance scams, and catfishing as a result of identity theft, to mention just a few.

So how do I avoid scams and stay safe on the decentralized web, web 3.0?

Since scam is always about getting wealth from people illegally, what is crucial in web3 regarding scam is protecting the digital wallet where your assets are stored. Implementing the following tips will ensure that your wallet is safe and secure from scammers lurking on the web.

1. Make sure to download the official app or web extension

If you are downloading any web3 application or extension, make sure you download it directly from the website. Most scammers have cloned dummy apps that you shouldn’t fall victim to. To determine the uniqueness of the app, check the reviews, number of downloads, and developer information; this will reveal some red flags if it is a cloned app.

two. Never share your opening sentence

The seed phrase is used to retrieve or import your old wallet. If fraudsters get hold of your passphrase, they can access your digital wallet with it on another device, change your wallet password, and get rid of your asset. To avoid getting scammed through this, make sure your seed phrase is safe from prying eyes or unauthorized people and never reveal it to anyone.

3. Always use a new and strong password to protect your wallets and apps

Passwords are your pass to your wallets. It can be tiring to remember a series of unrelated passwords, so use a password manager to store your passwords for every app, website, wallet, and others that require a password.

Recycling the same password is risky. If someone has a password for one of your wallets and you are using the same password on all platforms, you can start testing them and gain access to your account. But if you are using a different password for different wallets or platforms, knowing one password will not compromise others.

Four. Use 2FA: two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication is another security model that ensures the protection of your accounts on platforms that use this authentication method. 2FA adopts two different modes or layers of verification of who is trying to get into your account.

When you log into your account after providing your password, you will receive additional login codes, most likely an OTP (One Time Password) to verify you haven’t been hacked. The OTP will be sent to your email box or mobile phone number, which only you are expected to access.

5. Avoid hyperlinks or web links from cold emails

Cold emails are usually spontaneous emails that you receive in your mailbox. Scammers may send such emails with web links that your account security will be compromised once you click on them. They can also cold mail with underlying malicious code, so avoid clicking on them before you even click to read.

6. Avoid downloading unsolicited files

Scammers may request that you download a jpeg or PDF file or documents. Do not click or download them if they seem strange or even innocuous to you. They are usually rigged with malicious code that could compromise your accounts and sometimes other wallets and accounts connected to your mobile device or computer.

7. Consider using a hard wallet to store your assets and secure the wallet

A hard or cold wallet is an external wallet that is not connected to the Internet. Since the internet is prone to hacking, hackers have no way of gaining access to your hard wallet except if they have it in their custody.

8. DYOR before engaging in any investment related monetary activities on web3

It would be better if you did not neglect due diligence before investing. Before investing in any project, do your research until you are convinced that there is nothing to fear. If you’re still in doubt but want to try your luck, invest what you can afford to lose.

9. Avoid juicy gifts or scandalous returns

Everyone loves gifts. Most scammers use these giveaways to lure users into their illicit project or investment scheme. They may propose outrageous APRs or APYs, as the case may be, to lure users from legitimate projects to their own. This is a marketing ploy for scammers, but a loss for unsuspecting victims who will be scammed.

10 Consult official channels when the need arises

Whenever you are having difficulty navigating through web3 or anywhere, always refer to official customer support for help. This is better than seeking help from unauthorized people on Discord, Twitter, or other social media platforms, who may be an underlying scammer or cyber criminal.

Securing an account that houses your wallet is paramount. Look for and abide by security measures, conventional or unconventional, that keep you safe from hackers or scam activities.

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*All investment/financial opinions expressed by NFT Plazas come from the personal research and experience of our site moderators and are intended as educational material only. People are required to fully research any product before making any type of investment.

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