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Cryptocurrency Identity & Data Security For Beginners

“Most hackers are young because young people tend to be adaptable. As long as you remain adaptable, you can always be a good hacker.” ― Emmanuel Goldstein

"Social engineering has become about 75% of an average hacker's toolkit, and for the most successful hackers, it reaches 90% or more." -  John McAfee

 

Hackers are EVERYWHERE in the crypto-space! So if you’re going to get into Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, you might as well use this as an opportunity to “up” your data and identity security game.

In today’s post/video I’m going through my bulletproof process for protecting and fortifying your online identity and data security, whether you’re brand new to cryptocurrency OR if you’re looking to up your overall online security practices.

Let’s get into it...

Hey friend, it’s Brad Long here with ZeroDebtCoach where we help 5 and 6 figure corporate burnouts escape their corporate nightmare by teaching them how to effectively: 1) organize and optimize their financial lives, 2) obliterate debt and 3) accelerate toward financial independence by starting and growing an online business.

  

Security MUST BECOME A Top Priority

As a Bitcoin/crypto investor for almost a decade and have successfully navigated the ups, downs and harrowing personal data risks...

Quick disclaimer: I’m not a licensed investment advisor, so nothing I say should be taken as financial advice. As always, make sure you do your own research.

All that said, make sure you stick around to the end of the video for what I hope is an incredibly useful free resource that will help you navigate this entire process with authority and confidence.

Like I said  before, hackers are EVERYWHERE in the crypto-space! So if you’re going to get into it, you might as well use this as an opportunity to “up” your data and identity security. 

Like I mentioned in a previous video, my own information was recently hacked in a huge security breach, so I’m speaking from experience that you don’t want to skip or otherwise ignore this bonus step.

Along those lines, here are 3 SUPER simple steps I believe you should take if/when you’re considering getting into the crypto space.

 

This free “Basics of Bitcoin” resource that will help you blast through this first few steps of this process with ease and confidence.

Download the free guide and (safely) start your crypto journey.

 

If you're not much of a reader, this video walks through the entire contents of the "Basics Of Bitcoin" Guide.

 

1. Password manager: Dashlane

 

This will help you randomize and store highly complex passwords very easily.

The cryptocurrency world is not the space where you EVER want to use that "easy" password you’re probably reusing for at least a dozen accounts.

I’ve been using a PW manager called Dashlane for the past 5 years and I HIGHLY recommend it. Here's the link to their free version of Dashlane.

 

2. A VPN (Virtual Private Network): NordVPN

 

To ensure your data security it’s best to use a VPN.

A VPN anonymizes your computer’s IP address by using what’s called a “proxy” computer to communicate with the internet and encrypt your data in transit. I use and highly recommend NordVPN.

 

3. 2FA or MFA using a dedicated device: Authy/Google Authenticator & Yubikey (Preferred)

 

You’re probably already using two factor authentication via "Authy", "Google Authenticator" or authentication via text messaging for many of your online accounts. I highly encourage that!

But the problem, particularly with "authentication via text" is a fairly recent phenomenon called "SIM swapping".

SIM swapping is where a 3rd party hijacks your mobile phone thereby getting access to all of your sensitive accounts.

To completely avoid this, I recommend utilizing a dedicated 2FA device like this Yubikey for ALL of your financially-related accounts.

This is an important enough and emerging phenomenon that I feel the need to explain a little further.

 

The Terrors of“SIM Swapping” And How To Avoid It 

My own personal and critical data was recently leaked in a very large hack that involved a company I had done business with a few years back. The company,  who was supposed to be a bastion of data security, was the victim of a breach of their marketing database AND didn’t do a great job of informing us, it’s customers as to the depth, breadth and severity of the actual breach.

As unacceptable and even kind of outrageous as this is, there’s not a lot that can be done. It’s just the world we live in. Companies are hacked every day and our personal data is being stolen and sold on the “dark web” and being shared openly with people and entities with nefarious intentions.

So, we as consumers must assume that our data is “out there” and must assume the responsibility for hardening the security measures, particularly around our online identity and the security of our accounts.

So, setting up complex, randomized passwords and using 2-factor authentication (2FA) to log into our accounts is of the utmost importance. And once we’ve kind of gotten into the swing of those two things, most of us feel secure. But it may be a false sense of security. Let me explain.

 

The “Worst” kind of 2FA (via Text Message)

Banks are always on the tail of innovation. Partially because of their “fiduciary responsibility” (just a fancy word for the idea that they’re held to a higher standard of responsibility when it comes to safeguarding people’s assets) and partially because they don’t want to give up any of their control over the way the system works. I won’t go into all of that right now. I only bring it up because the “knock on” effect is that, because of this lag in the banks’ innovation curve, they often put our data at risk.

The best example of this is the 2FA by “text messaging”. This is where you login to an online account, enter your username and then are prompted to enable a 2FA code to be sent to your phone via text message. 

Through this latest data breach, I discovered this phenomenon called “SIM Swapping” and it terrified me to my core. As soon as I heard it articulated, it literally made the hair on my arms stand on end.

So what is SIM Swapping? SIM Swapping is a situation where a hacker 1) has your phone number and your cell phone carrier, 2) contacts your cell provider posing as you and requests a new SIM card (i.e. the data chip that basically makes your phone, your phone) so that 3) they can take over your number (and therefore your 2FA) and log into your accounts.

 

Social Engineering And The "Screaming Baby" Tactic

Essentially, the hacker engages in what’s called a “social engineering” assault in an attempt to hijack your cell phone number. And depending on how badly they want your data/assets, they’ll go to great lengths and bring high levels of pressure to bear on your cell phone carrier.

The screaming baby example. The hacker will call your cell phone carrier and do something like cue up a YouTube video of a screaming baby and use intense, emotionally manipulative pressure tactics to appeal to the service rep’s compassion to an apparently distressed “customer”.

Terrifying right? But there’s a solution and it’s actually not that difficult, it just takes a little bit of time and a minor inconvenience on your part.

  1. Call your cell phone carrier and explain your data was recently involved in a giant data breach and that hackers have been trying to gain access to your accounts.
  2. Make sure you write down the representative’s name.
  3. Carriers will allow you to set a secondary PIN or password that must be presented before any changes can be made to your account. I recommend creating and using a strong password here. AND make sure both you AND the representative you’re speaking with repeat it back to each other several times as a confirmation. Additionally make sure to write it down and keep it in a safe place and/or put it in your password manager.
  4. Once the password has been confirmed, hang up and call your carrier back to speak with a different representative and confirm the password with them as a redundancy.
  5. Then, make sure to call your carrier regularly (i.e. once per quarter) to change this password.

So, all of that to say, be careful out there and let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment below.

 

Call To Action 

Thanks for sticking around and here’s my “thank you”.

We’re all about taking immediate action around here, so I wanted to offer you this free “Basics of Bitcoin” resource that will help you blast through this first few steps of this process with ease and confidence.

Download the free guide and (safely) start your crypto journey.

 

Also, by popular demand I'll be creating much more content around this in the coming months, so be sure to subscribe and join our coaching community to stay on top of all the latest developments. 

And, if you have particular questions or things you’d like for me to talk about, leave me a comment below.

The Ultimate "How To" Guide: 

Now, if you’re new to Bitcoin and crypto in general, I wanted to offer you this free “Basics of Bitcoin” resource that will help you blast through this first few steps of the buying, transferring and holding process with ease and confidence. There’s also some bonus material in there about how to lock down your online identity and data security as you enter into the space.

 

This free “Basics of Bitcoin” resource that will help you blast through this first few steps of this process with ease and confidence.

Download the free guide and (safely) start your crypto journey.

 

Also, by popular demand I'll be creating much more content around this in the coming months, so be sure to subscribe and join our coaching community to stay on top of all the latest developments. 

And, if you have particular questions or things you’d like for me to talk about, leave me a comment below.

 

 Struggling Or Feeling Alone?

  1. Join Our Private FB Group: Zero Debt Tribe

    Now, if money, debt, financial chaos is something you struggle with and you constantly feel isolated about, I’ve got some great news for you and it’s free.

    Our private Facebook group, ZeroDebtTribe. It’s a group of like minded people that are all somewhere along this P2P/debt-elimination/on their way to FI continuum. So click the image above and apply to join us. :)

     

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    All that said, let's keep on building your financial acumen and make this your best year yet!

    Thanks so much for reading and we’ll see you in the next video post!

     

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