According to a recent study by Beyond Identity, crypto security breaches cost the average victim more than $150. Considering that 30% of crypto traders have experienced a breach, it sounds like a lot of currency has ended up in the wrong hands lately.
The study also found that more than half of these investors have admitted to forgetting an account password, locking them out of their holdings at least once. This finding points to the importance of speedy customer service in a trading platform as well as sound security behavior on the user’s part.
But luckily, Beyond Identity also revealed the most secure crypto exchanges and which ones have the most user trust. We gleaned some key points from the research that will help keep your crypto and NFT assets safe from cybercriminals.
Searching for Scammers
Beyond Identity used Google search history to find out how many people are looking to scam and hack their way into people’s crypto accounts and how many are looking to protect themselves. They discovered that searches like “how to scam NFT” increased nearly 200% over the past year.
Meanwhile, crypto and NFT traders are on high alert. Searched phrases like “safest NFT wallet” are up by an average of almost 1,500%. Study participants’ survey responses showed that 13% of those with crypto or NFT holdings are “very worried” about these assets being compromised by a security breach on their account.
If you’re among the increasing number of blockchain users concerned about cybersecurity, check out some of these exchanges rated highly by over 1,000 crypto and NFT investors.
Most Trusted: Binance
The study’s survey found that most investors have trusted Binance as the top crypto exchange platform. Gen Z respondents leaned more towards Coinbase, a platform that won the most trust of just 13% overall. Crypto.com was the best choice for 11%, and less than 10% chose FTX or Bitfinex. Binance came out on top with 17% of the total vote.
But why? According to Investopedia, Binance users have rated it just two out of five stars on Trustpilot, often citing usability issues. Respondents’ trust in the platform might be due to perks besides account security. One of the top benefits of Binance is low fees, which might be why it’s garnered so much favor.
So, which exchange platform has the best security?
Most Secure: Crypto.com
Beyond Identity analyzed the security of a handful of popular crypto and NFT marketplaces based on factors like whether they offer theft insurance, how dependable their user authentication process is, and the accessibility of their customer support.
With these metrics, Crypto.com ranked first as the safest exchange overall, with FTX and Gemini taking second and third place. Of the marketplaces that offer NFT trading, Crypto.com also came out on top, followed by FTX and user favorite, Binance. As for platforms that don’t allow users to trade NFTs, Gemini was number one, with Bitstamp and WhiteBIT taking second and third place, respectively.
Although users’ trust in Crypto.com was well founded, according to the study, trust can only go so far in protecting crypto and NFT assets. Much of the responsibility for account safety falls on the trading platform, but investors also need to use a few best practices to keep their data and holdings safe.
In the survey portion of Beyond Identity’s study, experienced crypto and NFT investors were asked which security practices they used to protect their accounts. Multi-factor identification (MFA) was the number one security method used by more than half of the respondents to secure their data.
MFA refers to using multiple forms of identification to authenticate a user’s identity. A password on its own is typically not enough to secure an account. It’s a good idea to require at least one other login credential to keep attackers from getting in.
Other common ways to keep cybercriminals out of investors’ holdings were using multiple crypto and NFT wallets, backup wallets, or cold wallets. There are different types of crypto wallets, and a cold wallet is one that’s kept entirely offline, making it harder for others to access.
There are also some bad habits investors should avoid, but which many have been guilty of. Unfortunately, nearly half of Beyond Identity’s respondents have used their browser to save an account password. It’s easy to do, and you’re likely prompted to do it often. But while it’s tempting, it also makes your passwords easy for others to see.
Nearly as many had also used public WiFi to access their crypto wallets, which is another faux pas. When you transmit information over an unsecured wireless network like public WiFi, it’s available for anyone using that network to view. That means everyone else at Starbucks or the library, for example.
Shockingly, almost 20% of survey participants admitted to sharing their crypto account passwords with others. This might be a common practice with streaming account login information, but it’s a very bad idea when handling financial and crypto assets. You never know what that “friend” might do with your information!
Keeping Cryptos Safe
Cybersecurity concerns about cryptos and NFTs are sending investors to Google for solutions and leading them to trust certain platforms based on shaky reasoning. But according to Beyond Identity’s research, Crypto.com is a solid bet for keeping your assets secure.
Still, crypto traders should adopt a few security best practices to do their part in protecting their data. Using MFA and multiple wallets are good places to start, but it’s also equally important to break certain bad habits. Are you still using your browser for password storage or giving others access to your account? We suggest changing your login credentials now and keeping them to yourself in the future.