Last month, my friend Lou Basenese broke a story here at Trend Trader Daily…
And this week, CNBC followed up with a piece that’s just as terrifying.
As both articles revealed, crypto investors are seeing their portfolios evaporate into thin air:
One man lost $35,000 in a single day…
A family in Florida lost $168,000 in the blink of an eye…
And another man watched helplessly as roughly $700,000 disappeared from his account!
What’s going on here?!
And how can you make sure it doesn’t happen to you?
Well, that’s what we’ll dive into today…
The Case of the Disappearing Crypto
Here’s a quick summary of what’s happening:
Customers of Coinbase (COIN), the most popular crypto trading platform in the country, are being hacked.
Cyber criminals from around the world are breaking into Coinbase accounts and stealing millions of dollars in cryptos.
How many people has this happened to?
As just one indicator of the magnitude of this problem, CNBC reports that over 11,000 complaints have been filed with Coinbase about crypto thefts since 2016.
To make matters worse, once these crypto assets have been stolen, there’s no way to get them back. Coinbase offers little to no response, and no one else can help.
Imagine seeing thousands — or even hundreds of thousands — of dollars disappear from your account in a matter of minutes?
It’s a terrifying thought.
Which is why, if you’re a Coinbase user, I want to show you three simple steps you can take right now to help protect yourself.
Step 1: Lock-Down Your Email
One of the main ways hackers can gain access to your crypto accounts — or any account, for that matter — is by gaining access to your email inbox.
Sometimes they’ll do this with sophisticated “phishing” scams. This is where a hacker poses as an employee of your email provider and gets you to give them your password.
NEVER share your password! No employee of a major email provider will EVER ask you for it.
Other times, hackers use powerful software to randomly guess millions of password combinations until they stumble upon the right one.
One of the best ways to protect yourself against this sort of hack is to use very long passwords that are very difficult to guess.
One of my favorite tricks is to use a line from a song, and then add a memorable number sequence after it. For example:
This forces you to use a very long password, which makes it more difficult to guess…
But because it’s a song lyric, it will be easy for you to remember.
Step 2: Lock-Down Your Phone
Criminals can also get access to a user’s crypto account by hacking their mobile phone.
That’s because platforms like Coinbase require users to use something called “Two-Factor Authentication” (or 2FA) to log into their accounts.
This means, even after you enter your username and password, Coinbase requires you to enter a second code that’s generated by its system.
Often, this code gets texted to your mobile phone when you attempt to log into your account.
To get access to this code, hackers essentially “clone” your phone number, so they receive the same text messages that you do.
This allows them to intercept the Coinbase code, log into your account, and swipe your crypto before you even know what’s happened.
To prevent your phone from being cloned, you can contact your mobile phone provider and ask them to set up extra security measures for your account.
For example, T-Mobile offers a service called “Account Takeover Protection” which you can find here »
Step 3: Lock-Down Your Coinbase Account
One of the best ways to combat being hacked on Coinbase is to use a different form of 2FA:
Instead of relying on SMS messages, you should use an app like Google Authenticator.
Basically, after you install this free app on your smart phone, each time you log into Coinbase, you’ll check the app for a temporary login code.
In other words, the number will no longer be texted to you.
And since this app is synched directly to your specific device, there’s no way for hackers to get access to the code — even if they manage to clone your phone number.
Be on Your Guard
As cryptocurrencies become a more mainstream investment…
And as their value and prices continue to grow…
They’ll likely represent a larger portion of your net worth over time.
Take these steps now to ensure that your investments (and your retirement) aren’t at risk.
So stay vigilant…
Regularly update your passwords…
And don’t share your email, phone number, or passwords with anybody!
Happy (and safe) investing.