In his 1811 Dictionary in the Vulgar Tongue, Francis Grose defines pickpocketing as, “The newest and most dexterous way [to steal], which is, to thrust the fingers straight, stiff, open, and very quick, into the pocket, and so closing them, hook what can be held between them.”
Since many of Grose’s readers were new to city life, the idea that thieves could be so crafty was surprising. Today, we’re well aware of that fact, prompting thieves to find new ways to catch us off guard—and take off with our hard-earned cash.
To help you protect yourself, here’s the scoop on one of the latest threats emerging from the criminal world, “cryptojacking”—and what you can do to prevent it.
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What is cryptojacking?
From decentralization to speedy transactions, proponents of cryptocurrency offer numerous persuasive reasons to leave cash and credit behind. And it’s working—an estimated three million people actively use cryptocurrency, and 8% of non-users plan to convert to crypto in the future.
The rise of a new currency brings many benefits, but also many threats. A major one: cryptojacking.
Cryptojacking is the act of using malware to mine infected devices for cryptocurrency. Cyber criminals secretly infect a victim’s computer or smartphone with cryptojacking malware, which uses the device’s CPU to steal cryptocurrency. The haul is transferred to the attacker’s wallet.
If you’re using cryptocurrency, you want to know it’s safe from sticky fingers. Here are three tips you can follow to protect your digital assets from cryptojacking.
- Click with caution
Cryptojacking may be a new breed of crime, but the first tip for preventing it is as old as the internet itself: don’t click links in suspicious emails.
Email phishing scams are back, and they’re more sophisticated than ever. If you receive an email containing a hyperlink from an unknown address, proceed with caution. Make sure to hover over the hyperlink to view the full destination address. If it looks like it may lead to a legitimate web address and comes from someone you trust, copy and paste the URL into your browser. Clicking could cost you.
- Say “yes” to a software update
Software updates can be tempting to ignore—but operating on outdated software is no joke. Tech manufacturers release patches and updates to compete with the ever-escalating attacks that threaten to compromise your data—or in this case, steal your cryptocurrency. Keep your software up-to-date and your digital assets where they belong.
- Enlist expert help
Adopting a new currency can be complicated. Wrapping your head around all of the ways that cyber criminals may try to steal it can be exhausting. Fortunately, you have a team of professionals you can call when cyber security becomes too stressful.
From ransomware to cryptojacking, cyber security specialists have seen it all. We can recommend the best methods and tools for protecting your email inbox, endpoints, and all other avenues of malware incursion—and monitor your network vigilantly for threats.