What is Cryptojacking guide, Cryptocurrency online, Online global financial trading advice
What is Cryptojacking?
11 July 2022
photo courtesy of Jaiz Anuar/Shutterstock.com
One of the biggest current trends in cryptocurrency. While the market might be up and down, there’s a lot more to the world of crypto than you might think. When it comes to your money, cybersecurity is absolutely essential, and it should be your primary concern.
But, whether you’re involved with cryptocurrencies or not,cryptojacking is dangerous. It’s important to understand what it is and why it puts your devices at risk. If you’re not aware of cryptojacking, a cybercriminal could be taking advantage of your device at this very moment without your knowledge.
It’s even more important to understand how you can prevent cryptojacking from destroying your devices. Make sure you keep reading to the end of the article to get a full understanding of what cryptojacking is, and how you can ensure the safety of your device.
What is Crypto Mining
So, what exactly is cryptojacking? It’s not a term that you’ll hear being used as frequently as viruses or ransomware, so it’s easy for the average person to overlook this concept. While the name might suggest that you need to be involved in crypto to be a victim of cryptojacking, that is in fact, not the case. The average person that has no knowledge of cryptocurrencies can also be affected.
But before we get into the details of cryptojacking, let’s first get a basic understanding of how cryptocurrencies work. More specifically, crypto mining — this is where cryptojacking is used against you.
Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum don’t just appear in existence — they need to be mined. Think of crypto mining and printing money, but instead of relying on the government or the banks to print more money, the average person with a laptop or a smartphone can print money. That’s an incredibly simplified explanation, but there are some different elements to it, you can’t just make more Bitcoins from your own living room.
Cryptocurrencies are all part of something known as the Blockchain — essentially a digital ledger that is impossible to change, hack, or cheat. When a specific cryptocoin is created, extremely complex equations need to be solved on the blockchain. These equations can only be solved if there is enough processing power on the blockchain. This is where crypto mining comes into play.
Anyone can lend their device’s processing power to the blockchain to mine (create new) crypto coins. You can do this with any kind of device, from laptops to smartphones and even tablets. However, the stronger your device, the more processing power it can give to the blockchain.
So why would anyone want to give up their device’s power to mine crypto coins for someone else? Well, the reward for lending your processing power to the blockchain is cryptocurrency. For example, if your device has been mining Bitcoin, you will be rewarded with a small amount of Bitcoin. Essentially then, your device will be making money for you simply by solving these complex equations on the internet.
What is Cryptojacking?
Crypto mining is a very attractive concept for people who want to generate a passive income. The problem though is that in order to make it worthwhile, the miner needs to invest a lot of money into expensive hardware with more processing power (a smartphone or laptop will only reward you with a small amount of crypto as a reward because of the lower processing power). Of course, not everyone is willing to pay this expensive startup cost, and this is where cryptojacking comes into play.
Cryptojacking is when someone else uses your device’s processing power to mine cryptocurrencies. So, how would a cybercriminal get hold of your processing power to mine cryptocurrencies using your device?
The first method is where the hackers inject a cryptojacking script or malware on your device when you click on a fraudulent link. Cybercriminals combine this with phishing techniques to install the malware on your device.
Another method that is used by cybercriminals is to inject a cryptojacking script into popular websites. This means that every device that visits the website will automatically start crypto mining.
But why is cryptojacking so dangerous for you? Essentially cryptojacking will be using your device’s processing power – this will make it slower and it can also reduce the lifespan of your device. While using more processing power, your device will also be using more electricity, which will cost you more money. You’ll also have a cybercriminal on your device, potentially sifting through your personal data and stealing your login credentials.
How to Prevent Cryptojacking
We’ve all heard it before, “prevention is better than cure”. That is certainly the case when it comes to cryptojacking as well. How do you keep your device safe from these attacks that manage to slip under the radar so effectively though?
The best form of defence is premium antivirus software. Antivirus software will constantly scan your device for any viruses or malware, and if anything has been detected, the software can take action to remove it from your device too. It’s crucial to invest in premium antivirus software with extra features. An important feature to look out for is the software’s ability to scan emails, links, and websites for any kind of phishing scams. This will give you an early warning that you need to keep an eye out.
While antivirus software is a great safety net, it’s also incredibly important to understand how to spot phishing scams. Phishing scams are mostly sent through email, but they can often be found on social media as well. Fraudulent links can also be disguised as icons and images on websites, so accidentally clicking on one of these can put your device at risk.
The important factor in avoiding phishing scams is keeping up with the latest trends and strategies that cybercriminals use to trick their victims. Phishing scams are always developing, and hackers are constantly hopping onto new trends and techniques to get the better of innocent internet users. Being aware of phishing scams will help you to identify phishing scams before you fall victim to them.
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