One thing we can all agree on when it comes to crypto is that there are a lot of scams in the crypto universe, hackers and scammers included. With NFTs being the new trend, scammers and hackers are always scheming ways of illegally making money form NFTs. This then drives the need of protecting your NFTs. Although it is very unlikely that your crypto will be stolen as a result of a blockchain-level hack, it is possible that you may fall victim to one of these scams on the internet.
You might be thinking that it’s impossible for you of all people to be scammed by someone on the internet, but you should know that most of these scammers scam for a living and put a lot of effort into it — most times you won’t know you have been scammed until days later because of their skills!
Here are the ways you can protect your NFTs from these no-gooders, and if at least you feel you are too smart to be scammed, you should at least secure your assets.
1. Move your assets from your custodial wallet to a hardware wallet.
Custodial wallets are centralized and sometimes get hacked. To avoid this, move your assets from your custodial wallet to a hardware wallet. A hardware wallet is a small device that you can use to store your cryptos and digital assets. It requires you to manually sign in before any transaction can be made, this makes it impossible for your assets to be stolen unless you are directly forced to sign in, although, such a situation, most times is unlikely to happen. It gives you total control of your security.
There are different hardware wallets currently available on the market. Some of which are; edger Nano S, Trezor Model One- Crypto Hardware Wallet, SafePal S1, Steel Bitcoin Wallet for Hardware Wallet Backup, Trezor Model T-Next Generation, etc. There is practically a Hardware wallet for any budget however, you should make sure that the hardware wallet you plan to purchase supports the blockchain you intend to store your NFTs on, and also that it supports the specific NFT token standards as not all will.
2. Use a reputable and secure non-custodial platform.
Although most NFT marketplaces are non-custodial and allow you to control your assets, they still require that users authorize their smart contracts to interact with their assets. If eventually, these smart contacts have bugs, the NFTs will be left vulnerable. It is very important you use a very good marketplace. You can tell if the NFT marketplace is “good” by checking public audits. By checking public audits you can learn whether their smart contracts have any bugs. This method, however, won’t do justice to newer platforms.
3. Avoid the two horsemen of the internet.
By the two horsemen of the internet, I mean scammers and viruses, which the internet is loaded with. It is quite easy to avoid viruses. Although the best way to protect yourself from virus attacks is by making use of antivirus software, you can still go the extra mile by avoiding malicious sites (yes, do away with those illegal sites).
Avoiding scammers on the other hand is going to be more difficult. Like I said earlier, these people scam for a living and put a lot of effort into scamming, hence you too should put more effort into avoiding them. Some basic things include ignoring foreign messages or emails that relate to NFT or crypto. My Instagram DMs are flooded with them at all times and most of them look very convincing. You should always check twice no matter how authentic a site, marketplace, or trader may appear.
Although these scammers and hackers come fully prepared, by following these steps you stand a 99.9% chance of avoiding them.