The internet is a useful tool. It connects people all around the world and lets you find information with the click of a button. It’s convenient, fast and available – no wonder its influence grows every year as experts invent new games, tools and security measures to make daily life simpler. Even money has become digitized, in the form of cryptocurrency.
How does it work? Experts have created blockchains to record transactions of crypto “units.” Mining cryptocurrency generates the money, but that uses p a lot of power in the process. Globally, Bitcoin alone generates more electricity than plenty of countries do on an annual basis. It’s neither easy nor cheap.
Cybercriminals tend to follow the money, so when cryptocurrency entered the scene in a major way, one of the first things that Dark Web inhabitants learned to do was start mining crypto illegally.
What is Cryptojacking
Although it sounds like stealing the victims’ money from their digital wallet, cryptojacking actually refers to using someone else’s computing power to mine for cryptocurrency. As you can guess from what we already know about Bitcoin, the act uses up a ton of electricity on the victim’s end.
You may think it’s not so bad since they’re not directly stealing your money, but aside from the fact that it’s illegal to generate, the bad actor may also be using a system of infected devices to access more computing power (and thus create more cryptocurrency). It could run deeper than just the infection to your specific device.
Cryptojacking can have other negative effects aside from the legality, such as decreased performance, higher costs from greater electricity use, and devices overheating or shutting down because they’re using too much power.
How to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Cryptojacking
Now that you know more about how to recognize if this is happening to you, you might be wondering how to prevent the cybercriminal from stealing your processing power in the first place.
- Upgrade your network security, such as with automated monitoring that alerts you to abnormal activity on the servers
- Update software regularly to maintain the latest security protocols
- Use firewalls and ad blockers to keep out malware while going about your workday
- Privacy is key; the harder you are to track online, the harder it will be to steal your information, hack into accounts and take over your devices for data mining
Keeping these things in mind will help to prevent threats before they begin wreaking havoc on your productivity.
Cryptojacking will hike up the cost of business and decrease your performance, but it’s not the only threat affecting the web users since the use of cryptocurrency became more commonplace. Scams and outright theft of your digital coins are also prevalent as more companies launch their own currency or accept it as a valid form of payment.
It’s always smart to stay apprised of what’s going on in the world of cyber threats and online security. The sooner you know about what new tactics threat actors are weaponizing against the public, the better you can protect your personal and work data and learn the steps that you need to take in order to stay safer online every day.