The centralized web is a big step forward for humans in terms of technology. When Tim Berners-Lee made the web, he had no idea that scammers will take advantage of it. His simple idea was to make the world a more civilized, interactive place where people from all over the world can talk to each other no matter where they live. This has, unfortunately, also brought in bad people who try to scam people out of their money.
Fraud cost $5.8 billion in 2021 alone, according to CNBC. This is a 70 percent increase from what was reported in 2020. About 2.8 million people are affected each year, according to the FTC. Investment scams are always at the top of the list.
Even though there is no one way to scam people on the internet, these scammers use the same old tricks to get people to give them their money. Their most famous methods include phishing, fake lotteries, romance scams, and catfishing because of stolen identities, just to name a few.
So, how do I stay safe on the decentralized web (web 3.0) and avoid scams?
Since scamming is always about getting people’s money without their permission, the most important thing you can do to stay safe on web3 is to keep your digital wallet safe. If you use the following tips, you can be sure that scammers won’t be able to steal your money.
Make sure you get the official app or website add-on
If you want to download a Web3 app or extension, make sure you do it from the website itself. Most con artists have copied fake apps that you shouldn’t download. Check the reviews, the number of downloads, and the developer’s information to find out if the app is original. If it is a copy, this will show up as a red flag.
Don’t give out your seed phrase.
You need the seed phrase recover your old wallet back or to bring it into a new one. If thieves get your seed phrase, they can use it to get into your digital wallet on another device, change the password, and steal your asset. To avoid being scammed in this way, make sure that no one but you can see your seed phrase and never tell it to anyone else.
To keep your wallets and apps safe from scam, you should always use a strong and new password.
Your password is the key to your wallet. It might be hard to remember a lot of different passwords, so use a password manager to keep track of all the passwords you need for apps, websites, wallets, and other things.
Reusing the same password can be dangerous. If someone knows the password to one of your wallets and you use the same password on all platforms, they can start trying them out and get into your account. But if you use a different password for each wallet or platform, someone who knows one password won’t be able to get into the others.
Use Two-Factor Authentication or 2FA.
Two-factor authentication is another type of security that makes sure your accounts are safe on platforms that use them. Two-factor authentication uses two different ways, or layers, to check who is trying to get into your account.
When you enter your password to log in to your account, you’ll get an extra code, probably a one-time password (OTP), to confirm your account safety. The OTP will be sent to your email or cell phone number, which only you should be able to check.
Don’t put web links or hyperlinks in cold Emails
Most of the time, you get cold emails out of the blue when you check your email. Scammers can send emails like this with web links that, if you click on them, will make your account less safe. They can also send spam with malicious codes, so don’t click on them even if you want to read them.
Don’t download files you didn’t ask for.
Scammers can ask you to download a JPEG, PDF, or other files. Don’t click on them or download them if they look weird or even harmless. Most of them contain malicious codes that could harm your accounts and sometimes other wallets and accounts linked to your computer or mobile device.
You might want to use a hard wallet to store your valuables and keep your wallet safe.
A hard wallet also called a “cold wallet,” is a wallet that isn’t connected to the internet. Since hackers can easily break into the internet, they can’t get into your hard wallet unless they have it in their hands.
Do your own research before investing or doing other money-related things on web3.
Before investing, it would be best if you didn’t forget to do your research. Do your research on a project before you put money into it until you’re sure there’s nothing to worry about. Invest what you can afford to lose if you’re still not sure but want to try your luck.
Don’t fall for crazy giveaways.
Everyone likes free stuff. Most scammers use these freebies to get people to sign up for their project or illegal investment scheme. They can offer crazy APR or APY, depending on the situation, to get people to switch from real projects to theirs. This is a way for scammers to get people to fall for their schemes, but it is a loss for the people who fall for them.
If you need to, check with the official channels.
If you can’t figure out how to get around web3 or anywhere else, you should always call customer service for help. This is better than asking for help from people you don’t know on Discord, Twitter, or other social media sites, who could be scammers or cybercriminals.