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How to protect your NFTs?

Nft smart contract audit

By cyphershieldtechPublished about a year ago 5 min read

As NFTs gain more exposure and value, this has unfortunately attracted the attention of unscrupulous individuals who would like to seize your assets, by any means possible.

Fortunately, digital assets are incredibly secure at the blockchain level. This means that it is highly unlikely that anyone will lose their assets due to an attack or hack at the blockchain level.

Instead, the vast majority of NFT thefts and losses occur due to asset holders falling victim to one of the growing scam attempts or failing to adequately protect their assets.

Whether you're into digital collectibles or exposed to NFTs , it's important to take the time to understand how to properly protect this rapidly emerging asset class.

This is what you need to know.

Use a hardware wallet

If you are currently storing your NFTs in a custodial wallet solution — don't . Centralized platforms can be hacked, and this has happened multiple times.

Instead, consider purchasing one of the many hardware wallets now available. These are (usually) small physical devices that are used to isolate your cryptocurrency and other digital assets from the Internet and other potentially dangerous situations. These usually require you to manually sign each transaction, preventing someone from remotely stealing your assets. Furthermore, they require the user to take full control of their security, which usually involves backing up and storing their seed phrases /private keys in a secure location.

There are a huge variety of hardware wallets on the market now, including options to suit virtually any budget, and are generally considered an essential accessory for the savvy crypto investor.

Hardware wallets can vary dramatically in their form and function, as well as their overall security, but even the most basic options typically provide much better security than most centralized wallet providers.

With that being said, you should make sure that the wallet you choose supports the blockchains you want to store your NFTs on and also supports the specific NFT token standards, as not all of them will.

Use a different market

If OpenSea's recent blunder has taught us anything, it's that you don't need to be explicitly robbed to lose your NFTs — instead, you could inadvertently end up selling at too low a price.

Depending on the NFT marketplace you choose, you may or may not have access to the controls necessary to adequately protect your NFTs against attacks or errors.

In most cases, NFT markets are non-custodial platforms , which means that you always control your assets, even while they are listed on the market or simply present in your wallet. However, they require users to authorize their smart contracts to interact with their assets, for example, to transfer them to the correct buyer at the time of sale.

If these smart contracts are buggy, this can leave your NFTs vulnerable.

Because of this, it's important to make sure that the marketplace you use is highly secure and reputable. One of the easiest ways to verify this is to look at their public audits, which essentially audit the smart contracts that do not contain bugs or vulnerabilities, and that they are generally safe for the public to use. An NFT audit is a comprehensive code review for verifying the technical and safety of a token, smart contract, and NFT trading platform to mitigate potential cyber threats.

This could be a challenge with newer platforms like LooksRare, which has yet to do a public audit. That said, it's important to balance opportunity against risk, which can make new platforms worth trying if there are significant incentives or opportunities.

Remember, not all NFT markets are the same. Do your research before choosing a platform, especially if it's new or hasn't been tested by large audiences.

Protect yourself against viruses

Computer viruses, while relatively rare, can be devastating to the NFT collector, as they can allow an attacker to exfiltrate data (including your private keys) from your computer in various ways, or even take over your system remotely.

Protecting yourself against viruses is usually a relatively simple task, starting with knowing how to avoid places that might be looking to install virus-laden code on your machine. Some of the usual suspects include copycat websites, sites offering questionable/illegal content, torrents and other P2P file-sharing services, and chat rooms.

In any case, never install a program or open an attachment sent to you from a suspicious source; the vast majority of viruses require you to manually open a file before they can install it.

Beyond this, consider equipping your computer with strong antivirus software and make sure your firewall is turned on. This will help prevent per-vehicle exploits and can alert you to suspicious files that might be on your computer.

MacBooks are generally considered to be less vulnerable to viruses due to their built-in runtime protection, but it's not a foolproof defense: you'll still need to be careful, as macOS viruses remain a potential threat.

Avoid scammers

Unfortunately, the cryptocurrency industry is full of scammers who want nothing more than to part you from your NFTs and other digital assets.

Avoiding these scams can be challenging, especially if you are less experienced, as they almost invariably target less experienced users, because they are often the perfect victims.

But in general, it's possible to avoid the vast majority of scams by adhering to a handful of simple rules.

Always Double Check – When buying an NFT, transferring it, using an NFT marketplace, or doing any other task that requires you to log into a website or service that can access your NFTs, always check that you have the correct URL. Check this information with their social networks to be sure and bookmark the link to avoid falling for a fake link.

Beware of Impersonators – One of the most common ways NFT holders are scammed is by falling victim to an impersonator, i.e. someone who poses as a reputable person, entity or organization, or even a phishing site . Please only use official lines of communication when dealing with transfers or NFT transactions, and always make sure that the person you are talking to is who they say they are.

Unsolicited Messages and Emails – Telegram, Discord, Twitter, and even your email inbox can be prone to spam, scams, and various types of fraud, especially if you were caught in a database leak. If you're receiving unsolicited messages from anyone on any of these (or other) platforms, it's likely a scam. Never give your private keys or recovery phrase to anyone, regardless of their reasons or status, and never authorize smart contracts you are not familiar with.

By following these three key rules, you will be able to avoid the vast majority of risks to your NFTs.

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