*This is a copy of an article published on the Hydro Community Medium account in September 2018
We all know that there is a problem with scammers in the crypto. Over at the Hydrogen Telegram account we have had plenty of messages from users who have lost their tokens or feel that something is wrong. They may have been scammed, they may be asking if a promotion or wallet is legitimate, or that they have sent their tokens to the wrong address.
To try and help our users, and the crypto community in general, we have decided to create this short guide to keeping your crypto safe.
1. Never give out your Private Key !
It doesn’t matter if it’s a member of an exchange, a project creator, a community admin, or a friend, never give out your private key.
No Hydro admin will ever ask you to send them your private key or ask you to send any coins or tokens to a particular address. This should be true of all projects and exchanges so be aware of anyone who asks.
This includes entering your private key on any online forms! Don’t do it.
2. Always check the address!
Always check and double check that the address you are sending to is the correct one.
If you need to send coins/tokens to an exchange, always make sure it is to the address displayed on your own personal exchange account and no other.
We have had reports of a fake exchange admins using Telegram to ask users to send their tokens to an address. Other users have accidentally sent tokens to the smart contract. Those tokens are now lost and there is nothing we can do to help.
Lots of airdrops are scams, or are just data harvesting for scams. Always do your due diligence and fully research the validity of the project before entering any airdrops. Never fill in a form that asks for your private key or asks you to log into MyEtherWallet.
There are no more Hydro airdrops, and there never will be, but there are a lot of scams claiming that there are. Be careful.
If you use MyEtherWallet (MEW) then please, as a minimum, use MetaMask to log in and always check for the green padlock at the top of the page.
Logging into MEW using your private key, Keystore / JSON File, or Mnemonic Phrase is not safe.
5. Check the official project page for social media links
Always find links to any social media such as Twitter, Telegram or Discord from the projects official website.
There are a lot of fake channels out there who buy fake users and post real news to seem legitimate.
6. Check the webpage is correct
It is all too easy for a scammer to set up a fake page with an address that looks similar to the official one by substituting one letter for another similar one. Always use https and check for the padlock on the address bar.
7. Never download wallets/software without checking
Over at the Hydro Telegram we have had a number of people asking if we have a wallet out yet. We do not, but it seems that there are fake wallets out there which are designed solely to steal your crypto.
If you need a to download a wallet, miner, or other piece of software, please do your research, only download it via the official website for that software and, if you can, do a checksum on the downloaded file.
8. Famous Twitter users dont give away free money!
Everybody has seen the Vitalik Buterin, Changpeng “ CZ” Zhao, or Elon Musk Tweets, telling you that they are giving away 10ETH to the first 10 people to send them 0.1ETH. Every single one of these is a scam, please don’t do it.
If you send them anything it is gone.
9. Always enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) on your accounts!
Two-Factor Authentication is an additional layer of security that means even if a hacker gets your username and password, they would also need to pass a second challenge to gain access to your account.
In an ideal world we would all have Hydro 2FA securing our accounts; however, until all sites offer Hydro as standard, please make sure you enable the best 2FA the site has to offer.
Finally… if you can afford it buy a Hardware Wallet
If you can afford it please consider buying a hardware wallet such as a Ledger or Trezor. Your private key cannot be exposed, you can use it to check & send your ERC20 tokens (including Hydro) on MEW, and you will have peace of mind.
We will not post any links here but please make sure you buy it from the official site, or via one of their authorised distributors.
Be safe out there and let us know if you have any other advice or questions.