The CFPB released cryptoasset focused Complaint Bulletin report last week.
"From October 2018 to September 2022, the CFPB received more than 8,300 virtual currency complaints—the majority in the last two years."
Not to dismiss the complaints around digital assets, but the it's worth recognizing the scale of these compared to others (although we're sure to see a big spike in complaints after this week). Here's the most-complained-about consumer financial product and service categories in 2021 from the CFPB Annual Report:
Why is this the title of this post? Well, because year after year, I'm reminded how some relatively easy changes can save people from a world of hurt. This stuff applies to everyone these days, not just those who are in crypto.
Here's a non-exhaustive list of things everyone should make an effort to learn about and put in place:
- Place credit freezes at the bureaus. At least the 3 majors (Experian, Equifax, Transunion) but there are a few others as well.
- Turn on FileVault (if you have a mac).
- Use a Password Manager. Consider Lastpass or 1Password. Protect it with a Yubikey or otp 2fa.
- Use Authy (if you disable syncing) or Google Authenticator. And actually enable 2fa for most of your accounts.
- Limit browser extensions. Uninstall everything that seems unnecessary. Consider https everywhere and privacy badger.
- Secure your Google account. otp 2fa, disable phone number backups, disable unnecessary location services, etc.
- Use your own hot spot instead of public wifi. If using public wifi, use a vpn. Consider Tunnel Bear, Proton VPN, etc.
- Use a different phone number(s) for various services & contacts than your primary. Same for email. Has the added benefit of funneling spam calls, texts, and emails. Consider Burner, MySudo, etc.
- Secure your primary mobile provider. Add notes in null fields with "Do not port" and "Never activate a new device via phone." Enable a unique pin on the account.
A more exhaustive list can be found here.
Make the effort. Don't let perfect get in the way of progress. Don't be embarrassed to ask others for help or advice. I'm always happy as time allows.