Man holding a tablet with a hologram that says 'Web 3.0'

While Web 3.0 provides many exciting, new opportunities like NFTs, blockchain games, and P2E, there are alsoΒ  scammers looking to take advantage of unsuspecting victims. It is important to be safe in Web 3.0.

The golden rule of thumb is not to act rashly. And if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

STEPN & ASICS Ambassador Firelauncher recently created a Twitter thread outlining how to stay safe in this new space. And while some tips will seem familiar, there are new pitfalls to be aware of as you navigate this new world.

Do not store personal information digitally

This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s important to remember that anything you store on your device is susceptible to hacking. This includes everything from your passwords to your credit card information or your seed phrase.

Firelauncher advises using an old-fashioned notepad and pencil to log personal details. This ensures they won’t be available to hackers. You can still create backup hardcopies but refrain from storing key personal information digitally.

Even taking a photo of your details and storing it on your phone can leave you open to hackers.

If you absolutely must store personal information digitally, be sure to use a secure and encrypted service like 1Password or LastPass.

Use 2FA for additional security

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an additional layer of security that can protect your accounts from being hacked. It works by requiring you to input a code from your phone in addition to your password.

This makes it much more difficult for hackers to gain access to your account, as they would need both your password and your phone.

If you’re not already using 2FA, now is the time to start. It’s a relatively simple process and can give you peace of mind knowing that your accounts are better protected.

In fact, Firelauncher refers to 2FA as a ‘must-have security measure’

Whether you’re dabbling in Web 3.0 or not, 2FA is a great way to stay safe online in general.

Never, ever share your seed phrase with anyone

Your seed phrase is the key to your crypto fortune. It’s a string of 12 or 24 words that allows you to access your funds. And if someone else gets their hands on it, they can easily steal all your hard-earned money.

For this reason, you should never share your seed phrase with anyone, not even people you trust. If someone does need to help you with your account, they can do so without seeing your seed phrase.

And if anyone online ever asks for your seed phrase, it’s a scam. Don’t give it to them under any circumstances. There is no reason why they would ever need it.

It is up to you to keep your seed phrase safe. Create a hardcopy backup and commit it to memory. But never store it online or share it with anybody.


Avoid common Web 3.0 scams

Although most of us know not to interact with emails from Nigerian princes offering vast fortunes, Web 3.0 scams are a little more refined than that. Many people have lost their entire crypto fortunes to savvy scammers.

And even Web 3.0 experts have suffered at the hands of online criminals. Earlier this year, the founder of Arrow, thomasg.eth, explained how he almost lost all of his ETH to a social engineering scam.

He interacted with people who gained his trust by contributing high-quality work to his project, and then tried to steal all his ETH by sending him an NFT.

And his final bit of advice to people dabbling in Web 3.0?

“Always verify, no matter how much you trust. These guys spent two weeks targeting my own specific weaknesses, and I was extremely close to falling for it. You can’t be too paranoid.”Β 

The stakes are high in Web 3, and scammers are willing to go the extra mile to snatch your fortune. Make sure you’re aware of the most common scams and steer clear of them to avoid falling prey to opportunistic criminals.

Phishing scams

Phishing is rife in the Web 3.0 world. Scammers create mirror websites and use fake URLs to gain access to personal information like emails and passwords.

You might think you’re logging in to a legitimate website, only to be providing your details to a scammer.

To avoid this scam, always check that you are on the right website. The URL might look off if it’s a phishing site. The best way to stay safe is by not clicking any links, but rather typing in the URL for the website you’re trying to access and logging in that way.

Unknown NFTs in your wallet or on OpenSea

If you receive an NFT that you don’t recognize, do not click on it. Do not try to claim it, as it is entirely possible that your wallet will connect to a malicious smart contract designed to drain your funds.

NFT scams could look like giveaways. For instance, this Reddit user posted about a random NFT that appeared in their wallet after they made a purchase.

As you can see, the user purchased a legitimate NFT, but a malicious NFT appeared in their wallet too. “Claiming” the Solana NFT could have resulted in being exposed to hackers. The general advice is to ignore unknown NFTs.

Accepting an NFT might seem lucrative. While some NFT creators airdrop their creations to gain clout and exposure, it is advisable that you do your research before you decide to claim an NFT. Check reviews, search Reddit threads, and look at what people are saying about the NFT before you claim it.

Get a hardware wallet

Ledger Nano S Hardware Wallet. Source: Ledger

Knowing that clicking on a single link could lose you your entire crypto fortune is rightfully terrifying.

So far, the single best way to protect yourself from most Web 3.0 scams is a hardware wallet.

A hardware wallet is a physical device that stores your crypto offline. This means that even if your computer is hacked, your crypto will remain safe. Also, most actions will need to be approved physically via the device.

This makes it hard for scammers to steal your data.

Hardware wallets are one of the most secure ways to store crypto, and they’re becoming increasingly popular as more people enter the Web 3.0 space.

Some of the most popular hardware wallets include the Ledger Nano S and Trezor Model T.

Disable your Discord DMs

Discord has become one of the main hubs for cryptocurrency communities. However, because it’s so easy to join these groups, scammers have taken advantage of the platform to try and steal people’s money.

If you receive a Discord DM from someone you don’t know, do not click on any links and do not provide any personal information.

Do not interact with the person even if the message appears to come from a moderator.

Moderators have been hacked before, so make sure you double and triple-check any information you receive before you trust it. You could do this by checking official Twitter channels to verify information about airdrops, for example.

But staying safe might involve taking more drastic measures. In fact, YouTuber Realm Path advises that you should disable your Discord DMs altogether.

Use a little common sense to stay safe online

While there are many ways to stay safe online, using common sense is the best way to protect yourself from scammers and hackers. Be wary of any emails or messages that seem too good to be true, and never click on any links that you don’t trust. Make sure to use a hardware wallet and 2FA for extra security.

You can take advantage of all the opportunities Web 3.0 has to offer without falling for a scam by being sensible.

Any investment/financial opinions expressed by Play to Earn Diary are not recommendations. Our content is for educational purposes only. If you plan to invest in any game or cryptocurrency then please do your own research and only spend what you can afford to lose.

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