Welcome to my guide about what is cryptojacking and how you can protect yourself from attacks.
Cryptojacking was a big issue in the past, but not so much over the last couple of years due to the security updates on many of the anti-virus and anti-malware programs that are out on the market now.
It is a type of malicious software or “malware” that infects your device and drains your CPU resources for mining purposes.
This article will go over what cryptojacking is, how to protect yourself from it, and how to know if you’ve been infected by it.
What Is Cryptojacking?
Cryptojacking is a form of crypto mining, which requires you to run mining software on your device.
Unlike crypto mining, cryptojacking does not require users to consent or be notified that this will occur.
Cryptojacking may occur from malicious ads, compromised websites, and even apps downloaded from the official app stores.
It can take many forms when it comes to attacking devices such as mobile phones or laptops, but all devices have been targeted in one way or another.
There are a number of ways to determine if you’ve been cryptojacked which I will cover in the next section.
Another great guide: Top 5 Crypto Lending Platforms Right Now In 2021
How To Tell If Your Device Has Been Affected?
To check for crypto mining malware/software on your computer (Mac OSX or Windows), look out for increased CPU usage from your device.
A good way to check this is by going to Activity Monitor and looking at the CPU column for any application that has high CPU usage.
You can also run it in the background of a Mac or Windows Task Manager on Windows to see if anything suspicious is using up all the processing power of your device.
Cryptojacking software often use 100% of your processor’s power, so you will likely notice a huge spike in CPU usage when you first launch an infected app or visit a website with crypto mining code running in the background
How To Protect Yourself From Cryptojacking?
So, how do you protect yourself from crypto-mining malware?
There are four steps that you should take to ensure that cryptojacking does not occur:
1) Use Ad Blockers – Cryptojacking malware often uses malicious ads to infect your device. Using ad blockers, such as uBlock Origin or Adblock Plus, prevents cryptojacking scripts from running in the background of websites that you visit. Ad crypto mining may not be as prevalent compared to other forms, but it is still best to block them just in case.
2) Frequently Update Your Device’s Software – cryptojacking malware often uses vulnerabilities in older versions of operating systems to gain access to your device. By updating your OS and applications, you’ll be able to prevent cryptojacking software from running on your computer/device. Windows users can manually update their devices by checking for updates, while Mac OSX users can go to System Preferences > Software Update to get the latest version of macOS.
3) Uninstall Unnecessary Apps – cryptojacking malware often is placed in apps that you don’t normally use, so it is important to occasionally check your applications list for anything suspicious or unfamiliar. If an app seems fishy, try deleting it and see if cryptojacking stops occurring.
4) Be Careful When Downloading Apps – cryptojacking malware can be found in a number of apps available on the official app stores such as Google Play or Apple’s App Store. One way to tell if an app is crypto mining is by checking for high CPU usage and seeing the app’s name in the Activity Monitor or Windows Task Manager when cryptojacking is occurring.
How Does Cryptojacking Work?
Here’s how cryptojacking works. A cryptojacker or crypto mining malware downloads a program to your computer without your knowledge, which activates and uses the resources of your computer to mine cryptocurrency instead of just using them for yourself.
Many cryptojackers use this method to bring in extra cash by earning money off of victim’s devices – all while they are sleeping (or not even aware that it is happening).
Using cryptojacking software, cybercriminals can ‘steal’ computational power from computers and cell phones around the world to create an alternative, digital source of revenue for themselves.
This is what we DO NOT want to happen, this is why we ALWAYS have to protect our devices!
Another great guide: Is The Best Hardware Wallet Ledger Nano S? Full Review
Make Sure To Protect Your Devices From Cryptojacking!
If you want to protect yourself against cryptojacking cyberattacks, you can use a cryptocurrency mining malware protection program to scan for cryptojacking software and get rid of crypto-mining malware.
Basically, any current antivirus and anti-malware program offers these security measures.
I personally use, Bitdefender along with the Windows Defender.
Make sure that your antivirus or anti-malware app is always up-to-date, so it will be able to detect and protect you against cryptojacking attacks.
Windows Defender Program
Windows Defender has an option called “Real-Time Protection”, which allows your computer’s resources to be protected from cryptojacking attacks and other malicious attacks without any delay.
The Real-Time Protection option uses advanced heuristic scanning technology to make sure that all files on your device are safe, instead of just relying on signature scans – this means that Windows Defender will automatically download new signatures as soon as they become available, so it will always be up-to-date and attack cryptojackers before they can mine cryptocurrency with your device.
Windows Defender is a good solution if you are a Windows user – although, there are other crypto mining malware protection programs that can run on Windows as well.
If you use a Mac computer or like the look of other cryptojacker protection options, click here to learn more about cryptojacking and how to protect yourself against attacks.
What If You Are Infected By Cryptojacking Mining Malware:
The best way to get rid of crypto miners isn’t just by installing antivirus software onto your computer – in order to completely remove cryptojackers from your system, you may need to reset all of your settings and restore your computer to factory settings.
There are also cryptojacking removal guides for people who have been infected by crypto-mining malware available online.
These guides should help you get rid of crypto miners and protect yourself from further attacks.
Another great guide: 8 Things You Should Know About Crypto: An Introduction
Conclusion: What Is Cryptojacking: How To Protect Yourself From Attacks
In the last section of my what is cryptojacking guide and how you protect yourself from attacks, I am going to leave you with a final checklist of things to do.
This will help you protect your device, so you don’t ever have to worry about being cryptojacked.
- Be aware of what apps you are installing – only use trusted app stores such as Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store. Use caution when downloading apps online, and try to stick with ones that have good reviews.
- Keep your computer updated with the latest software – cryptojackers often use old vulnerabilities and security flaws in order to complete their cryptojacking attacks on devices. If you keep your operating system up-to-date, you can avoid this kind of cryptojacking infection.
- Regularly back up your files; cryptojackers will spread through any connected SD cards or external hard drives that have been infected by crypto miners as well. If you back up all of your files and documents onto a cloud service or an external device like a USB drive, then even if one piece of hardware gets infected by crypto miners, the rest of your devices should be safe from crypto mining malware infections.
If crypto mining malware persists on your device after removal of cryptojacker programs and resetting of the device, then run an antivirus scan in safe mode before restoring it back to its original setup to ensure that there aren’t any crypto miners left on the system.
Use Windows Defender and Bitdefender for great protection against attacks and to protect your computer and files.
Additionally, always keep them up to date with the most recent updates they release!
With that said, I hope you enjoyed my guide on what is Cryptojacking and how to protect yourself against attacks.
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