In October of 2017, I got a little buzz on my phone. It was a notification from Google letting me know my Gmail password had been reset. A few minutes later, a “security update” was installed on my phone, and I could no longer receive calls or texts.
The reality of the situation hit me like a ton of bricks: I was the victim of a SIM card swap, also known as SIM splitting.
Due to some lazy security mistakes on my part, someone was able to steal approximately 50% of my overall cryptocurrency portfolio, just months before the majority of the market hit its all-time high.
A SIM swap can be a lot simpler than you’d think too. All it takes is one persuasive individual convincing a customer support representative they’re you, stranded without any of the security information needed to access your account.
One emotional story later, and this manipulative person now completely controls your phone and everything attached to it.
To help our users stay educated and protected, RoundlyX is partnering with Efani to help you avoid my beginner’s mistakes. Here are four steps you can take to avoid my fate:
First, remove your phone number…from everything.
One of the reasons the entire scenario happened in the first place was because my phone number was attached to my Gmail, my Twitter, Facebook, etc. Nearly every account I’d ever created had access to my phone number. And why not? We all love being connected, and we all love convenience.
Unfortunately, this convenience comes at a cost—SIM hijackers can easily use your phone number to perform a total account takeover.
Even though I instructed my cell carrier never to make changes to my account without a specific security pin, the hacker was still able to get in and port my SIM card to their own phone.
This allowed them to gain access to my text messaging, which is all they needed to reset the passwords to pretty much every account I had, including my crypto accounts.
Efani does an incredible job of de-linking any personal information you may have connected to your phone, and they provide 24/7 customer support.
While it’s ordinarily a heavy lift to make sure your info is secure, using Efani takes out all of the leg work, and puts a dedicated team of experts at your disposal. Let the pros do it for you!
Second, don’t be the easiest target.
It’s impossible, without help, to perfectly secure every individual account you have. Your goal should always be to become an increasingly difficult target. This is where I made my worst mistake.
I got lazy and kept several private keys on my Google Drive, which the hacker had immediate access to by resetting my password via SMS. It was a piece of cake for them to log into those accounts and clean everything out. Don’t be like me!
While there are several steps you should take to securing your private keys (such as NEVER storing them on a “cloud service”), Efani’s encryption is unmatched in strength.
They’ll make sure any shred of important data will be protected night and day. Say goodbye to those complex vulnerabilities!
Third, store anything you’re not willing to lose offline.
I had said for years that I would buy a hardware wallet, but I was lazy. Unfortunately, it took a SIM swap to learn my lesson, but you don’t have to suffer the same fate!
Four hours after losing 50% of my entire portfolio, I bit the bullet and got my first hardware wallet. I’ve never looked back.
People ask me all the time how much crypto one needs to have before thinking about buying a hardware wallet. My answer after being SIM swapped? Whatever amount you’d rather not lose.
For some people that may be $20. For others that may be $5,000. Either way, storing your crypto on a hardware wallet makes you a little less easy of a target. And that’s a step in the right direction.
But let’s take this one step further! What if I had been using Efani to secure my cell phone? For just $99/month, Efani beats out most service providers in terms of cost, AND they offer up to $5M of Lloyd’s Insurance as a guarantee their service works.
I could have fired my traditional cell provider (it was Verizon, in case you’re wondering), had a dedicated support team just for me, and, should the worst still had happened, $5M of insurance to cover me.
Losing 50% of your cash is one thing. Losing 50% of your cryptocurrency on the edge of a bull run is quite another. Securing your data with Efani is worth it!
Finally, listen to the experts.
I knew for quite some time that I should be more secure with my cryptocurrency. I had read articles about it everywhere, but I never thought it would happen to me. I’m highly embarrassed that these mistakes cost me so much, but I hope my situation helps you avoid the same thing. It CAN happen to you!
Thankfully, there are extremely professional companies out there with your best interests in mind. Don’t be a crypto-fool like I was—take the necessary precautions to protect your cryptocurrency today!
Efani can help you secure and maintain your wealth through your phone. Why wait? SIM swapping is just one of many well-known security threats to your mobile, and moving to Efani today guarantees your safety.