What is a cryptocurrency?
What is a cryptocurrency?
A cryptocurrency is digital currency which serves mainly as a medium of exchange within a peer-to-peer economic system relying on cryptography to secure and verify transactions. The cryptography is the process of converting ordinary plain text into unintelligible text and vice-versa: it uses cryptography to secure and verify transactions as well as to control the creation of new units of a particular cryptocurrency. Programmed algorithms and cryptographic proofs define issuance and management of a cryptocurrency. These rules, along with how an operating cryptocurrency system is defined, is called protocol.
To use the cryptocurrencies an internet connection, or even a simple access to a weak radio signal, is needed so as to transfer money worldwide. Cryptocurrency transactions have very low costs compared to bank transactions, as there are no charges for maintenance of the account and verification processes of the documents.
Cryptocurrencies can be programmed by people, private companies or institutions that want to create a currency independent from banking systems, and therefore decentralized. Decentralized means that cryptocurrency management occurs through a distributed network of computers spread around the world, also known as nodes.
Transactions performed with a cryptocurrency are recorded in a ledger called blockchain. To every cryptocurrency corresponds its own blockchain. The blockchain ledger is publicly available: everybody can have access to the blockchain ledger and display all transactions. Everybody can know when and how many cryptocurrencies have been transferred without knowing any personal data of the user who performed the transaction and of the user who received it. This feature makes the cryptocurrency a form of money transparent and, at the same time, highly secure for people’s privacy. In fact, unlike traditional credit and bank transfers, to transfer cryptocurrencies only a code of the receiver, and not its personal information, is to know. This code is called public wallet address and allows its owners to transfer money without necessarily knowing its identity. Transactions can be performed directly by the users, with no intermediary that control them, like for example banks. This trading system is called peer-to-peer.
The first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was created in 2009 by an anonymous developer known by the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto. The main idea was to create an independent and decentralized electronic payment system based on mathematical proofs and cryptography.
As most cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin has a limited supply, which means that no more Bitcoins will be generated by the system after the maximum supply is reached. Along with Bitcoin, currently there are more than four thousand different cryptocurrencies, also known as altcoins or alternative coins, all with different features and use cases.
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What is the blockchain and how does it work?
What is the blockchain and how does it work?
The blockchain is a ledger with which users enter data and other resources, such as cryptocurrencies.
Blockchain means a chain of blocks, where each block contains the recording of any data transmission.
A transaction is data consisting of values subject to “exchange” that have to be verified, approved and stored in the database. Originally illustrated in 1991 by a team of researchers, this technology was at first designed to mark digital documents so that hacking them was not possible.
However it remained unused until Bitcoin cryptocurrency was created by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009.
A blockchain is a distributed ledger completely open to anyone.
Anyone can have access and display the stored data. A blockchain is used to store data following its own rules:
data can be added only after the last data has being stored, and in a chronological order. Every transaction is stored with a timestamp, determining its chronological order. Once a transmission is approved, it is completed with the consequent creation of a new block, in which the information is enclosed.
The content of the block is encoded and is called hash. The hash is generated with a mathematical formula consisting of the block number, when it was added to the ledger, the transaction contained, the blockchain protocol version, the previous block hash and the reference for the hash verification, also known as mining.
A hash identifies a block and its content is always unique, just like a fingerprint. Changing something in the block will change the hash.
If the fingerprint of a block changes, it will no longer be the same block. And one of the components of every block is the hash of the previous block: if any block hash is modified, the following block hash will no longer match! Therefore, every block that follows will not be valid and will no longer be stored since no valid hash has been recognized. Consequently, modifying one single block makes all following blocks not valid.
There is another way a blockchain guarantees transactions as uneditable and it is thanks to its distribution.
With traditional data management systems, data is stored on one single central database that communicates with all members of the network. Communication between members of the network always pass through the main database that stores everything. The problem is that if the main database collapses, communication between members gets interrupted. Banks are an example of a centralized network.
In a decentralized network like the blockchain, if the network node is down, nothing is lost. A node is the participant to the blockchain physically consisting of the participant’s server. The nodes communicate directly between them within the decentralized system and everybody possesses the same data as everybody else. It is used by the node to verify everything is still in order.
When somebody generates a new block, that is sent to everybody in the network. Each node therefore verifies the block to ensure it was not hacked.
If during a block verification, 10 nodes try to enter wrong information in a hundred-node network, confirmation is denied by the other 90 nodes considering the information to be not true: it is the majority that determines confirmation or denial of a new block. The bigger is the node network, the more decentralized and secure is the network.
If everything is correct, every node adds this block to its blockchain. Any hacked block is rejected by the other nodes in the network. A block correctly entered is accepted by the network and achieves consensus by all network nodes.
The consensus is a verification system, and the immutability of the approved information protects the blockchain from all sorts of hacking attempts.
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What is cryptocurrency mining
What is cryptocurrency mining?
Cryptocurrency mining is one of the key elements that allow cryptocurrencies to work as a peer-to-peer decentralized network without the need of a third party central authority.
In order for a new block of transaction to be added to the blockchain, it has to be checked, validated and encrypted. This procedure is called mining and is done by the miners. Mining therefore has a role of system monitoring and maintenance.
There are many types of mining, proof-of-work (POW) and the proof-of-stake (POS) being the most used. The aim is the same, the difference is the algorithm under which they operate and the name attributed: in the proof-of-stake, the mining activity is called forging and is done by the validators.
The mining activity has two purposes:
1. verifying the legitimacy of a transaction, avoiding the double expense of a user spending coins a second time;
2. introducing new coins into the existing circulating supply.
How does it work?
A miner is a node within the network that collects transactions and operates to arrange them in blocks. When transactions are performed, the node miners receive and validate them.
The first stage of the mining process is to produce the hash for each transaction contained in the memory pool, that is to say data that identifies and constitutes the content of the block. The node generating the hash transmits the block to the network. All other nodes check if the hash is valid and, if so, add the block to its blockchain copy, then they move forward with the next block. The miners start to work on the next block based on the hash previously received, establishing a consequential link between the blocks. The miners who discover the valid hash are rewarded for their mining.
Why is this activity rewarded? Because the miner contributes to the security of the system by verifying the transactions. The reward of the miners is based on the distribution of new coins generated for every block, and divided by the transactions fees. For example, today in 2019, 12.5 BTC are divided between the miners for every new block, transaction fees not included.
In the following video we will show you how proof-of-work (POW) and proof-of-stake (POS) work and which one is the best solution for the miner and the network.
Proof-of-work (POW) what is it and how does it work
Proof-of-work (POW): what is it and how does it work
In the previous video we understood what cryptocurrency mining is and its function. Now, let’s find out how the most famous mining algorithm works, the proof-of-work.
A proof-of-work protocol (POW) is used to discourage denial of service attacks, that is to say malfunctions due to cyber-attacks. Satoshi Nakamoto applied this system to the Bitcoin: the concept of proof-of-work existed even before the Bitcoin, originally published in 1992, and, in 2009, Bitcoin introduced an innovative way of using proof-of-work as a consensus algorithm that is used to validate transactions and broadcast new blocks to the blockchain.
Proof-of-work allows security in the network thanks to the distributed consensus. When traditional payment methods, like credit cards or bank transfers, are used we have to rely on third parties, like banks and payment processors, to set and check the transaction, in proof-of-work, transactions are verified by solving a complex mathematical operation: this is called mining.
The mining proof-of-work is performed with a computer that, through an analysis, performs complex mathematical operations.
How does it work?
The miners of a network compete with each other in solving a complex computer calculation by setting the hash of the block that, as we have seen in the video “What is the blockchain and how does it work?”, is the content of a block in the blockchain.
These calculations are very hard to solve but the solution is easy to verify. Once a miner has found a solution, the block is sent to the network where all other miners verify if the solution is correct. If the majority of miners in the network agree with the solution, a reward in cryptocurrency is distributed to the miners who have contributed to the verification of the block. If the majority of miners evaluate that what the first miner sent was an incorrect solution, that solution is denied and the block is not added to the network, so that no hacking nor anomaly is added to the blockchain. It is therefore a verification based on the distributed consensus of the network.
The technology of transaction verification and new Bitcoins production is based on the proof-of-work. The number of bitcoins is limited so the more coins are placed on the market the less are available for mining: this means that, being less available, it will be harder to mine and place the new coins on the market. Therefore, mining will be more and more difficult since the more the coin is valuable the higher will be the investment both in time and money to produce it.
In fact, in 2015 one Bitcoin transaction required the same amount of electricity as powering 1.57 American households for one day. In a recent research, experts argued that Bitcoin POW transactions may consume as much electricity as Denmark by 2020!
The cost for mining with proof-of-work can be really expensive. To solve this problem, an algorithm called proof-of-stake was conceived. Let’s focus more on it in the next video.
Proof-of-stake (POS) what is it and how does it work
Proof-of-stake (POS): what is it and how does it work
Proof-of-stake (POS): it is a different system for the validation of transactions, aimed to maintain security in the cryptocurrencies network and obtain a distributed consensus.
Proof-of-stake first idea was suggested on the Bitcointalk forum back in 2011, looking for solving the problems of the currently most used algorithm: proof-of work. The algorithm’s purpose is the same of the proof-of-work (POW) but the process to reach the goal is quite different. In proof-of-stake systems, blocks are said to be forged rather than mined, and this is done by the validators. Forging is another way to mine the currencies in order to validate their transactions and put new money into circulation.
Unlike the proof-of-work where the algorithm rewards miners who solve mathematical problems with the goal of validating transactions and creating new blocks, with the proof-of-stake the creator of a new block is chosen in a deterministic way, depending on:
- richness, called stake;
- age of the stake;
The size of the stake determines the chances for a node to be selected as the next validator to forge the next block – the bigger the stake, the bigger the chances, and to ensure the process does not give priority to the richest nodes in the network, other methods are considered in the selection process; the two most commonly used methods are ‘Randomized Block Selection’ and ‘Coin Age Selection’. The coin age is calculated by multiplying the number of days the coins have been held as stake and the number of coins in stake. Once a node has created a coin, the coin age is reset to zero, and a certain time period is necessary in order to create another block. This prevents the blockchain to be controlled by the biggest nodes of the stake. This along with the randomization process also makes the network more decentralized, since mining pools are no longer needed to mine the blocks.
Users who want to participate in the forging process, are required to lock a certain amount of coins into the network as their stake. When a node is selected to create the next node, it will check if the transaction in the block is valid, it will then be signed and added to the blockchain. In the event data in the last block were fake, the validators will not approve it, thus avoiding the chance that many attacks compromise the integrity of the system or cause a double expense. As a reward, the node receives the transaction fees associated with the transactions in the block: the highest the stake, the better the wallet contributing to security of the network and the higher the reward received by the user.
The more validators will open their wallets to activate the stake, the more the network will become safer because every single wallet acts as a validator, hence a decentralized network.
If a node wants to stop being a forger, its stake along with the earned rewards will be released after a certain period of time, giving the network time to verify that there are no fraudulent blocks added to the blockchain by the node.
In order to effectively control the network and approve fraudulent transactions, a node would have to own a majority stake in the network, also known as the 51% attack. This would be very unreachable as in order to gain control of the network you would need to acquire 51% of the circulating supply.
To sum up the benefits of POS:
- everybody can mine by downloading a simple wallet, even those, that have less skills and have a small quantity of coins, can participate.
- a higher decentralization and a more distributed consensus compared to POW.
- attacks on the network become extremely difficult and unlikely.
This is the proof-of-stake. In terms of network security, labor costs and earnings, is it better or worse compared to the proof-of-work? Let’s talk about this in the next video: POW VS POS!
POW vs POS, what's the best?
POW vs POS
Now that we know what mining is, and what the proof-of-work and the proof-of-stake are, we can determine which POW or POS is better. By better we mean the most efficient choice in terms of cost, time, gains and level of security that the algorithm can provide.
POW and POS operate completely differently to validate a block and reach consensus. Proof-of-work rewards miners with coins to solve the mathematical puzzle for verifying a block, doing this requires computational power; proof-of-stake rewards validators with transaction fees to put their wallets available to the network of nodes for the validation of transactions.
In a distributed consensus-based on the proof-of-work, in order to successfully complete a POW problem, you must have a computer with a lot of processing power, and more the production difficult of cryptocurrency increases over time, the more difficult and more expensive it will be to mine it. Furthermore, POW consumes a lot of electricity and these energy costs are paid by FIAT currencies, leading to a constant downward pressure on the digital currency value.
POS has solved this problem by attributing mining power to the proportion of coins held by a miner. So, instead of using the energy to respond to the POW puzzles, a POS miner is limited to extracting a percentage of transactions reflecting his or her share of ownership. The POS node to validate or mine the block is chosen with a probability proportional to the amount of coin they hold: a validator with 3% of the available coins can extract only 3% of the blocks and collect the transaction fees from those blocks.
A network that works with POS is often more decentralized than one with POW. This is because with POW the network can become centralized due to the major mining nodes, which have more capital to mine the cryptocurrency: otherwise, in the POS the wealth of the stake is important, but other factors, such as the age of the wallet and random choice, distribute wealth between the nodes. The more validators will open their wallets to activate the stake, the more the network will become safer because every single wallet acts as a validator, hence a decentralized network. We will see how the system ensures security against attacks in the video “What is a 51% attack?”.
Liracoin has chosen POS for its green philosophy and to allow all its users to participate in forging, thus helping to ensure the node system: open your stake wallet to start forging and earning.
Intro to Game Theory and the Dominant Strategy Equilibrium
What is Fiat Money - Visual Explanation
TULIP MANIA : The First Economic Buble
2008 Financial Crisis Explained
What is Fiat currency
In the economic and technological revolution we are experiencing today with the blockchain, there are many people who look at the scenario with skepticism. Convinced that cryptocurrencies will never be real money, to compete at the level of currencies such as the dollar, the euro, or the pound, called fiat currency. But how many people really know what fiat money is?
Fiat money is currency that a government has declared to be legal tender, but it is not backed by a physical commodity. The value of fiat money is derived from the relationship between supply and demand rather than the value of the material from which the money is made.
Historically, most currencies were based on physical commodities such as gold or silver, but fiat money is based solely on the faith and credit of the economy.
Fiat money was first introduced as an alternative to commodity-backed money. Fiat money only has value because the government maintains that value, or because two parties agree on said value.
Because fiat money is not linked to physical reserves, it risks becoming worthless due to inflation. Often expressed as a percentage, inflation indicates a decrease in the purchasing power of a nation’s currency.
Fiat money serves as a good currency if it can handle the roles that an economy needs of its monetary unit: storing value, providing a numerical account and facilitating exchange. Because fiat money is not a scarce or fixed resource like gold, central banks have much greater control over its supply, which gives them the power to manage economic variables such as credit supply, liquidity, interest rates and money velocity.
Fiat currencies are considered far more stable than commodity-backed currencies. That’s because the value of a commodity is based on its stability, and its price will tend to fluctuate based on its physical reserves.
So is it possible for the public to lose faith in its nation’s (fiat) currency? It can happen. One only needs to look at Zimbabwe or Venezuela, countries whose own currencies was ruined by hyperinflation.
While cryptocurrencies still have a long way to go and will certainly face many more challenges, the history of fiat currency demonstrates the vulnerability of this form of money. The future of both these forms of currency is in no way certain. That’s a big reason many people are exploring the possibilities of moving towards a cryptocurrency system for their financial transactions.
Is the uncertainty of fiat money’s stability the only reason for the birth of cryptocurrencies? We’ll talk about this in the next chapter.
Why cryptocurrency was born
Fiat money is a currency forced upon the people by governments, the a new kind of money has come along: the cryptocurrencies. With a history of only a decade, they became known all over the world. For some, they are an evolution of fiat money. For others, they are a fiat money competitor. To understand how things really are, we need to understand why cryptocurrencies were born.
Many people do not want to use cryptocurrencies because they do not trust them. If trust is essential for the use of money, how do you explain the growing distrust of banks and institutions?
Fiat money is by its nature manipulated by government entities and world economic powers. The fiat money is a centralized system within which we not only cannot choose, but we also cannot know what happens. There is no issuance of money without a government and a law of reference. The fiat currency is controlled, and each transaction is registered and controlled by the central bodies, which have the right to choose the fate of the deposits in our name. When we deposit money in the bank, we are effectively giving it up and renouncing our property; whatever we would like to do, it must comply with the rules of banks, and is often limiting (there are withdrawal limits, waiting times, account suspensions for checks, etc.).
In November 2016, the Indian government declared 1000 and 500 rupee banknotes not legal tender, the most used in the country. This year, 2018, the 500 euro banknote will be retired; albeit valid, the European Central Bank ceased its production so to fight against the black market. By 2025, Sweden is expected to be a cash free country. Every government wants to be a cashless country so that citizens cannot get out of the banking system. A transaction includes all data of the owner, including a collection of his or her habits, income, financials and purchase preferences.
None of us wanted the dollar, yen, rupee or euro. No matter where we are, we are forced to use the currency of our country, accepting the rules that may prove to be at our expense.
To break barriers and fight system impositions, a technology is born changing our destiny, a technology that has the power to recreate the whole financial system. After forty years of computer research, preceded by years of modernisation, we are at the turning point of human history: the blockchain.
Issued by a mysterious figure under the name of Satoshi Nakamoto, the world gets to know the blockchain protocol in 2008, and in 2009 its first application, the bitcoin. The bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, that is a tool for exchange allowing transactions to be performed through the digital technology, transactions completely free from the government control or intermediaries like banks. These transactions are secure and made possible thanks to the blockchain, a ledger in which data of all bitcoin transactions are entered, from 2009 until today. Everybody can access the bitcoin blockchain and display the transactions, how many bitcoins are and when they were transferred, but nobody can display the recipient and receiver personal data, not even a central authority. This is the first major difference compared to the banks, and they are terrified because it is about a financial system that can exist independently.
bitcoin is the first cryptocurrency, based on the principles of cryptography and working through the blockchain, and it was followed in this decade by other thousands. Bitcoin is born to help us regaining our freedom in sharing value and taking back our right to money.
For the first time in history, we can choose our money and make a new monetary system. A cryptocurrency is a currency that can be chosen, with which we can really improve our lives, with actual benefits.
In the next chapter, we will see the features and the benefits of cryptocurrencies.
What is Phishing?
What is a DDoS Attack?
What is a 51% attack
A 51% attack is a type of cyberattack aimed to control the majority of the node network that verify transactions, and in this way execute fraudulent transactions. This is possible because, by gaining control of 51% of the network, the concept of decentralized network is bypassed and the consensus is no longer distributed, but is instead held by a single node or a group of nodes organized to attack the network all at once.
Decentralization and verification of transactions based on the consensus of a decentralized network is the key factor and what makes the blockchain secure. The largest networks have a better protection against 51% attacks because they are harder to compromise.
We have seen how transactions are verified and validated through proof-of-work (POW) and proof-of-stake (POS): two different algorithms means two different types of 51% attacks, both with the same target.
51% ATTACK IN POW
The mining power, called hash rate, is distributed between the different nodes located all over the world, therefore the hash rate is controlled by no entity. Or at least it should be.
What happens if the hash rate distribution becomes unstable? What happens, for example, if one entity or organization manages to get more than 50% of the hash rate? One possible outcome is what is called 51% attack. Miners can spread false blocks containing fraudulent transactions in the blockchain. The 51% attack allows cybercriminals to perform the double-spending, which means the same coin can be spent more than once.
In proof-of-work, verification of transactions is done through the computing power of the nodes, which involves the use of large amounts of electricity and computational resources. A 51% attack is difficult to achieve on POW as an immense computing power is required, and that can be obtained only with expensive investment in money, much higher than any earning generated from the attack.
51% ATTACK IN POS
In proof-of-stake, mining of a block is accessible only based on the amount of coins possessed, in other words the stake. To reach 51% of the node network control, most of the cryptocurrency coins have to be possessed by the attackers. This means it will not be worth investing in, and in addition it does not ensure a successful attack because, as we have seen in the video about the proof-of-stake system, nodes selection for validating a transaction is based on the amount of coins possessed, but also on the wallet age and on randomization. These POS criteria of selecting the nodes placed in the verification process make the 51% attack nearly impossible in POS.
Why public WiFi is unsafe
In private networks (including WiFi and mobile networks), your sensitive data are, in the vast majority of cases, safe, but we can not say the same when you rely on free WiFi hotspots. Accessing an unsecured WiFi network puts your privacy at risk. If infrastructures with publicly accessible WiFi do not provide for a form of security, such as encryption algorithms, anyone with a computer knowledge of a certain type and specific software at their fingertips could snoop on you and spy on your actions. Public WiFi is a free connection offered at most popular places such as airports, stations, squares, bars and public places of interest. The more densely populated a network becomes, the more attractive it becomes to cyber criminals.
Why should they do it? The main information that the hackers want is the passwords for our accounts. The goal is not Facebook or social platforms in general, but is finance-related accounts, such as bank accounts. If we are connected to an unsecured public WiFi network and one of these malicious people is connected to our device, we simply need to access the account from the smartphone to immediately “share” the username, password and other private data with them.
Now let’s see the types of attacks that can be committed via public WiFi.
Man in the Middle attack (Source binance.vision)
A Man in the Middle (MitM) attack occurs when a malicious actor manages to intercept the communication between two parties. There are various types of MitM attacks, but one of the most common is to intercept a user’s request to access a website, sending back a response with a fraudulent webpage that looks legitimate. This may happen to pretty much any website, from online banking to file sharing and email providers.
For example, if Alice tries to access her email and a hacker manages to intercept the communication between her device and the email provider, he is can perform a MitM attack, luring her into a fake website. If the hacker gains access to her login and password, he could use her email to perform more malicious actions, such as sending phishing emails to Alice’s contact list.
Therefore, the Man in the Middle is a third party who is able to intercept the data sent between two points, pretending to be a legitimate intermediary. Usually, MitM attacks are performed to try and trick users into entering their sensitive data into a fake website, but they can also be used to merely intercept a private conversation.
WiFi eavesdropping (Source binance.vision)
WiFi eavesdropping is one kind of MitM attack where the hacker uses a public WiFi to monitor the activities of anyone that connects to it. The information intercepted may vary from personal data to patterns in internet traffic and browsing.
Typically, this is done by creating a fake WiFi network with a name that seems legitimate. The fake hotspot name is often very similar to the one of a nearby store or company. This is also known as the Evil Twin method.
For example, a consumer may enter a coffee shop and realize that there are three WiFi networks available with similar names: CoffeeShop, CoffeeShop1, and CoffeeShop2. The chances are that at least one of these is a fraudster’s WiFi.
Hackers may use this technique to collect data of any device that establishes a connection, which eventually allows them to steal login credentials, credit card information, and other sensitive data.
WiFi eavesdropping is just one of the risks associated with public networks, so it is always preferable to avoid using them. If you really need to use a public WiFi, make sure to check with an employee whether it is authentic and secure.
Packet Sniffing (Source binance.vision)
Sometimes, criminals make use of specific computer programs to intercept data. These programs are known as packet sniffers and are often used by legitimate IT professionals to record digital network traffic, making it easier for them to detect and analyze problems. These programs are also used to monitor patterns in internet browsing within private organizations.
However, many of these packet analyzers are appropriated by cybercriminals to gather sensitive data and perform illegal activities. So even if nothing bad appears to happen at first, victims may find out later that someone has committed identity fraud against them or that their company’s confidential information was leaked somehow.
Cookies Theft and Session Hijacking (Source binance.vision)
Basically speaking, cookies are small packets of data that web browsers collect from websites as a way to retain some browsing information. These packets of data are usually stored locally (as text files) on the user’s computer so that the website recognizes the user when they return.
Cookies are useful because they facilitate communication between users and the websites they visit. For example, cookies allow users to remain logged in without having to enter their credentials every time they visit a particular webpage. They may also be used by online shops to record items that customers previously added to their shopping carts or to monitor their surfing activity.
Since cookies are simples text files, they cannot carry a keylogger or malware so they won’t do any harm to your computer. However, cookies can be dangerous in terms of privacy and are often used on MitM attacks.
If malicious actors are able to intercept and steal the cookies you are using to communicate with websites, they can use that information against you. This is called Cookies Theft and is often related to what we call Session Hijacking.
A successful session hijacking allows an attacker to impersonate the victim and communicate with websites on their behalf. This means they can use the victim’s current session to access personal emails or other websites that may contain sensitive data. Session hijacking occurs commonly at public WiFi hotspots because these are easier to monitor and much more vulnerable to MitM attacks.
Protecting your personal data is not very difficult. Avoid connecting to public WiFi, and if you have to do it, do not perform operations related to your wallet cryptocurrencies, or your private keys and your money will be available to someone else. Turn off any settings that allow your device to automatically connect to available WiFi networks. Use password-protected WiFi networks wherever possible. When there are no alternatives and you are forced to use a public WiFi network, try not to send or access sensitive information.
Pay close attention to WiFi networks. Do not trust the name of a network just because it is similar to the name of a store or company. The use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is always recommended, especially if you need access to sensitive or commercial data.