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How to protect your NFTs from theft and counterfeit copies: A Beginner's Guide

Nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, are a hot commodity in today's cryptocurrency and blockchain space. As with cryptocurrencies, users must take the necessary precautions to keep assets safe from theft. Moreover, it is crucial to avoid fake copies of NFT, as they have no value now or in the future. 

📎 Basic tips for everyone
Cryptocurrency enthusiasts are familiar with the concept of securing their coins. The most common option is to store funds in a wallet and protect the private key with a backup, password, two-factor authentication if possible. The same concepts apply to non-gaming tokens, as they are often stored in wallets that users rely on to store their crypto-assets.
One of the most important factors in NFT is how they verify digital ownership. Without the private key of a wallet storing NFTs, users can't claim ownership of a non-playable token, let alone verify that they own it. Because the NFT industry also attracts many criminals, thieves, and other untrustworthy individuals, the security of an NFT wallet's private key becomes even more important.
If your wallet is compromised and NFTs are transferred to another wallet, you have virtually no legal recourse. Transactions are irreversible and pseudonymous, making it difficult to find out who arranged the transfer. This doesn't just apply to NFT investors, because artists also face different attack vectors from criminals. Some have had NFT - and cryptocurrency funds - stolen from their wallets, either through a social engineering attack or other means.
As users begin to accumulate their collection of unplayable tokens, wallet security becomes crucial. Using a web wallet may seem preferable because it allows direct integration with NFT trading venues on different blockchains. However, web wallets also pose a risk because they lack two-factor authentication or other safeguards that can be used. Moreover, users should be careful about the websites and contracts they grant permissions to when using a web wallet. 

📎 Avoiding fake NFT copies
Another problem is that there are many legitimate NFT projects, but almost as many, if not more, fake versions. Most of them can be found on fake NFT marketplaces or in phishing versions of real projects. These fake versions can look just like the real marketplace, and are often aimed at tricking users into spending money on fake artwork. Often these fake versions have a much lower price tag than the original artwork. 
The best way to avoid these fake platforms and NFTs is to visit the legitimate platform's website directly. Another option is to check the contract to mine a non-paying token and make sure you are only interacting with the correct address. The latter option is a bit more difficult for novice users, but it remains an important aspect of keeping your NFT safe.

📎 Expanding the ecosystem with viable tools
Developers and service providers must provide the necessary infrastructure to help users keep their funds and NFTs safe. A multi-pronged approach is needed. Providing a wallet is only part of the equation, but creating a viable ecosystem that allows users to find NFT - and eliminating wannabes, clones and bogus projects from the equation - is perhaps even more important. 

🛸 Final thoughts.
There is tremendous excitement in the world of unplayable tokens. However, there are also many pitfalls and criminals in this industry. Thanks to decentralized technology, everyone can participate in these industries, for better or worse. Developers can use the same technology to create a safer ecosystem for everyone without sacrificing self-preservation. 
18.01.2022, 16:23