While buying a cryptocurrency is one thing, storing it safely requires entirely different knowledge and skills as those possessed by crypto experts. Cryptocurrency security ideas are much needed for today’s world. Cryptocurrencies are based on cryptography. Cryptography, as we know, is the study of techniques for secure communication. It is highly impossible to hack a blockchain, or a private key as trying to break an algorithm protected by cryptography would require an unfeasible amount of computational power. In spite of such a safety aspect, there have been countless cases of cryptocurrency theft. This may happen especially to those who are just starting out in cryptocurrency investment.
This article will throw light on the best 10 crypto security tips to protect your digital assets and avoid the common hazards of crypto security.
1. Beware of Phishing Scams
Phishing can be defined as a fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information from a user by disguising themselves as a trustworthy entity. Hackers make use of a very common scam technique which involves creating a fake, identical version of the exchange or the web wallet page used by cryptocurrency holders. They mail the link to the victim with a convincing message. This message will convince them to log in and take instant action. There have been a lot of instances where people give in to this, access these sites, and enter their details. The hackers then use this data to do whatever they want. To avoid phishing, make sure that the link displayed in your browser is the same as the one in your exchange or web wallet.
2. Avoid Storing Cryptocurrencies on Exchanges
Though you may be taking the right actions towards crypto security, it does not mean that your cryptocurrency exchange may also be doing the same. There have many cases in the past about large exchanges losing their user’s funds or freezing. This may be because of technical errors or hacks. If you are planning to trade your funds any time sooner, transfer the funds in your exchange to your wallet. If you are still keen on storing cryptocurrency on an exchange, you can check out some of the popular exchanges such as Coinbase, eToro, Changelly, Coinmama, etc. These are trustworthy, and your coins will be safer in these exchanges than the many other options out there.
3. Buy a Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallet
A hardware wallet refers to a very safe method for storing your digital assets. A cryptocurrency hardware wallet refers to a physical device that keeps your private key safe from the eyes of criminals and gives the user easy access to their cryptocurrencies. The three popular hardware wallets are Trezor, Ledger (Nano S), and KeepKey. The private keys are stored inside an impenetrable circuit. It allows users to sign transactions with a single click. A hardware wallet also comes with a ‘seed.’ A seed is a physical paper that allows the users to transfer keys to another wallet if the device is stolen or lost.
4. Avoid Public Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi can divert your browser to any page. This may sometimes be a mimic version of your exchange or wallet. They will also be able to gather the data transmitted through the network, in case it carries the password you had typed. If you are accessing your wallet from a public Wi-Fi, be sure to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). It is a method used to add privacy and security to private and public networks, like the internet and Wi-Fi hotspots. VPN is mostly used by businesses to protect sensitive data.
5. Ensure Device Safety
It is important to have a firewall and an updated antivirus in place. Make sure you don’t install any software if you are not entirely sure about it. You must never download any suspicious attachments. Before you install any software on your system, make sure that you do thorough research about its reputation. You can use Google or social media platforms such as Reddit or even ask your friends whom you feel would have more knowledge about this topic.
6. Enable Two-factor Authentication
It refers to an extra layer of security added to the validation procedure. This makes it difficult for hackers to invade your wallet or exchange account, as only providing the password isn’t enough for them to gain access. This is a good cryptocurrency security idea. A majority of the exchanges and wallets require two-factor authentication. It may need a random pin number that was sent to you through email or SMS.
7. Beware of Bitcoin Gambling Sites
Many people are attracted to Bitcoin gambling due to the anonymity it offers. This anonymity may sometimes be disadvantageous. Many Bitcoin gambling sites do not disclose the identity of the site owner. This makes it tedious to check if the platform has the appropriate licenses. For keeping your cryptocurrency safe, you must use trusted Bitcoin gambling sites that have good reviews online and are at least a year old.
8. Don’t Get Entangled in Pump and Dumps
Pump and dump is a tactic used by a group of people or an influencer to generate hype to make many people buy cryptocurrencies at the same time. By doing so, the price of cryptocurrencies increases greatly, and this enables the organizers of this tactic to dump all the people who are buying at a higher price. This practice is illegal in cryptocurrency markets and traditional markets. You need to stay away from it to keep your cryptocurrency safe. The organizers may lure you into participating by promising great returns. But the fact is only the organizers will be benefiting from this.
9. Use Difficult Passwords
When creating a wallet or a cryptocurrency exchange account, you need to use a very secure password. It can be a combination of numbers, uppercase, and lowercase letters, symbols, etc. You can also use online password generators for getting a secure password. Passwords Generator is one such online password generator that helps in the instant creation of secure, random passwords. The password must be stored in a safe place. The best thing to do would be to store it offline or on a piece of paper.
10. Keep Your Holdings Private
There have been many previous instances of people being assaulted or even murdered by bad actors in the attempt to steal their cryptocurrencies. Stealing cryptocurrency looks attractive for both criminals and hackers due to their anonymous nature. In case of money stolen from a bank account, it can usually be tied to an entity and retrieved, but Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies cannot be traced to an identity. Therefore, you must never tell anyone how much cryptocurrency you hold. You must keep this in mind when you talk to people in blockchain conferences and cryptocurrency meetups. Another crypto security tip is to add a cryptocurrency portfolio tracker. You can make use of this feature if you want to avoid someone discovering your holdings if your phone is stolen.
Over the past few years, cryptocurrency theft has become an incredibly popular business. Their increasing popularity is the main reason for gaining the attention of many hackers as the cryptocurrency market is growing more profitable each day. There is no need to panic. Keeping these cryptocurrency security ideas in mind will help you secure your cryptocurrencies and become a crypto expert.
To know more about cryptocurrencies, check out Blockchain Council