Published on August 12th, 2020 | by Bibhuranjan0
How to Keep Your Cryptocurrency Safe
The rise of cryptocurrency is here with more people investing in not just the big-name cryptos like ETH and BTC but also smaller lesser-known cryptos that offer potential. With the new rise of ‘money online’ or ‘virtual currencies’ comes a stream of cyber thieves targeting crypto investors. Those with weak security policies are vulnerable and many have found out the hard way by losing their crypto.
If you are thinking about investing in crypto, or if you are already delving into this new financial sector, take a look at these very simple tips to make sure you are protected.
Always Use 2FA Linked to Your Mobile Phone
2-Factor Authentication is the safest way to make sure any online account is safe from hackers. Should your password be compromised, the hacker would need your mobile phone to gain full access into your account. It also gives you a chance to see all login attempts to your account.
Important – do not use your email for 2FA. If a cyber thief has managed to get hold of the password to your online/web-based crypto wallet (such as Cosmos Atom Wallet), then the chances are he/she has your email account’s password too. In this case, the thief can simply log on to your crypto wallet, then authenticate 2FA via your email. This is also why using 2FA on your email is important to further protect yourself.
Where possible, set up notifications for every login attempt made to your crypto wallet. This will likely be linked to your email address which some hackers are clever enough to delete the login attempts. However, as soon as they run into 2FA, this is the ultimate deterrent to move them on in search of easier targets than yourself.
- Use your mobile phone for 2FA
- Do not use your email for 2FA
- Set up notifications for all login attempts
- Use 2FA on your crypto and email accounts
You may also find the following 2FA article by Investopedia interesting –arguably the world’s largest financial investment website.
Use a Strong Password
Please forgive us for pointing out the obvious. However, just to be 100% sure we don’t leave out one of the basic security tips we thought we would add this section in with a couple of fun facts.
Fact 1: Passwords that use ‘real words’ but include mixed upper- and lower-case letters, numbers as well as using special characters will not deter hackers. Sophisticated software can run through every combination of a word including that world with characters and numbers using dictionaries in multiple languages.
Fact 2: Even typing your password backwards plus using the tactics in ‘Fact 1’ will not keep your password safe from a hacker that is determined to get hold of your password.
Fact 3: Do not be fooled by using a password in another language other than your native one. Hackers are not limited by the language you speak.
The solution to a strong password:
- Do not use real words
- Use numbers, letter, and characters
- Make your password more than 12 characters long
You should use the tactics stated above in ‘Fact 1’ and ‘Fact 2’ but use ‘strange’ and ‘weird’ words. It could be a strange nickname you use for your pets, it could be an out of the ordinary phrase that only you would know, or a sequence of letters and numbers you can memorize.
Use VPN Software If You Are Connecting to Crypto from Public Wi-Fis
Now first we do not recommend connecting to your crypto wallet from a Wi-Fi router you do not trust. However, there are so many crypto fanatics out there that are on the move that it can be hard to avoid this scenario.
For those of you that find themselves connecting to crypto wallets on a router other than at home, the best way to connect to the internet is via a VPN. This will encrypt your connection through the Wi-Fi or public access point that you are using. It is very important to do this because public Wi-Fi and access points are prime targets for cyber thieves.
What better way than to steal data from an access point that you can guarantee will pick up tons of traffic from passers-by looking for an internet connection. This gives the cyber thief the chance to scan multiple devices and capture data packets – if this happens to be you logging onto your crypto account, it could mean all of your cryptos are lost.
To learn about how VPNs work, how they encrypt connections, and how safe they are, Allertaprivacy has some very good explanations on its blog.
Use Multiple Crypto Wallets/Hardware Wallets
When we say use multiple wallets, you could use just 2. We would recommend keeping the bulk of your crypto investments on a hardware wallet. This is effectively offline storage and therefore you are considerably reducing the risk of having your cryptos stolen.
For more active transfer of crypto and trading, you may have a wallet for docking your digital currencies and another account on an exchange for your trading activities. These will usually be web-based so you would need to make sure that you follow the 2FA authentication, strong password, and VPN connection advice above.
One word of warning about exchanges. Do not use them as a wallet to store your crypto. You should always transfer your crypto back into a wallet when you complete your exchange activities.
- Hardware wallets give you offline storage
- Do not keep crypto on exchanges
Keep Your Device Security Up to Date
Another obvious point we would like to make, but still, one that is surprisingly ignored is keeping technical areas such as software updates for your operating system current as well as making sure you have an active anti-virus software program installed.
Paid anti-virus is the best way to fully protect your computer and it is a small investment to make if you are looking to deal in cryptos. You can affordably purchase anti-virus that can be used on multiple devices. Therefore, you can protect your smartphone, tablet, PC, and laptop all under one account with relatively low monthly payments.
- Use paid anti-virus
- Do not ignore OS updates
Recap of Crypto Security
Keeping your crypto safe requires you to put in place a few amazingly simple steps. In this guide, we only provide just a few of the main tips and advice regarding protecting your crypto. Many of these tips are not only relevant to crypto but also your overall internet security.
Protecting your accounts with 2FA will deter hackers or at least give them a hard time while having a strong password in front of your 2FA will mean you have created the ultimate access security policy that makes life very hard for hackers. With your security so strong, hackers will tend to leave you alone because there are far easier targets out there.
Just to be safe, you should never connect to access points that you do not trust without added security. This means employing the use of anti-virus software to protect your web browsing activities while using a VPN to disguise and encrypt any data you pass through a public access point that may have been compromised by a hacker.