These 6 Tips Might Just Turn Your Crypto Wallets into A Fort Knox
Cryptocurrencies have enjoyed fresh attention since the start of the year, and for more reasons than one.
From the massive bull run on Bitcoin and other alts to the constant tweets around dogecoin by Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, the interest and sentiment in the market are justified.
However, hackers and scammers are also not resting on their oars in this market. Now that there is fresh interest around cryptocurrencies, you best believe that these threat actors are also on high alert.
Common Crypto Threats
Sometimes last year, a hacker took hold of a series of high-profile Twitter accounts to run a scam simultaneously. The hacker promised the followers of Jack Dorsey, Elon Musk, Barack Obama, and other high-profile individuals that they would get a larger amount of bitcoin if they first sent some to an address.
Of course, that was a scam.
A few months ago, also, Eric Savics lost all the bitcoin he had been saving up for years in a matter of minutes. The only mistake he made was not vetting the cryptocurrency wallet which he imported his coins into. Thus, the hacker managing the fake wallet made away with all his coins.
Due to the hardship and economic situation created by the coronavirus pandemic, it is not surprising to see that a lot of crypto scams have come up around the concept. From scammers asking unsuspecting individuals to invest in various dubious schemes to downright stealing of wallet passwords, you need to do more to protect yourself if you are holding any crypto.
Your Guide to Better Security
Do these to secure your crypto holdings better.
Tip #1 Never disclose your holdings
The first and best tip is that you never go around telling people that you own some crypto. Unless you must do so as part of your work (a cryptocurrency development expert, trader, etc), it’s better to leave that off your lips. That way, you eliminate or reduce the target on your back.
Tip #2 Choose secure passwords
Cryptocurrency wallets are not one of those places where you want to gamble on a poor password.
It is not right to choose a poor password anywhere – but you must be especially careful here.
Generate a strong and unique password via an online password generator and store it in a reputable password manager also. That way, you reduce your chances of getting hacked.
Once that is done…
Tip #3 Enable 2FA
And no, not two-factor authentication by SMS. Hackers are smart enough to intercept your messages these days so that might do you no good.
Opt for secure authenticator apps (like the Google Authenticator) and connect them to your account. Even if the hacker had access to your password, they would still have a hard time logging into your account.
Tip #4 Choose secure networks
It is true that bitcoin protects your financial privacy, but you will undo all that good work if you expose your privacy in other ways.
For example, connecting to a public/ free Wi-Fi network not only exposes information about your computer but your internet traffic/ what you are doing online also. A hacker who knows what they are doing can plant malware to collect sensitive information on your unit, see all your passwords and even hijack your conversations when you are on such unsecured networks.
While you should never connect to a free or public Wi-Fi network, at least ensure your network connections are encrypted. You can do that with a VPN.
Tip #5 Know your wallets
Knowing your wallets can be explained in more ways than one.
For the first part, you should understand the core differences between a hot and cold storage wallet. That allows you to decide which best works for your cryptocurrency holding model. Likewise, you can have both for different purposes.
On the other hand, make sure to only deal with reputable cryptocurrency companies and wallet providers. The fact that a new, nameless provider is offering some promotional package should not be enough to make you jump ship. Remember how Eric (from the introduction above) lost all his life savings and you will appreciate what you need to get your wallets better.
Tip #6 Secure your recovery phrase
The recovery phrase is important for two reasons: it allows you to import your account from anywhere, and it doesn’t need a password to work.
The second reason is the most dangerous but only if you allow it to get to that.
Think about a random person being able to access all your cryptocurrency because they got your recovery phrase. Scary, right?
This is one of the many reasons why you should never store your recovery phrase online. Write it down on a piece of paper and store it away in a safe place where no one will ever have access to it.
Cryptocurrencies are built on anonymity which is great till you find out that it is almost impossible to know where your money went once it leaves your account. In this scene, the saying ‘prevention is better than cure’ holds a lot of water. Implement the tips above and you won’t be caught out looking for a ‘cure,’ so to speak.