This article highlights the main ways to secure your crypto-accounts
Cryptocurrencies may be virtual, but they can be stolen too. Moreover, their owners need to protect them even more than the ordinary paper money bills. Hackers and IT swindlers act invisibly unlike thieves. This article highlights the main ways to secure your crypto-accounts.
- Protect your device. This is not the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of crypto-safety. However, no passwords can save your account if the device is compromised by viruses and malware. Make sure to use the latest antivirus versions. Premium variants are always better and more functional than the free ones. Do not browse suspicious websites. Stay away from obnoxious links and ads. Never download unauthorized software or unreliable files.
- Create strong passwords. The longer it is the better. Try to make your passwords random, use both capital and lower-case letters, as well as numbers and allowed symbols. If you use a certain word, make sure that is not part of your personal information such as age, date of birth, children’s names, phone number etc. Hackers can get access to it via social networks or email-box. However, you can use some words that are meaningful for you and intimate at the same time. Do not repeat the password for every social network or domains. Although you will remember it more easily, the scammers will hack it just as easy.
Special password generators can help you create a tricky reliable code. You can also check whether the password is risky online at haveibeenpwned.com/Passwords.
- Use wallets. Although there is a chance you would like to use so-called hardware wallets (USB-drives, Ledger, Trezor, KeepKey, separate PCs etc), software wallets are usually cheaper and more convenient.
Many users rely on third-party services to store their cryptocurrencies. Most of the exchange bases like Coinbase or BitFlyer offer their storage services. However, recent notorious cases of fraud make cautious users stay away from public online wallets.
Other options are desktop and mobile wallets. Those require installing certain software on your PC or mobile phone. Private and public encrypted keys are protected by multiple security features here, so attackers cannot easily access your account. Some examples of popular wallets are: Exodus, MetaMask, Atomic Wallet, MyEtherWallet, Coinomi, Jaxx, Electrum, Mycelium etc. You can check their characteristics online and choose the most suitable one.
Whatever type of wallet you prefer, keep it as safe as your real-life wallet. If you use desktop software, be sure not to use the Internet imprudently on that device. If your digital wallet is mobile, remember that phones can get lost, stolen or broken. Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks for your crypto-transactions. If you own a hardware wallet, keep it somewhere safe as well.
- Have backups. No resource is 100% safe. Always have backup storage for your cryptocurrencies, passwords, and private keys. You can use USB-drives, hard drives, or online storage for regular backing up of your crucial data. In case of attack or problems with hardware/software wallets, your data can be safely restored. Remember to be careful with your backups as well. Encrypt the information whenever it’s possible. Use complicated encryption codes to add security.
- Enable 2-factor authentication (2FA). Accessing the account with a single password is too risky. Receiving a separate code for every logging in may be annoying, but it’s better in terms of security. You can use an authentication app instead of SMS service as well. Those randomly generate additional access codes every minute so the hackers will have a hard time with cracking it.
- Be cautious. Never open suspicious URLs. Check them carefully before opening. Sometimes scams are hidden under the offers of tech support, crypto-promotions, or ads. If you use Google Chrome, install a Punycode Alert extension. It will warn you when the URL you’re accessing is redirecting you to another website. There are also other solutions to help you avoid phishing.
- Finally, do not disclose your ownership of the cryptocurrency either online or in real-life conversations. You make yourself a target!
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