When it comes to crypto currency, there is a range of jargon out there that you may not be familiar with. Let’s start with a brief explanation of cryptocurrency. You may have heard of Bitcoin, however there are other crypto currencies around. Bitcoin is a decentralized asset and as a result does not have the same protection factors to money minted and managed centrally by the banks. This means the sole responsibility of its security lies with the individual themselves. Making it especially important to know how best to secure your crypto wallet. Don’t worry if you are unfamiliar with these terms, it is pretty straight forward wallets in crypto terms are the same as your own personal wallet, so once you lose it, that’s it, it is gone. With that in mind, let’s take a look at 10 ways you can secure your crypto wallet.
Let’s start with Hardware Wallets. There are a number of different crypto wallets available on the market. The challenge then lies in which ones to choose. There are two different types: Cold Wallets and Hot Wallets. Cold wallets do not connect to the internet. This keeps your cryptocurrency offline making it very, very difficult for hackers to gain access to. Cold Wallets are best used for those who hold their Bitcoin or any other currency for the foreseeable future without trading.
Hot Wallets, are aimed more towards individual who will be moving the currency around between different exchanges for trading purposes. However these wallets are a riskier option as they are online and make it easier for hackers. To provide yourself with a little more security, you can apply ‘two-factor authentication, but this will still leave you vulnerable.
Both of these are secured using a private key. Which leads me on to the next step…
Keep your ‘Private Key’ Offline
This is common sense really. Do not store your Private Key on any devices. Store it the old-fashioned way. Write it down on a piece of paper and keep it in a secure dry place. Perhaps even invest in a home Fire Safe. Be warned though, that if you lose this piece of paper and you haven’t thought to remember what you wrote down, you will no longer be able to access it.
It is worth giving the private key to someone else, but do not under any circumstances tell anyone what it is. Only you should be able to access the wallet.
Always use antivirus software to secure your devices. Scan your device(s) prior to installing your wallet. This will ensure there are no viruses or malware in place. Make sure you are updating your antivirus frequently and on time as malware programs are constantly being updated. We don’t want to be installing our wallets on an already infected device. Infected devices can lead to data breaches, which can result in your wallet being breached.
Just like all online activity, whether it be your emails, or online accounts with retailers etc. You need to secure your wallet with a strong password. Stay away from using personal information like special places or special dates. You can use a password randomizer. Include numbers and special characters. Do not use the same password for all your online activity! If you don’t want to use a randomizer, one of the most sure-fire ways to generate a password is to choose three random words. Flick through a dictionary and pick three, the chances of this password being broken is exceedingly rare.
Use a Secure Internet Connection
Where possible always use your mobile hotspot to connect your laptop to the internet particularly if you have your crypto wallet installed on a laptop. Public Networks are flawed and will leave you vulnerable to attack.
Avoid accessing suspicious or unknown links
Internet scammers can clone entire websites and are able to use almost identical URL’s. Always check the website address is authenticate before entering in your Private Key. Keep an eye out for phishing emails.
NEVER give out your Private Key
It’s in the name ‘Private Key’. Your Private Key is for your eyes only. Do not under any circumstances part with this. Make all your transactions yourself. Do not ever share your Private Key with third parties.
Two Factor Authentications
This may seem like a hassle. In the long term you will be grateful you have implemented it. Most online wallets offer or have two-part authentication, always use it. It is simple and will prevent your crypto currency from being stolen right out from under your nose. It’s always best to be safe than sorry.
Check Crypto Currency Addresses
Malware programs can intervene when you copy Crypto Currency addresses. Pay particularly close attention to these addresses. Always ensure the address is the authentic one. The last thing you want is to unintentionally send someone else your crypto currency.
Back-up your wallet
I cannot emphasise this point enough ‘Back-up, Back-up, Back-up’. Like with anything of value to you. Whether it is your digital photos, a works project you have spent months working on, always back-up. It is no different when it comes to your crypto wallet, if anything it is far more important as this is your money we are talking about.
Above I have provided some guidance on how to protect yourself and your Crypto Wallet. So, to recap, we have covered 10 ways by which you can secure and protect your crypto wallet. Use hardware wallets, always use a secure internet connection and avoid use public networks. Keep your Private Key, private and stored offline and securely. Keep your anti virus update. Use two-factor authentication.
Always check the authenticity of the addresses you use. Avoid suspicious and un-trust worthy links, if in doubt, do not. Unlike your money held by the banks the crypto currency is not regulated in the same way and therefore your security is primarily your responsibility. Do not give out your private key to anyone and do not allow third parties to make transactions on your behalf. This is your currency, take every possible action to ensure its security.