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Owning cryptocurrency is akin to being your own bank. This puts the onus of security and management (that is traditionally on banks) on the owner of crypto. As cryptocurrency markets are in the midst of a major bull run with Bitcoin reaching a new all-time high, security concerns are more relevant than ever.
Here are 10 simple rules for keeping your cryptocurrency safe.
1. Opt for a ‘cold’ wallet
Paper or hardware wallets are what is oftentimes referred to as cold wallets. They are the most secure type of digital wallets in the sense that they cannot be hacked as they are offline. An offline hardware like a USB or a hard disk avoids storage on online exchanges, ensuring that hackers cannot steal currency. A paper wallet is also a great option, as it is a piece of paper with a crypto address and a private key in the form of QR codes. This type of wallet is extremely resistant to hacking.
2. Use strong passwords and multi-factor authentications
Using a strong, two-factor authentication method is vital when it comes to securing your wallet. Using a multi-signature or several keys to authorize transactions will greatly reduce any chances of fraud. If multiple approvals are needed to carry out a transaction, the threat of theft and hacking naturally decrease.
3. Do your research and homework
With a tonne of information available, it is more important than ever that cryptocurrency users take the time to learn all about the vast world of crypto. This would ensure that users can make the right decisions when it comes to the purchase, exchange, and storing of their cryptocurrencies in ways that do not compromise their security. Our introductory course on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies can arm you with bite-sized information to help you make the right decisions.
4. Beware of scams
Particularly giveaways and phishing scams. There are so many scams that are currently active on social media that aim to get you to give up your private keys. Beware of any advertisement or persons asking you to send them crypto for double back, or anyone claiming they can help you gain more by giving them your private keys. Also be very weary of clicking on links that prompt you for your passwords or keys, always check the security certificates of websites, and be sure to not click on links from unknown emails.
5. Use secure networks and avoid public Wi-Fi
This may seem like an extreme measure, but always be sure to access your account and wallet from a private and secure network that you trust. Public Wi-Fi networks can be easily hacked and rigged to install malware and are best avoided when it comes to your cryptocurrency.
6. Backup your private keys
In fact, backup your entire wallet from the get go, and continue to do so often. Regular backups will allow you to recover your cryptocurrency in the event of a computer failure. Storing your keys and backup in several locations like a hard disk or a USB are also added measures for security. Be sure to set a strong password on your backup so it cannot be compromised.
7. Conduct software updates routinely
A wallet that is running on non-updated software can make for a prime target for hackers. All software updates for wallets would provide better security systems, thus increasing the security of your cryptocurrency. Software updates also provide bug fixes and security protocol, which also up the general security of your wallet. Updating your operating systems on computers, tablets, and mobile phones can also provide additional ammo against hacking and reduce possible breaches.
8. Beware of fake trading groups
Many fake trading groups have been luring traders in and promising high returns in exchange for membership fees paid out in cryptocurrencies. These groups more often than not end up being scams.
9. Conduct smaller transactions
It is always better to conduct several small transactions to ensure that the exchange you are using is working right, and that you have properly entered the correct data. This keeps you from sending a bulk sum to a wrong address, something that is permanent and cannot be undone.
10. Mums the word
Gloating about your investments and gains may seem fun but could prove to be harmful to your coins. Cybercriminals are routinely keeping an eye out on social media channels for people who are possible targets.
Though it may seem daunting, taking a few measured steps to ensure that your cryptocurrency is safe and secure is vital and can make a huge difference. Whether it is something simple like