Are you considering investing in cryptocurrency but concerned about the security of your assets?
The decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies provides an excellent level of anonymity and security. However, investing in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies can be complicated and intimidating because there are no regulations or widespread standards for keeping them safe. The responsibility for safety falls on the individual. While this is a big advantage, it requires more awareness and diligence.
We at weirdo.rocks believe that there are a lot of simple steps that you can follow and raise awareness, and we prepared a list of 5 tips that will help ensure that your crypto assets remain secure so you can focus on what truly matters: maximizing your investments.
Let's dive in!
Tip 1: Use a hardware wallet (cold storage)
The first thing that you should do is take custody of the crypto keys in your hands (LINK). This is especially advisable if you are holding large sums of digital assets.
You should transfer funds from cryptocurrency exchanges to a cold wallet - a physical device specifically designed to store and manage digital assets securely. You have probably already heard about Trezor and Ledger, and there are many more. They are considered one of the most secure options for storing crypto holdings because they keep the private keys (used to access the funds) offline.
Hardware crypto wallets are designed with multiple layers of security, such as PIN codes and passphrases, to protect against unauthorized access.
You can also use software wallets, also known as online or hot wallets, digital wallets typically stored on a computer or mobile device and connected to the internet. However, while software wallets can be convenient and provide access to your funds from anywhere, they are generally considered less secure than hardware wallets.
If you invest and hold your assets without trading, hardware wallets are the best option to secure your crypto bags in the long run.
Tip 2: Use strong and unique passwords
Using strong and unique passwords is the next essential step. Passwords are often the first defense against unauthorized access to your accounts, so they must be strong enough to withstand attacks from villains trying to get to your fortune.
A strong password is at least 12 characters long and includes a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid using easily guessable information like your name or birthdate, and never reuse the same password across multiple accounts.
Using unique passwords for each account ensures that if one password is compromised, the attacker cannot access any of your other accounts.
One way to ensure that your passwords are protected and unique to use a password manager - software that securely stores all your passwords in one place and can even generate random, secure passwords for you. Some popular ones are 1Password (we use this one), LastPass, Dashlane, etc.
These password managers also have an "Autofill" feature, which fills the passwords automatically on the required website. This will help you to remember complex passwords, and you don't have to write them down on a piece of paper.
Tip 3: Enable two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an extra layer of security that adds a step to the login process. It is designed to ensure that the person accessing an account is who they claim to be. Besides solid passwords, 2FA became the minimum to protect online digital funds, online banking, or other services containing delicate data.
With 2FA, you have to provide a password and a second form of authentication, such as a fingerprint, face scan, or a code sent to a mobile device or email. This makes it much harder for bad actors to access an account, even if they got through your password protection.
There are several methods for setting up 2FA. The most common way is to use a mobile app, such as Google Authenticator or Authy. These apps generate a unique code that is valid for a short period, and the user must enter the code in addition to their password to log in.
Another method is to use a code sent via SMS or email. This method involves the user receiving a code via SMS or email after entering their password, which they then enter to complete the login process. This form is not the best, as SIM swap attacks can easily compromise it.
Tip 4: Be cautious of phishing attempts
Phishing is a known type of cyber attack in which an attacker attempts to steal sensitive information, such as passwords or credit card numbers, by tricking you into providing it. In cryptocurrency, phishing attacks can steal private keys to access and control digital assets.
Phishing scams can take many forms, including fake websites, emails, and text messages. These attacks are designed to look like legitimate messages or websites and often include urgent or threatening language to trick the victim into taking action, such as providing their private keys or downloading malware.
There are a few ways to recognize and avoid phishing attempts:
- Be aware of unsolicited emails or messages: Be cautious of any messages that ask for personal information or contain a link to click on. Don't click on it!
- Double-check the sender's email address: Phishing emails often come from similar but not identical to the legitimate address.
- Look for spelling and grammatical errors: Many phishing attempts could be better written and may contain errors.
- Always verify the website's URL: Phishing websites often have similar URLs but are not identical to legitimate ones.
- Use anti-virus software to protect your computer from the malware that may be used in phishing attacks.
- Never share your passwords: No legitimate service will ever ask you to share your password or private key.
With some crypto exchanges like Binance or Crypto.com, you can set the Anti-Phishing code - a unique set of letters and numbers appearing in every email they will send. If the email shows an incorrect code or doesn't have one, you know it can be an attempt to steal your personal information.
Tip 5: Keep your software and devices up-to-date
The last tip is to keep your services and devices up-to-date. Software updates often include security patches that fix known vulnerabilities, and keeping your software and devices up-to-date helps protect you against the latest threats.
Many software and devices can automatically download and install updates. This is the easiest and most convenient option, ensuring your software and devices are always up-to-date.
If you prefer to check for updates manually, you can do so by visiting the manufacturer's website or checking for updates within the software or device settings.
Investing in cryptocurrency can be a daunting task but by following these 5 simple security measures, you can better secure your digital assets against potential risk and basically any other online services or banks you are using.
Let us know in the comments your thoughts about the general security aspect in this new digital currency world. We would love to hear your opinion!