How to keep cryptocurrencies safe and avoid being hacked
As Bitcoin is becoming increasingly popular, how to keep bitcoins safe and secure becomes an important question for many people who own bitcoins.
You have worked hard for your bitcoins, so it is essential to keep them safe, Some simple practices can prevent 95 percent of bitcoin losses.
Most losses are due to memory gaps, theft, hacking or technical problems. Although no one solution can guarantee no losses, some steps can be taken to protect Bitcoins or any other cryptocurrency.
Be zealous in protecting your Bitcoins with these strategies:
1. Always maintain control over private keys
Probably store your Bitcoins in a wallet. A wallet is nothing more than the storage of two cryptographic keys-one public and one private for each Bitcoin.
If you store your coins on an exchange, then you do not have exclusive control over your keys and your Bitcoins are subject to loss.
Avoid using online wallets as your primary means of storage.
Encrypt your wallet and remember your password. If you forget the password, your coins will be lost forever.
2. Make a backup of your private keys
An effective backup strategy is to keep three backup copies on at least two different types of media.
Keep one copy in a separate location.
For example, once you have made a backup on your hard disk, one on a floppy disk, and on a USB drive, it won’t do much good if you keep them in the same container, in case it gets damaged you run the risk of losing all 3 media at the same time
3. Consider using a hardware wallet
If you have just discovered the existence of a hardware wallet, take a look at this article to learn about the 5 types of crypto wallets – Crypto wallets, what they are and which one is best for me.
This is a simple solution that costs less than 100 euros. When you use a hardware wallet for bitcoin, such as Ledger or Trezor, you enjoy much greater security because these hardware wallets are specifically designed to prevent your private keys from being stolen.
In addition, these devices are simple to use. They are usually quite small and resemble a USB flash drive. They connect to a computer to check balances, send or receive coins, and they are not limited to just bitcoin, but each device can support hundreds of different cryptocurrencies, each has its own features and supported blockchain.
4. Never share the private key
The secret key is used to validate that the person sending or receiving digital coins is the owner of the wallet being used.
This private key should never be shared. “The safest way to store the private key is cold storage.”
Cold storage essentially means printing the key and removing all digital traces of it.” The semi-secure method of retrieving the private key is to use a “seed,” a randomly generated set of words that the user can exploit. “This seed phrase should be written or printed on paper and stored in a secure location
With the ease with which attackers can access your device or other digital storage applications, keeping this phrase in a digital location is very risky.”
5. Taking advantage of two-factor authentication
What is 2-factor authentication (2FA)
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a specific type of multi-factor authentication, exactly as the name indicates, this in fact strengthens the security of access by requiring two methods (also called authentication factors) to verify your identity. These factors can include something you know, such as a username and password, and something you have, such as a smartphone application, to approve authentication requests.
2FA protects against phishing, social engineering and brute-force password attacks and secures your logins from attackers who exploit weak or stolen credentials.
By now, any exchange, or even serious online wallet supports 2-factor authentication as an additional protection to prevent any malicious access to your wallet
Activation is simple and similar on any platformYou
download an application on your smartphone, the most popular is “Google Authenticator” and you proceed to scan a QR to be scanned with your smartphone through the application, and each time you access the platform, it will ask for the 2-FA code that you can read from the application, the code changes every few seconds of course
Without both password and 2-FA code, no one can access your account. Even a stolen password will be useless.
These simple steps are the effective strategy to keep control of your Bitcoins. Be consistent and follow a regular backup schedule. Keep your financial matters to yourself. No one needs to know about your Bitcoins.
Always remember to never delete your profiles on the app unless you first disable 2-factor authentication from the connected platform, or you won’t find your way back into your account, if it happens you will almost always get access to your profile back, but usually as a matter of security major operations such as sending money is blocked for a number of hours to prevent malicious withdrawals.
6. Always check the web address
Beware of phishing sites. Whether you are connecting to an exchange or an online wallet, verify that you are connecting to the right address.
Many bogus websites imitate exchanges for the sole purpose of stealing your login information. Always check that the website address is correct.
Phishing scams have been around for a long time, and they are still widespread.
Scammers send e-mails with malicious links to a fake website but identical in all respects to the original website to collect personal data when you go on to log in by entering usarnames, passwords, or private key information about cryptocurrency wallets. These are some of the most common cryptocurrency scams.
Always check that you are on the right address!
7. Don’t keep your cryptocurrencies in exchanges
Cold storage may seem a bit advanced and complicated to use, especially if you are just starting out. However, the risks associated with leaving your cryptos in an exchange’s online wallet are very high. To put it simply, exchanges are constantly targeted by hackers, and if the exchange gets hacked, you get hacked too, which usually results in the loss of your assets.
Using an exchange as a wallet is a great solution if the funds deposited inside are really insignificant, if not then you better find another solution
Here you will be able to get a very clear idea of which wallet is best for you – Crypto wallets, what they are and which one is the best.
8. Know who is on the other side of the transaction
If something seems too good to be true, chances are it is. If you want information about the address or wallet to which you are about to send your hard-earned cryptocurrencies, then there are many useful tools for that purpose:
oxt.me is a great website for tracking bitcoin transactions on the blockchain, providing a visualization of transaction history and volumes; a potential red flag could be identical graphs for incoming and outgoing transactions, meaning that the wallet owner throws away the currencies soon after receiving them.
Bitcoinwhoswho.com is an excellent tool for conducting scam investigations. This site not only provides the current balance and number of transactions, but also whether the address appeared on any websites and the IP address of the last transaction.
Scam-alert.io is another such site that allows users to enter a Bitcoin address and receive an assessment of its validity. If a Bitcoin address has a history of fraudulent activity, a pop-up message will appear to warn the user and urge them not to send money to that address. Scam Alert also provides useful information about various scams and criminal activities that often exploit Bitcoins, such as Ponzi schemes and fake Bitcoin giveaways. Particularly popular these days is the use of fake identities, such as Elon Musk’s, which has netted millions for many scammers.
bitcoinabuse.com is a public database that records Bitcoin addresses used by scammers. Simply enter the Bitcoin address of interest to find out if it has been reported before. On the other hand, if you know that a Bitcoin address is being used for criminal activity, you can report it directly to BitcoinAbuse.
You can only choose the best way to store and set up your cryptocurrency wallet and other digital assets with seed phrase backups and other additional security options and hope to prevent tragic situations from occurring. But keeping up to date with news, information and updates related to cryptocurrency security is usually the best option when it comes to taking the best measures to stay safe in the cryptocurrency world.