Getting cryptocurrency is one thing while storing it safely requires entirely different skills and knowledge.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies remain a highly popular target for hackers because hiding their tracks is simple as their footprints can be erased digitally.
Digital currencies are still unregulated, leaving crypto owners and investors without legal recourse when their accounts are hacked.
Here are 10 ways to protect your cryptocurrency funds.
1. Be Aware of Phishing Sites
Whether you’re connecting to exchange or online wallet, confirm that you’re logging in to the right address. Many bogus websites imitate exchanges for the sole purpose of stealing your login data. Always check whether the website address is correct.
2. Keep your private key offline
You can protect your wallet by taking your private key off the grid and keeping it in the ‘real world.’ Simply writing down your private key on a piece of paper will work, rather than saving it on any electronic device.
3. Choose hardware or cold wallets
An offline hardware device like a USB or hard drive comes with pre-installed security layers and encryption features. It is not connected to the internet, so cybercriminals will have a hard time trying to access your private key.
4. Safely store your crypto private keys
Use strong two-factor authentication methods to authorize your Bitcoin transactions. Private keys are for your eyes only. Do not share them with anyone and do not ask for somebody else to make transactions for you.
5. Back-up your cryptocurrency private keys
A backup will allow you to access your wallet in case you lose your device or your device fails. Store them both locally in a hardware wallet and in the cloud.
6. Use strong passwords
A strong password is one that can’t be remembered or cracked easily. It’s also important to know the seed phrase and store it in a secure safe or safety deposit box.
7. Use a Secure Wi-Fi Connections
Never connect to your online wallet, exchange account, or another critical security point via public Wi-Fi. Even when you’re at a presumably safe place, make sure your Wi-Fi access point uses strong encryption like WPA-2 protocol.
8. Separate Your Funds
Don’t keep all your crypto assets in one place. The best way to handle it is by using one or several cold storages for long-term holdings, and at least one hot wallet for trading and transactions.
9. Always double check the Crypto addresses
Some malicious programs can edit and paste a wrong transaction address whenever you send a transaction. Typically, the new address belongs to an attacker. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
10. Conduct smaller trades
Don’t do huge trades at once and start small so as not to draw any attention as large trades put you on the radar of anyone who’s looking for a rich target. This is also a good way to test the exchange you are using.
You are solely responsible for the security of your Bitcoin and cryptocurrency portfolio. The art of keeping your cryptocurrency safe and secure is a critical skill to master on a journey to becoming your own bank. The sooner you learn it, the better.