Cryptocurrencies, by themselves, are inherently safe because they are based on cryptography. It would be impossible to “hack the blockchain” or a private key, an attempt to break a cryptographic protected algorithm would require an unfeasible amount of computational power. The only way to steal a wallet is taking advantage of its owner’s personal carelessness. And a lot of people, especially those that are just getting started investing in cryptocurrency, are not careful enough. Follow the cryptocurrency security tips we describe in this guide to keep your digital assets safe and to avoid paranoid thoughts before going to sleep.
Beware of phishing scams
A very common scam technique used by hackers is creating a fake, identical version of the exchange or web wallet page they use and mailing the link to the victim, usually with a convincing message that convinces them to log in and take some action instantly. A lot of people access these sites, enter their data and the hackers take that data and do what they want. To avoid phishing, always check if the link showing in your browser perfectly matches the one of your exchange or web wallet.
Keep your device safe
Make sure you have an updated antivirus and firewall enabled. Don’t install any software you’re not entirely sure about the safety. Of course, never download any suspicious attachments and make sure to research about the reputation of a software you’re about to install, using Google, social media like Reddit or friends more knowledgeable about the topic.
Don’t store your cryptocurrency on exchanges
You can assure you’re taking the right actions to protect your cryptos, but you don’t know if your cryptocurrency exchange is doing the same. There have been some notable cases about large exchanges freezing or losing their users funds, due to technical errors or hacks. Always withdrawal funds in your exchange to your wallet if you’re not planning to trade them there so soon.
If you insist on storing some cryptocurrency on an exchange, then at least check out our list of best cryptocurrency exchanges for beginners. The top 3 exchanges on that list can be considered trustworthy and will most likely keep your coins more secure than others do.
Enable two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication includes an extra layer of security to the validation procedure by making it harder for attackers to invade your wallet or exchange account, since knowing the password alone isn’t enough to give access to them. Most wallets and exchanges offer 2-factor authentication options, like requiring a random PIN sent to you by SMS or e-mail.
Use difficult passwords
When creating a wallet or cryptocurrency exchange account, you always need to use an extremely secure password. Try to combine upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols whenever possible. If you want, there are also online password generators that you can use like for example Passwords Generator.
After you created your password, make sure to store it on a safe place. The best place is to write it down on a piece of paper to store it offline, but you can also make use of your trusted password keeper.
Avoid public WiFi
Wifi hosts can direct your browser to any page, which can be, sometimes, a mimic version of your exchange or wallet. They can also collect data transmitted through the network which, in case, includes the password you typed. If you need to access your wallet from a public WiFi, use a VPN.
Buy a cryptocurrency hardware wallet
Cryptocurrency hardware wallets are by far the safest way to store your digital assets. A cryptocurrency hardware wallet is a specialized device that stores their user’s private keys inside of an impenetrable circuit and allows them to sign transactions with a single click. They also come with a “seed”, a physical paper that allows the users to transfer their keys to another wallet in case the device is lost or stolen.
Before purchasing a hardware wallet, make sure to check out our comparison table of the best cryptocurrency hardware wallets.
You shouldn’t, therefore, panic about it or think they are not a safe option. They are just (or more) as safe as using online banking. If you dedicate some effort to follow the aforementioned measures, it’s very unlikely that something will happen to your cryptos. If you always keep in mind these cryptocurrency security tips, then you should be safe from most of the danger.