Everyone has heard the news.
A massive Twitter hack of prominent accounts was used to obtain cryptocurrencies from unsuspecting users. Even though the hack has been discovered, those coins will most likely not be retrieved anymore. After all, the whole idea of this digital currency is to have a system of anonymous, decentralized transactions.
Perhaps even bigger is the news of the entrepreneur who lost all of their life savings that they had been keeping in cryptocurrency. All they did wrong was download the wrong wallet extension, and trust that extension with their private keys.
As a crypto trader myself, I am surprised many traders are not aware that Bitcoins could be traceable on the blockchain. Although crypto is used to guarantee security and privacy, it is still possible for your name and IP address to be linked to your Bitcoin wallet, especially if your country’s anti-money laundering laws require you to reveal your identity when exchanging or trading crypto.
Apart from using privacy focused coins like Monero and Zcash, I always make sure I am vigilant about what information I am revealing when I am using my crypto. I will also keep my assets in separate wallet files for different identities.
Besides, it is essential to encrypt your browsing and traffic. Here are some simple and effective methods I have in place to ensure security.
1 Get A Secure Email Service
For those using software wallets, a secure email service is your best friend.
Hackers know that users will store private keys, sensitive information about their wallets, and more in their email accounts. If not the basic email account, then a linked account – such as a storage folder or cloud account. For most wallets that use a long string of wallet ID characters, your email is the best place to steal such a piece of info also.
This is why you need a secure email service. That gives you an extra layer of security than basic email service providers afford you.
2 Keep Private Keys Safe
Cryptocurrency wallets issue private keys to users. As the name implies, these keys should not be shared with anyone at all.
To underline the sensitivity of these keys, you do not need a password/ username combo to enter a wallet once you have them. In other words, anyone else that gets access to these private keys can access your cryptocurrencies and do as they wish with it.
A common mistake to avoid is storing your private keys online. After all, a breach of such an online account reveals your private keys to a hacker.
Instead, write them down offline and keep the sheet of paper safe somewhere. You can even disguise the private keys as something else so that anyone who stumbles upon it won’t know what is there.
3 Choose Strong Passwords
The days of 8-character passwords are long gone. If you do not believe us, believe the security researchers that found out that such passwords could be hacked from mere seconds to the time it takes to finish a movie.
We recommend trusting random password generators to come up with secure passwords for you. There is a slim chance you can cram such strings of characters too, so a password manager should also come in handy.
4 Secure your Network
An insecure internet connection spells trouble.
Hackers can deploy snooping tools on you to sniff out sensitive information, hijack your conversations, load malware onto your computer, and more. As long as your network remains unencrypted, that is.
Fortunately, one of the functions of a VPN is to secure and encrypt your internet connection. Install a VPN today and layer all of your internet connections over it for a beefier security profile.
5 Enable 2FA
Most major wallets and exchange platforms allow their users to enable two-factor authentication – and you should take advantage of it.
Instead of being able to gain access to your account with just the username and password combination, you would now need an extra pass from your 2FA device/ account. Without that, the account is as good as closed.
This comes in handy in case someone finds out your unique login combo. Even then, though, they would need to have your 2FA protocols at hand to get in. The good news is that you will be notified of such trial login attempts, informing you to secure your accounts better.
Article supplied by Amy Cavendish at thetechfools.com