In the same way that we demand total security from banks to protect our money, when making an investment in cryptocurrencies there are several rules that should be followed to keep our bitcoin or acquired assets safe. That is why from Crypto Economy, we want to give a series of tips to reinforce the security of your crypto-assets.
In addition to a previous investigation on the cryptocurrency in which you want to invest (bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero, Komodo, etc.), the place where you are going to acquire (a cryptocurrency exchange, a transaction in person, a bitcoin ATM, etc.) the payment method (in cash, by credit or debit card, through a bank transfer), there is a final step that sometimes is not taken into account, where do I keep my cryptocurrencies and how do I keep them safe?
In any action that is done through the internet, security must be maximized, and if what we do is invest our savings even more. A hack, a virus, the loss of a password or a phishing attack among many other things, can be causes that make us lose our investment.
Common scams with Bitcoin
You will be surprised to know that some of these scams have amassed much more than 10 million dollars. The scammers create a web in which they present a safe and very lucrative investment, promising high profits in the short term.
What really happens is that scammers pay the first few people who invested to try to give security, then expect to have some money in Bitcoins and disappear.
Give me your Bitcoins that I administer / double
Scammers offer online wallet services. You recognize them when they have copies of private keys with which they can remove all your bitcoins, so avoid any service that saves your private keys.
The pages that promise to duplicate your Bitcoins are also well known. If you are tempted to enter any of these pages, you should only think one thing, if something is too beautiful to be true, it is not.
The typical phishing, but with Bitcoin
Nobody resists the mail of You have won a bitcoin! These scams are a classic on the internet and many have lost their accounts with this scam. To do so they send an email with striking information and when you click you are in their hands.
Save and protect your cryptocurrencies
Exchange of cryptocurrencies
As the value of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies increases, so does the interest of criminals to get hold of them, which is why cryptocurrency exchanges are in the crosshairs of hackers and we must take extreme security measures users have at their fingertips.
We must start by differentiating 2 types of investors, those who will store their bitcoin and cryptocurrencies for a long time (Holders) or those who will use these cryptocurrencies to exchange them for others (Traders).
If you are one of the first ones, having your cryptocurrencies in an exchange is NOT a good idea, first because as we have already said the hackers are on the lookout, and second because having your cryptocurrencies in an exchange you do not own the private keys of the wallets that you use to store them. So if your intention is to hold the cryptocurrencies you should look for a trustworthy wallet to increase your security.
If you are of the second and holding the investment in an exchange is essential since you need them there to trade, you can also increase the security to keep your cryptocurrencies safe, read on.
A trusted wallet, whether by software, hardware or paper, is one of the best ways to protect your cryptocurrencies.
There are many software wallets, there are multi-cryptocurrencies, there are those that only allow to store only one, etc. From our sections of guides and tutorials, we put at your disposal many articles that teach you to choose which is the best wallet according to your needs and how they work, here are some examples that will surely help you:
- Bitcoin Wallets [BTC]
- Samurai Wallet [BTC]
- Wasabi Wallet [BTC]
- Xapo Wallet [BTC]
- Metamask Wallet [ETH]
- MyEtherWallet [ETH]
- Exodus [Multi-Crypto]
Although it seems obvious, there are many people who do not use strong passwords and make several common mistakes, such as using easily remembered and unsafe words.
This is the first step to keep your bitcoin safe, so that a password is secure, it must have certain characteristics:
- Not be easily remembered
- Have at least 8 digits
- Be alphanumeric
- Do not always use the same password
This last point is usually the most repeated, use the same password for email, social networks, forums, blogs, exchanges, wallets … it is a big mistake and the reason is very simple, if your password is compromised only in one of the platforms where you use it, all the others can be affected.
Having a secure password is the first step, but it is not the only precaution that should be taken. Once we have a password created, we must make a backup copy of it, either on paper or on an external device.
The reason for making this backup is because if our password is long and difficult to remember, we need a place where we can see it to remember it.
The use of an external device to store these passwords, for example a flash drive, is done to prevent a virus or a hack to our computer from destroying or compromising them. There are many people who keep their passwords in an Excel document, called PASSWORDS, on the desktop. Do you think this is safe?
Even having a backup copy of the backup copy would not be unreasonable.
Another option when making a password backup, is to use a password storage program, such as KeePass. When using this software you will only have to remember 1 password to access it and inside you will have the rest.
The two-factor authentication (2FA) is a security measure that many platforms make available to its users, this application must be installed on a device, usually on the mobile device and activated on the platform that is to be used.
Once activated this security option its operation is simple, when trying to access a website, once the user and the corresponding password has been entered, it will be requested to enter the 2FA, which is a key of 6 numeric digits that varies each 30 seconds.
Security on your computer
The computer you use to trade or save your wallets, should be used exclusively for this purpose, since using the same one you use to enter your social networks, download movies and shows, see websites, etc. is a constant danger for the security of your cryptocurrencies.
Still, as not everyone can afford to buy a computer for this purpose, we will give some tips to increase the security of your cryptocurrencies.
Make a partition on your computer that can only be accessed by a password and use it to save your wallets and important documents.
VPN (Virtual Private Network)
When we access an exchange of cryptocurrencies, access from our IP is registered, a continuous access and sustained in time can make our IP is “desirable” for example if an exchange is hacked.
To avoid this we can use proxies or VPNs, since in both cases the IP address with which we access the service can be changed frequently, thus providing an additional level of security.
If we want to protect our cryptocurrencies, we must take precautions that are directly proportional to the value of the object we want to insure.
Using a pendrive or even two to protect our passwords is something that has a minimum cost and can make our investment safe.
Creating different passwords of 8 digits or more, instead of always using the same, can be cumbersome at first, but once you get used to it you realize that the difference is minimal in time and maximizes security.
Once we have adopted these security measures, we can see that now if we want to access a website, for example an exchange of cryptocurrencies, we first need to access the password, which is on paper, on a pendrive or an external device or in a password manager.
Once the password is entered, we need the 2FA that is in an external device and after this step we will have access to the exchange.
As you can see, with these simple steps the security and protection of our cryptocurrencies increases greatly. We hope it will help you!