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Cryptocurrencies are a more secure way of transacting money but the anonymity behind their protocols has made it a hotbed for hackers and scammers. Most of the coins on the crypto network are far from their all-time high values, but they are still churning out good returns on investment for those who know what they are doing.
Such value, and anonymity properties, makes it very important that users know how to protect their coins and crypto holdings.
Follow the steps below for a better cybersecurity profile when holding digital money of any kind.
Step #1 – Password Security
Your password is the first line of protection into any of your online accounts. Considering the sensitivity of cryptocurrency accounts, you need to be even more careful with your passwords here.
Suggested are the best password habits for better overall security:
- Never reuse the same password for more than one account.
- Your password should not contain personally-identifying information. Use a random password generator instead.
- Get a password manager to store your unique passwords.
- Enable 2FA on your cryptocurrency trading and holding accounts.
- Never share your passwords with anyone.
Step #2 – Account Security
Now that you have a better password management habit, you also need to secure your cryptocurrency account itself. After all, having the best password in the world won’t save you from mistakes that you could make – either by commission or omission.
Do these to be on the safer side:
- Beware of phishing attacks. Look for every sign of it and fight against them.
- Only trade your cryptocurrencies on trusted exchanges.
- Never use untrusted wallets to hold your cryptos.
- As a rule, don’t announce to people that you are holding crypto. If you do, don’t tell them where.
- Secure your email, phone number, and every other backdoor that could be used to access your account.
- Secure your private keys. As a rule, never store them online since they can easily be hacked and obtained.
Step #3 – Network Security
Many people have done everything else right only to fall victim to a hack on account of not practicing proper network security.
A casino was reportedly hacked by a group that knew to infiltrate through the thermostat. Since that unit was also connected to the main network, but less secure, they got entry into the main computers from there. That tells you how important network security is.
Here are some pointers to get you going:
- Never connect to public Wi-Fi networks.
- Make sure your device is connected to a VPN server before accessing your crypto accounts. This tool ensures anonymity and encrypts your internet connection too.
- Secure your home network/ router. Change the default network names and passwords to stand a better chance against hackers.
- Secure all other units on your home/ internet network. You can install a router VPN to encrypt internet traffic better.
Step #4 – Device Security
After all that we have discussed, your device is also worth looking at.
That is the unit on which you do all of your transactions. This means anyone with access can also do the same transactions like they were you. Because you are now your own bank, there are not as many regulations around someone else impersonating you in the world of crypto.
So that you don’t find yourself on the wrong business end of things, do these:
- Choose a secure password for your devices.
- Never leave your main device lying around.
- Beware of sim-jacking, phone data transfer/ cloning, and related issues.
- Set up phone tracking on your device to enable you to find it if lost .
- Set up remote device wiping protocols. This comes with most devices today by default
- Your crypto apps should have an extra layer of security. This could be 2FA, biometrics, or both.
Step #5 – Wallet Security
The decision of what kind of wallet to use comes down to two picks at the end of the day. Provided you have streamlined your picks from the top wallet companies, that is.
Before you start holding/ storing cryptocurrencies at all, make sure to have made an informed decision between:
- Hot storage wallets – they are connected to the internet. Essential to have faster access to your coins. They are also more susceptible to hacks.
- Cold storage wallets – exist offline as hard drives/ USB sticks. Insulated from the internet and are not susceptible to hacks. Suitable for long term storage.