Cryptocurrencies are one of the hottest topics of our generation and are drawing in more and more investors and people looking to make money with each passing day. On the blockchain, new records can always be added, but existing ones cannot be modified, meaning that once a transaction is made, it cannot be reversed. One of the most important features of the blockchain, its decentralization, can prove to be one of the biggest drawbacks in case of an attack or scam.
Sadly, since their inception there have been so many hacks, attacks, and crypto-related scams, that most people already know that cryptocurrencies are not a typical form of payment, meaning that the risk of loss, theft, or hacking is much higher.
In this article, we’ll be providing you with a few practical and important hacker-proof tips to secure your cryptocurrencies. However, before we go even further, you should know that there is no fault-proof method of securing your funds and that there’s always a slight chance that things could go wrong.
Stick to the services you know
This is more of a general advice, but it mostly refers always to make sure you take any third-party service’s claims with a grain of salt. It’s important to conduct your research, and see what the community at large thinks. Be careful where you shop, and consider the possibility that most merchants who accept crypto payments are not reputable.
Of course, you should always use the popular names in the field, regardless of we talking about exchanges, wallets, forums, and online shops. Avoid accessing unknown sources, and be as reluctant as possible to services that require you to add sensitive information.
Another top tip is to install a browser extension that blocks scripts (usually used for phishing attempts). It might be worth considering installing a VPN service or app. These apps are designed to encrypt and anonymize your online activities, further lowering the chances of hacks.
A better password means better protection
This might seem like a way too obvious advice. However, having all the security tech in the world can’t help you if your password is an obvious one. Consider getting proactive with your passwords and start using strong passwords of a minimum of fifteen characters which include upper and lower cases, numbers, and other special characters.
Also on the subject of passwords, set up two-factor authentication whenever you can. Nowadays, most exchanges and hot wallets offer support for this feature, so it would be a real waste not to take advantage of it.
Secure your devices
If you’re using your computer to access most of your daily crypto services, wallets, exchanges, etc., then it’s of the utmost importance to ensure that all the security features are up to date. This includes system updates, firewall updates, and antivirus definition updates. A very good idea might be to move away from Windows or macOS to what is generally considered to be a more secure OS, such as Linux.
Another good tip would be to consider having a fully crypto-dedicated device, a PC or mobile device just for buying and selling cryptos. This will ultimately lower the risk of hacks, attacks, and scams. Since you can never be too safe, it might be worth performing these transactions from the confines of a virtual machine. This allows you to have a “fresh” OS up and ready each time you want to make a transaction and discard it once you’re done.
Since we are on the subject, it’s IMPORTANT to remember to NEVER access or login to your cryptocurrency accounts using public WiFis.
Keep multiple backups of your private keys/recovery phrases in secure locations
Even if you’re new to the world of cryptocurrency, we’re sure you know that you can only access your funds via private keys. That is why it’s important to store the keys in multiple secure locations such as a home vault or a safety deposit box in a bank. It would help if you also considered encrypting both your private keys and your recovery phrases.
In conclusion, it’s important to back up every piece of the access information. Please make sure you backup everything from private and public keys to passwords and codes, and store them securely.
Invest in a good hardware wallet
It’s common knowledge that hardware wallets are the most secure form of protecting and storing your funds. Hence, if you own large sums of cryptocurrencies, it’s worth investing in a crypto wallet. Ledger Nano S, Trezor, and KeepKey are all very good options, each one of which comes with its advantages and disadvantages. Don’t forget to also set up a recovery phrase.
Keep an eye on your account
One of the most important practices is to check your crypto accounts frequently. Even though if an attack would happen, there’s no guarantee you will be able to get your funds back, promptly reporting unauthorized access will definitely help the community at large. Nowadays, there are a great number of exchanges and services that offer insurance against such events, meaning that the better you report unauthorized access, the better.
Good luck securing your cryptocurrencies, and we hope you’ll never be in the position where you regret not using at least some of the tips mentioned above.