Crypto is more popular than ever. But, there’s no point in owning crypto only to lose it to a scam, sending it to the wrong person, or even forgetting how to access it. And although those latter two examples sound pretty silly, they are some of the most common ways people lose their crypto holdings.
Nonetheless, cryptocurrencies are built to be very safe and secure, which is why they are being used throughout different industries, especially in entertainment and casino verticals. But only if you adhere to some cybersecurity best practices discussed in this article.
Here are some ways to keep your crypto safe in 2023.
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Spending at Trusted Sites
Crypto scams might be disguised as real websites. They come in various forms, ranging from crypto exchanges and online crypto casinos to online gaming sites where you can buy in-game items with your digital currencies. They’re set up to steal your crypto account information. Don’t fall for it.
Instead, you should confirm the website you’re about to link your crypto account is one to be trusted. If you’re looking to enjoy some online gambling at some of the best Bitcoin casinos, for example, read up on expert reviews here to see sites that can be trusted before placing a bet.
Take Self-Custody of Your Private Keys
Private keys are the passwords to your crypto. They are long alphanumeric codes generated by your crypto wallet and used to generate your public key. The cryptography technology requires that you provide these keys to prove your ownership of crypto assets and authorize a transaction.
This role of private keys is the basis of the common crypto phrase, “Not your keys, not your coins.” because being in possession of a crypto wallet’s private keys grants the holder full autonomy over the crypto funds.
As such, taking self-custody of your private keys implies that you must be able to safeguard the private keys to your wallet without trusting a third party like an exchange or online wallet service to do so.
Here’s what this means:
Self-custody doesn’t mean your crypto assets are directly in your possession. Instead, it means that you’re taking full responsibility for securing your crypto holdings in the possession of the self-custodial wallet provider. Common providers of self-custody wallets include MetaMask and Binance Chain Wallet. In contrast, custodial wallets take control of your private keys on your behalf. Examples of such wallets include the regular Binance account, Binance Custody, Blockchain.com, etc.
In the context of online gambling, taking self-custody of their private keys, players ensure that they alone have access to and control over their funds. This reduces risks or unauthorized use, which is important for gambling transactions when risk mitigation is a key concern.
Run Thorough Double-checks Before Sending Crypto
Blockchain records are irreversible, implying that transactions made to the wrong address can’t be reversed.
So, to secure your coins from such losses, you must run double-checks before authorizing any transfer. Furthermore, it is advisable to copy and paste the destination address to minimize the probability of errors. While also doing that, you should check for white spaces before and after the address when pasting.
After successfully pasting the address, manually check and confirm if the right address has been copied. This check will help you protect your funds from emerging crypto hijacker malware used by scammers to replace copied addresses with theirs.
You can’t be too careful.
Store Your Crypto on Cold Wallets
Cold wallets are physical hardware wallet devices that store your private keys offline without linking to the internet.
With hardware wallets, you’ll need to physically plug them into an interface or a computer to effect transactions. This feature helps you access your crypto coins without exposing your private keys to the internet network.
Storing your crypto on cold wallets is arguably the safest and optimal method for securing your crypto assets. It protects you from numerous security threats, such as centralization, computer viruses/malware, computer hacks, etc.
A hardware wallet protects your private keys and, by extension, your crypto from virtually every online security threat. But it also means that if it gets into the wrong hands, they would have access to all your crypto holdings. So, it is very advisable to keep your cold wallet safe and secure at all times. If you decide to keep the bulk of your crypto holdings on a hardware wallet, consider keeping it in a vault.
Download Crypto Apps Only From Official Websites
Do not search for a crypto app directly on the app store.
The reason for this warning is that numerous scammers go the extra mile to develop and upload exact replicas of your favorite crypto apps on app stores. They even go as far as populating them with reviews and comments to ensure you’re unsuspecting. If you transfer your funds to these apps, be sure to kiss it goodbye.
Instead, search for the crypto app on the platform’s official website. This way, you’re sure that you’re downloading the original website, as you’ll either get a download link right there on the website or a link that redirects you to the platform’s authentic application on the app store.
Use Security Measures Like 2FA, Firewall, and VPN.
Enabling two-factor authentication on your crypto devices adds an extra layer of security in case your username and password get into the wrong hands. 2FA ensures that your device authorizes the action before your crypto account can be accessed.
Other security measures include using a VPN and a firewall when accessing public Wi-Fi or websites in general. Both protect your device from being hacked by scammers because when a hacker gains access to your device, the chances of accessing your crypto account and other valuable information are very high.
A firewall specifically blocks all unsolicited traffic from reaching your computer from the internet. Using a VPN makes you anonymous and allows you to access the internet privately, ensuring that spies do not steal your crypto and other valuable info.
Keeping your crypto safe in 2023 starts with you.
So, you must take responsibility by screening the sites you visit for genuity, taking self-custody of your private keys, conducting thorough double checks, and using advanced security measures when applicable.
Don’t be caught off guard!