Bitcoin and other common cryptocurrencies have gained significant traction in popularity in recent times, but amidst all the hype, there should be no doubt in any investor’s mind that security should be a forefront concern.
We all like to believe we are immune from online fraud or hacks… until we are not.
Your cryptocurrency can be stolen. It’s not unknown for investors to have their exchanges hacked, data leaked, or to get caught in a scam. When it comes to protecting your finances, and any other sensitive data you may have connected to the world wide web, it’s important to get a grasp on some of the security basics.
Don’t be a statistic – get in the know.
Where are the Risks Coming From?
There’s no use in pretending: having bitcoin that exists only on the internet will always carry some risk. The key to protecting yourself from security threats is by making smart decisions and being cognizant of whatever risk residue may be left over.
As a form of currency, bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies are unique and therefore pose some unique risks. There’s value then in knowing just what kinds of risks you are protecting your cryptocurrency from. While some risk can come from self-made mistakes such as losing or misplacing your access keys, largely you want to ensure your stored coins are secure from external hackers, scammers, and others.
Your email is one avenue through which opportunistic attackers commonly attempt to phish information that could provide them with access to your coins. This is because we often use our email accounts to reset or change passwords, confirm transactions, or engage in other trading activities that demonstrate access to our crypto data.
Bitcoin can also be vulnerable to nefarious Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) cyber attacks, as well as the risk that can come from investing in crypto wallet software that features too many weak spots.
Which brings us to our next point:
Invest in a Good Hardware Wallet
There are a number of hardware wallets available to secure your money and data. Bitcoin wallets serve as storage hardware that is not connected to the internet and provide additional security measures designed to keep your stored currency protected.
As far as making a smart investment goes, obviously you want to make sure you are choosing to invest in software that is reliable, efficient, offers innovative features – and doesn’t break the bank. You can check out the best hardware wallets here, for example, to get an overview of wallets that come highly recommended by investors and crypto experts alike.
Back Up Your Cryptocurrency Keys
Although using a sophisticated hardware wallet is one of the most highly recommended methods of ensuring the security of your cryptocurrency, properly backing up your wallet is an additional consideration to be aware of. Some wallets will have a backup feature included in their system, but you can also be able to do this manually as well.
Ways in which you can securely backup your cryptocurrency data include using a backup program or application such as Backblaze B2, exporting your keys to a local drive or USB drive, or going the physical backup route.
This last method sometimes referred to as “cold storage”, is for crypto users that are interested in wiping their data from the internet entirely for the sake of protecting it from being hacked or leaked online. You can print out your keys onto paper and store it somewhere secure, like a safe or bank deposit box, or invest in something sleek like the stainless steel CryptoSteel wallet case.
Whichever route you decide to go in backing up your public and private keys, just make sure you don’t lose track of your passwords or storage locations.
Some additional tips when it comes to backing up your data include:
- Keep multiple backups in different locations.
- Don’t reuse your same passwords; although this basic security tip should be used across the board, as it pertains to your finances, this is imperative.
- Always make sure your crypto security software is up to date with the latest versions.