Crypto has come a long way from its first days. Today, Bitcoin, the most valuable of all cryptocurrencies, is a powerhouse asset with about $200 billion in valuation. Trading at more than $17,000 per Bitcoin, this is an asset that should be kept as securely as you can. Just as you need a bank to safely store your fiat currencies, you also need a secure place to store your cryptocurrencies. According to Vox, more than 1.7 billion dollars is lost or stolen annually from people all over the world. While some of these were outright brute force hacks that emptied people’s exchange wallets, others were lost or stolen due to carelessness and silly mistakes. To prevent this, here are a few best practices on how to secure your crypto assets.
Better known in cryptocurrency circles as cold storage, choosing an offline storage solution can mean a lot of difference to your crypto security. Typically, people choose to hold their cryptocurrency in digital wallets, often located on a mobile device. Although this makes it a lot easier for you to access and send to people, it also carries an inherent risk of hacking by a third party since the wallet is connected to the internet. Although accessing your funds from an offline wallet takes a bit more time, the security is worth it. This is because the wallet is air-gapped, eliminating some of the likely danger.
Using two-factor authentication
Having a two-factor authentication system is one of the best ways to keep your crypto secure. For people who prefer having digital wallets connected to the internet for faster transactions, a two-factor authentication system will ensure that whenever you log into your wallet, it’s actually you. In two-factor authentication, the first authorization stage will involve entering a username and password. If these are accepted, a secondary password, key, or phrase will then be sent to your phone or email. Upon entering the right key, you should get access to your digital currency. Some platforms take this a step further by needing biometric authentication. This comes in the form of a fingerprint, facial, or vocal ID to unlock the wallet, which can be incredibly helpful.
Data encryption is one of the most efficient ways to ensure that information is only read by those who have access. Since someone can steal the drive where you are storing your digital currency, they won’t be able to access the contents as the drive has been encrypted. For that reason, all the digital currency on the drive becomes useless because it cannot be reached or stolen. Depending on the device being used, you can choose a wide array of encryption techniques varying from easy, straightforward ones to highly complex ones.
Stay aware online
Many malicious people will attempt to lie or confuse you in one form or another to get people to part with their hard-earned cash. This deceit comes in the way of phishing. They will attempt to send you to a fake website that looks more or less like the real thing so that you can be tricked into submitting your logins. This can be used on the real website to steal funds on your exchange wallets. This thereby means being on the lookout for URLs that aren’t quite right and websites without appropriate SSL certificates. Browsers such as Google Chrome, among others these days, let you know whether the website is secure or not. In this regard, it’s also important that you know about the network you are accessing secure websites on. Some Wi-Fi connections, especially in public places, are specifically designed to steal your data. Try your best not to access any sensitive platforms while on public Wi-Fi or if it’s necessary. Ensure that you use a strong encryption protocol such as on a strong VPN.