Protect your cryptocurrency: five steps towards security
Many people consider cryptocurrencies as a symbol of freedom from banking bureaucracy: transfers are conducted in seconds and are not added to the tax declaration; your accounts won’t be blocked for “suspicious” transfers. However, there is the other side: investments in cryptocurrencies are not protected. Therefore, if you lose your USB drive with bitcoins, forget the password, or suffer from swindlers, you won’t receive your money back. The only tip is appropriate here: be responsible and take care of the security of your cryptocurrency. How to do it properly? Look at five tips below.
Tip 1. Choose a reliable wallet
Buying cryptocurrency on the exchange and storing it there is not a safe option. Exchanges, even major and reputable ones, are frequently hacked. Therefore, you should create a reliable wallet before purchasing cryptocurrency.
What is a cryptocurrency wallet? It is a specialized cryptocurrency storage. There are diversified solutions for this purpose. Wallets can be hardware (separate devices, similar to USB drives, storing virtual currency out of computer) and software (special software and apps installed on your device).
You can store coins on a carrier without an Internet connection almost without risks. It is the most reliable cryptocurrency wallets. should just provide physical safety of your device. And, surely, do not lose the password. For example, you can put the USB drive and password into a vault or safe deposit box.
Such an option will be appropriate if you do not conduct any transactions. If you are going to replenish the wallet, exchange cryptocurrency, or invest in ICOs, you need a convenient access to digital money. In such a case, you can use a software wallet installed on your computer or smartphone, or an online storage.
You should install a wallet on a smartphone or computer only if you are dead sure that strangers do not have an access to that device. If you are not sure, it is better to use an online wallet: a cryptocurrency cloud storage.
Summary: prior to choosing a cryptocurrency wallet, consider the question: what will you do next? If it is one of your investments and you are just going to wait and monitor the rate, choose a hardware wallet. If you are going to buy some more cryptocurrencies or tokens, a software wallet will be more convenient.
Tip 2. Do not lose a password
Each cryptocurrency wallet has two keys: a private one and a public one. The whole blockchain security system is based on them.
Both keys are generated when you create a cryptocurrency wallet. A private key is generated randomly, while a public key is created by receiving a hash sum of PRIV. Figuratively saying, it is like a common key for lock hole. If a private key matches a public key and they are compatible, the network defines cryptocurrency as the one belonging to a certain user and allows to conduct certain actions with it.
A private key of your wallet should be copied in a safe place. If you are not sure of your computer, it is better to write it on a piece of paper and keep in the vault or hiding place. It is not recommended to say or send your private key to anybody: individuals who try to draw it out of you are 99.9% swindlers.
Tip 3. Use an antivirus
Discussing where to store cryptocurrency in 2018, one can’t help but mention antiviruses. Malicious software, Trojan horses, and keystroke logging can obtain your passwords, including exchange and online wallet ones. Thus, do not forget to update your protecting software regularly and do not run suspicious programs and attachments on your devices. If you use VPN, make sure that a provider is trustworthy.
Tip 4. Monitor your browser
A browser is the most popular tool that helps hackers. Viruses replacing the address bar, redirecting to phishing websites, and phishing itself are the ways allowing hackers to get to your cryptocurrencies. Therefore, you should not install any suspicious extensions and should thoroughly check the address of website where you enter your wallet data.
Tip 5. A closed mouth gathers no feet
Personal safety is a significant aspect for a cryptocurrency owner. Remember that it is quite difficult to prove the fact of blackmail or bitcoin stealing, so your digital assets are a tempting target not only for hackers, but also for common racketeers and robbers. The criminal world also has its own specialists who know about cryptocurrency wallet types and how to make users transfer money to the other account. That’s why, as few people as possible should know that you have a fair amount of money in bitcoins.