Cryptocurrency has many advantages over traditional money, and its security is one of the most substantial. While crypto is far more secure, that doesn’t mean you should slack on taking additional steps to increase its security. Your money could still be vulnerable, albeit not as much, and you need to protect it.
Unlike with credit cards, you need to possess crypto to spend it, making it harder to steal. You still need to protect access to your crypto, though. Here are ten steps that can help in that regard:
1. Choose Your Wallet Carefully
The first step in securing your crypto wallet is choosing one that’s more secure in the first place. You have a lot of options when it comes to crypto wallets, and not all are secure. Research to make sure yours doesn’t have a history of security breaches or other issues.
Look for wallets from known, trusted sources over new, interesting ones. Before you make a final decision, compare each wallets’ security options.
2. Use a Strong Password for Your Wallet
When you set up your wallet, make sure you use a strong password. Any code with recognizable words or no numbers or symbols isn’t secure enough. Your password should be random, so people can’t determine it by learning about you.
You should be careful not to use the same password you already use somewhere else. Even if it’s a secure password, reusing it means that if someone does hack it, they can access more of your accounts
3. Turn On Multi-Factor Authentication
Some wallets offer multi-factor authentication (MFA) — go for these options. If you don’t already know, MFA requires you to use more than your password to log in. It will take longer to access your wallet, but it will make it far more secure.
Google found that MFA can block 100% of automated cyberattacks and 76% of targeted attacks. That’s a safety advantage you can’t afford to miss.
4. Use Multiple Wallets
Keeping all of your crypto in one place is convenient, but risky. If you use multiple wallets, on the other hand, you mitigate the damage someone can do by hacking into one. Since no one wallet keeps everything, even if one wallet was compromised, you’d still have crypto.
You can separate and organize your wallets according to how you use them. For example, you can keep different wallets for various kinds of purchases. Whatever you do, make sure all of them are equally secure.
5. Keep Your Key Offline
If you want to make sure your wallet is as secure as possible, you can keep your private key offline. Write it on a sheet of paper or keep it in an offline document, so it’s less accessible to hackers.
If you have a physical copy, like a piece of paper, you need to protect it from physical dangers. Things like fires and floods could damage it, so you need to make sure it’s safe from those events. Consider keeping a copy in a disaster preparedness kit so unexpected events won’t harm it. You may want to even keep it in your car, or somewhere far away from your computer that isn’t easy to access.
6. Avoid Public Wi-Fi Networks
Since crypto is online technology, its security relies on that of your internet network. If your connection isn’t secure, you could be at risk, especially if you’re accessing your wallet. Public Wi-Fi networks often have security flaws, so avoid using them.
Your home network is password-protected and encrypted, but the same may not be true of public Wi-Fi. If you use these connections, you never know who could access your computer and accounts.
7. Back up Your Wallet
Sometimes, an unexpected computer error can cause you to lose access to your wallet. To protect against that, you should keep an offline backup of it. Make sure you back up the whole thing and not just your visible keys — only to be sure you don’t lose anything.
Make backups often so your reserves stay up to date. You should also keep these backups in a secure location, like a dedicated flash drive.
8. Look Out for Suspicious Links
As secure as crypto is, you still need to look out for phishing, which takes advantage of users. When you start trading crypto, you may receive emails that sound urgent and provide links to follow. Never click these without thoroughly inspecting them first, as they could be fake.
If you’re going to use crypto on a website, make sure it has an HTTPS certificate first. Scammers can fake entire sites, so inspect everything before entering any information or clicking a link.
9. Double-Check Addresses
In line with the last step, pay attention to other crypto addresses when making transactions. Some malware can interfere and change the receiving address when you copy and paste one. These will usually send your money to an attacker instead of your intended recipient.
Double-check the receiving address to make sure it belongs to whoever you want to send crypto to. It doesn’t take long to give it another look, and it could save you a lot of trouble.
10. Don’t Trade Too Much at Once
If you conduct larger trades, you could draw unwanted attention to yourself. Instead of spending a lot of crypto in one place, make smaller purchases. Cybercriminals won’t likely target you if they don’t think you’re worth as much.
Avoiding this kind of attention is another reason why using multiple wallets is essential. Diversifying how you spend can keep you safe from prying eyes.
You Can Make Crypto Even More Secure
Cryptocurrency has many security advantages, but that doesn’t mean its security is perfect. If you’re reckless with your crypto, you could be at risk. If you follow these steps, though, you can make sure you experience all of the cryptocurrency’s security benefits.
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