Bitcoin has actively passed the $11,000 mark, and yet it keeps growing to newer heights each day. The growing rate has attracted a number of investors, both young and veteran. The question as to how far this currency will go still remains a question.
With the surging popularity comes a great risk of losing it to cyber attacks. The sad reality of digital age speaks for itself, as everyone’s a target, a nobody and even a celebrity.
In order to ensure that your bitcoin remains safe, you must take some suggested steps:
Locking it up
- You need to keep your cryptocurrency in secure wallets, which only you have the private keys for. This way, only you can access the coins and are solely responsible for whatever happens to the coins.
Holding it down
- Keep your knowledge of having bitcoin to yourself. There was a time when if you told someone that you owned 100 BTC, and they won’t bat an eyelid. However, if you do that today, there is a risk of attracting some unwanted people.
Choosing a Wallet
- There are two key means where you can store your Bitcoins and any other cryptocurrencies. In a wallet, to which you will hold the private key, or in an exchange, where they will hold your keys on your behalf.
- Some hardware wallets, such as Ledger and Trezor falls, and mobile apps fall into the wallet category. Your coins will be safe as long as you remember your private key and any key phrase you have set for its protection, even if the hardware wallet is broken or the app is deleted.
The other method is to keep your coins in an exchange site, which does offer convenience, for buyers who sell and buy each day. This convenience is offered at the charge of security. If the exchanges collapses or is hacked, there is a huge possibility that you may lose your coins. It has happened in the past, and will happen time again.
- Several cryptocurrency exchanges have opted 2FA policy for their customers, forcing them to activate it. Your email accounts, exchange account, cryptocurrency and anything related your cryptocurrency should be two-factor authenticated for a good reason.
However, this second form of authentication should not consist of SMS verification, as attackers can trick customer service into porting a phone number to a new device, and use that to bypass your authentication process. Instead, it is best to use methods such as 2FA hardware keys or Google Authenticator to secure accounts.
Make use of Unique Passwords
- Of all successful cyber attacks, 63% are made using passwords. Using passwords that are easily guessable or recycling the same password will greatly increase the chances of your account getting targeted. Do not get lazy while making passwords; the loss is not worth it. If you cannot recall your passwords, you can make use of any password manager, like LastPass.
Avoid using Public Wi-Fi
- Try to not log into your Bitcoin wallet using any public Wi-Fi. While doing so, you expose yourself to several attacks, which can then expose your personal details and passwords. In addition to this, try avoiding using your real-world identity and rather use a username and password, which is not associated to your real name. Also, be extremely cautious when giving out personal information about yourself to others on the internet.
- Phishing links and sites are the most common ways in which the accounts are compromised. You should never click on any emails links or social media links, which claim they are associated to wallet providers or exchanged. And never download any suspicious attachments, instead you should bookmark the domain of the main site, so you do not run the risk to click fake links, and supply them your password and account details yourself.
Most reports suggest that despite people being aware of these spammy links, most people do click them routinely and put themselves in risk. Make yourself smarter than most other people. If you have ever been scammed online then the best thing to do is to go for a chargeback. There are several operators out there who can help you get a chargeback and get your money back.
With 1/1000th of a bitcoin being worth more than $10 now, no matter small Bitcoin is, it will still remain a target. It is crucial to keep your Bitcoin holdings strictly to yourself and to separate your online and real-world identity.
The bitcoin community is filled with numerous amazing people, but along with any high-value commodity comes the risk of various scoundrels, scavengers and thieves. It is important to protect your assets and enjoy the ride.