Cryptocurrency has become a popular buzzword in the tech world, but for many investors, it represents large amounts of currency and potential risk. Because each investor’s wallet requires a secure key to access, cryptocurrency already has many safeguards that other currencies do not. But no transactions that occur over a network are completely safe from the potential of hacking. Here are a few tips for ensuring your cryptocurrency is as safe as possible.
1. Ensure Network Security
First thing’s first – when you’re making any crypto transactions or plan to trade, it’s essential that you’re using a secure network. Using an unsafe WiFi connection is a good way to open yourself up to attacks and information theft. Public WiFi should be avoided and at home it’s best to utilize a VPN and session border controller to ensure that you’re layered in safety. In fact, that’s good advice for doing just about any sensitive transaction over the internet. Weak and unprotected networks can easily be hacked, making it easy for anyone to access your device and see your activity. Plus, it’s generally safer to keep private transactions for private places.
2. Use a Cold Wallet
For storing your key to gain access to your crypto, you’ll choose between a cold and a hot wallet. Hot wallets require internet connection to access your key, while cold wallets work offline. Cold wallets, also known as hardware wallets, are encrypted and therefore are generally safer for this reason. Past cryptocurrency account hacks have been associated with hot wallets, while those with cold wallets find that their information has been left untouched.
You can also diversify your wallets and have several with your keys spread out between them or shared among all. Generally, traders will have one wallet for daily transactions that holds the bare minimum, while the rest of their investments will be in another, safer location. This helps to mitigate any losses you might experience in the event your account is hacked, while giving you the flexibility of both wallet varieties.
3. Keep a Strong Password
Any account you make is going to request that you use a strong password, and they’re all right – a strong password is often the best defense you have against hacking. Make sure you’re creating strong passwords by using combinations of upper and lower-case letters. numbers and special characters. And whatever you do, don’t double-up on passwords. It’s shockingly common for passwords to be used across multiple accounts, in spite of how dangerous this is.
It’s also a good idea to ensure that you’re changing your passwords frequently. Try setting a schedule for yourself to change passwords on all accounts (once every three months is recommended), and utilize multi-factor authentication whenever possible. You can use a password manager to store your logins if need be. These steps might seem a bit more rigorous than you’re accustomed to being with your accounts, but they can be a real life-saver.
4. Identify Phishing Attempts
Just like anywhere else on the internet, you can encounter phishing attempts while trading cryptocurrency. The best way to avoid phishing attacks is by knowing an attempt when you see one. Suspicious links, misspelled messages, and too-good-to-be-true offers are ways many can be attacked while trading. You might receive emails that seem like they’re from a crypto-affiliated business, but after a quick glance you might find tell-tale signs of phishing: poor grammar, bad spelling, fishy wording, and a strange domain name. Always confirm that you know where emails are coming from before clicking on any links.
Better safe than sorry is the name of the game when you’re trading with cryptocurrency. While trading in and of itself is a fairly safe undertaking, neglecting to take proper precautions can end up costing you. Use these tips to safeguard your trading experience and you’ll never have to worry about attacks from external hackers again.