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Monday, 23 April 2018

How to Ensure Your Cryptocurrencies Are Safe




Written by: awokenpen



Adoption of Cryptocurrency has and continues to grow since 2009 when Bitcoin began to operate. A research by the University of Cambridge on Global Cryptocurrency in 2017 indicated that users of Cryptocurrency wallet were between 2.9million to 5.8 million. Even though there are precise records on present users, billions of dollars are currently being traded in form of cryptocurrency. 



This huge growth has no doubt made cryptocurrency theft a "booming business” for cybercriminals. Yes, as cryptocurrency mining continues, “crypto-thieves” will always be scheming to “mine” it straight from your digital wallet. 



How “Crypto-Thieves” Access Your Wallet

-Adware Spoofing and Phishing Techniques



While Cryptocurrency technology is built to guarantee security, how you handle your own wallet remains your biggest risk. Cryptocurrency transactions are online…and yes, online will always harbor hackers’ traps in form of malware and spyware. 



So…you key in your correct web address for your cryptocurrency transaction…but what happens? A hacker’s adware discards your genuine address and replaces it with its own! And there you are, poor victim of Spoofing Transaction! 



Another trap: You get attracted to a Cryptocurrency trading website or an email that appears genuine. You innocently type in your wallet password which is readily taken by a “cyber-thieves” to access your wallet and milk it dry! Another victim of website phishing!




But…there is good news! You can keep your Cryptocurrencies safe and secure. You, however, have to be super disciplined, and adhere to the following steps or requirements: 





Step 1. Use Only A dedicated device with a secure Internet connection.


Safe Bitcoin Wallet



-Dedicate only one device for your cryptocurrency transactions. Using any device available to sell and buy cryptocurrency means creating rooms for more online risks. 

-Ensure that the network you are connecting through is secure. If available WI-FI is public, do not use it simply because it is free! It can easily translate to someone accessing your digital wallet publicly free!

-Use your private data bundle if you can, but ensure that your connection is well encrypted. Without encryption, your connection can as well be tapped into by crafty individuals who have mastered the art!




Step 2. Ensure Your Device is Safe



-Ensure that the computer or laptop you are using has a valid and updated antivirus installed. Remember your WI-Fi connection may be secure, but there are others waiting online for any vulnerable device to invade.

-If you can, use Linux Operating system as it is not prove to virus attacks as Windows Systems. 




Step 3. Use Private Email with Strong Passwords



-Your password is the gate- key to your digital wallet. Ensure you have passwords that are difficult to guess or even remember! Just remember… it is only you who should remember it! A combination of letters, caps and character symbols are recommended for very secure passwords. 



-Avoid using names or years that those closer to you can easily guess. With your Cryptocurrency wallet, there are no friends or relatives who should come closer to guessing your password. The more complex your password is, the better, and the safer!



-Do not form the habit of storing passwords in your computer. Remember there are software that can instantly extract all stored passwords. You do not what to risk, do you?



-If you keep your password away, ensure its absolute safety. Having its backed-up is a good practice. 

-Only login on configured devices recognized by your transaction website. This ensures that in case of irregular login, you are notified accordingly for quick action.

-Consider 2 Factor Authentication(2FA) to all your wallet accounts
-Though mobile authentication is convenient to many, they are vulnerable as cyber criminals can still hack your phone numbers through special applications.
-To allow for quick recovery of your password if you forget or may be lose it, develop a mnemonic phase. People forget, even geniuses! 
-Consider storing your password in Lastpass which is a secure password manager that hackers cannot invade.
-Use a private email and not the one you use in social media platforms like twitter or facebook. This will keep you safer from roaming online attackers.




Step 4. Ensure Your Wallet Data is Encrypted


Cyber security





-Ensure that your wallet data in your PC is well protected by using a highly secure zip software or encryption tool. This ensures that keys in your wallet cannot be irregularly accessed. 

-Using a passphase which is a feature in bit-coin core, you can easily protect your wallets.data file using PC commands.

-For mobile phone, a PIN can be used for encryption. 
-In Linux operating systems, either LUKS or Cryptsetup can be used for effective encryption. 



Step 5. Always Analyze Emails, Web Addresses, and Amounts

Security person

-Always be keen on emails you receive so that you do not fall victim of phishing. 

-Never follow links to either a web-wallet or a bank when making Cryptocurrency transactions. 

-Before sending money, take time to verify that indeed the address displayed is the correct one. Be keen on both the amount and transaction fee being displayed to ensure they are all correct. 



Step 6. Have More than one Wallet to reduce risks.



-Do not put all your eggs in one basket! Your hardware wallet may get damaged or simply get lost.

-Have more than one wallet such as Trezor or Ledger. This allows you to securely configure your key, and access your wallet with no hassle.




Step 7. Always Back up Your Data

Cyber Hacker


-Never take chances with your Cryptocurrency data or wallet. If your computer crashes, it may be 
impossible to retrieve all key information. Having your wallet data backed up offline and locally ensures your data security.



-Third party companies providing Crypto Security services such as LedgerHQ or Trezor can also offer you a secure data storage if you choose to use their hardware.




8. Have Both Core and Multicoin Wallets



-If you are not a frequent trader, consider core wallet for cold storage which is buying and keeping currency for an extended time.

-If you are a daily or frequent cryptocurrency trader , go for multicoin wallets.

-f not actively trading, do not hold your crypto-currency in multicoin wallets as it will be exposed to risks. Hackers will smell it to devour all its contents!



Step 9. Share Details with a Trusted Family Member



-As an investor in cryptocurrency, identify some one you can trust! This can be the person you want to inherit your investment. 

-At an appropriate time, provide them with access…this will ensure that your investment remains in safe hands. 



So, as you invest in cryptocurrency, think security! No one but you, can ensure that your cryptocurrencies are safe.



Reference Links:



https://www.techradar.com/how-to/heres-how-to-keep-your-bitcoin-safe

https://decryptionary.com/what-is-cryptocurrency/8-steps-protecting-cryptocurrency/

https://coinsutra.com/how-many-hardware-wallet-to-order/


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