Human error and cybercrime are the most notable threat to Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrency owners.
Bitcoin security should your first concern if you own the most prominent coin in cryptoverse. There are many advantages to using Bitcoin just as long as you make sure that you keep your private keys secure and safe. Transactions are permanent and irreversible, which makes it very difficult to recover lost funds.
Here are Top 5 tips to ensure Bitcoin’s safety for those who are just new to crypto.
#1: Use Cold Storage
Cold storage involves isolating your private keys from the internet by keeping them offline. Users can do this by creating a paper wallet or using a hardware wallet. If done correctly, private keys sitting on cold storage are un-hackable.
The practical and secure way to protect your coins is to use a hardware wallet like Trezor and Ledger. These eWallets will provide you all the comfort and security of an e-Wallet with the protection of a cold storage method.
#2: Minimize Counterparty Risk
Most coin losses are the consequence of crypto platforms or exchanges getting hacked or mismanaging money. Exchanges are helpful for trading coins, but you need to be careful of the risk. It’s crucial not to use exchanges as a bank or a permanent way to store your private keys.
If you need to trade coins on an exchange, you can minimize the risk by breaking them into multiple transactions. Diversifying amongst several trading platforms can also help reduce counter-agent risk.
#3: Use Strong Passwords
When opening any cryptocurrency-related accounts, you want to make sure to use strong and unique passwords. Most people make the same mistake of using similar basic passwords on their different online accounts. As a golden rule, your passwords should be:
- At least 16 characters long
- With a combination of:
- Letters (Upper and Lower case)
- And Symbols.
It’s crucial not to use the same passwords or store unencrypted digital copies of them online.
#4: Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
Whenever you start up an account on an exchange or crypto-platform, it’s always good to enable 2FA in security settings. 2FA generates a unique secondary password on your phone or device every time you log into your account. This authentication code is valid for a few seconds, and it randomizes again. If a hacker steals your primary password, they would need physical access to your phone as well to be able to access your online account.
The most common 2FA application used is Google Authenticator. It will enable you to activate your 2FA by scanning a QR code from your online account. If you don’t own a smartphone (which would be a rare case), you can activate 2FA by providing your phone number. You will then be able to receive a code through text messaging or an automated voice call.
#5: Double-Check eWallet Address
Before transferring cryptocurrency, you would need to make sure to “double-check” that you’ll be able to send or receive it to the correct eWallet address of the specific coin. Cryptocurrency accidents, in general, can be very costly, and Bitcoin is not immune to this. So don’t rush; be triple sure when sending or receiving your coin’s eWallet address. You will find more about our eWallet article in our site’s Crypto 101 category.
It’s also vital to check the webpage address or URL because many scam sites attempt to steal bitcoin. Every so often, a fraudulent website will look exactly like the company’s original website, except that they modify one small detail on the web address (e.g., www.bitcoin.com would look like www.bitcoin.cn). Always be wary of any emails or social media accounts that try to solicit money from you. One well-known scam that used Youtube and Steve Wozniak’s photo to collect Bitcoin from followers and guarantees to double them (Read more about it here).
Is Bitcoin Security On Top Of Your List?
Always keep in mind that all cryptocurrency (and this does exempt Bitcoin) transactions are irreversible. Being naive with your eWallet keys is equivalent to leaving your wallet full of cash in a public area.
Cryptocurrencies provide people more power over their money, but with freedom comes greater responsibility (Sounds familiar?). Practicing new security habits may seem intimidating at first, but they’ll quickly become second nature.
Bitcoin security should be synonymous to the internet. It became a fundamental part of our daily lives, and in the digital information age, security is critical.
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