Despite the 2018 Bitcoin bubble and subsequent crypto crash, digital currencies remain big business. As reported in Forbes recently, plenty of entrepreneurs are making the most of the crypto financial world and the underlying blockchain technology.
Although cryptocurrencies represent a highly secure way of making transactions, there is still a number of pressing cybersecurity threats, particularly as threat actors turn their attention to exchanges and wallet providers in record numbers.
With that in mind, it pays to keep your security ducks in a row, and your currencies safe. Here are some easy and actionable tips to get you started.
Encrypt your data transmissions
Of all the things you can do to secure your currencies, buying a VPN app for data protection is one of the fastest and easiest ways to boost your cyber defenses.
VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks provide data encryption, which is an essential layer of security when you’re logging in to wallets, exchanges, and accounts, or making a trade. They also hide your activity as you’re browsing on a private network. Just ensure you choose a high-quality, paid subscription over questionable free versions.
Choose the right wallet for the job
If you won $10,000 in physical cash today, would you walk around with the cash in your pocket? Probably not. You’d be more inclined to rush to your bank and secure your windfall. It’s exactly the same with cryptocurrencies. Keep a small amount in your online hot wallets, which are akin to your pocket, but put the majority of your currencies in cold, offline storage.
Use multi-factor authentication methods
Unfortunately, the days when we could all blithely log into our accounts with just one password and no extra steps are long gone. These days, two-factor authentication is a bare minimum. Choose to go the extra mile and your accounts, and by extension, your currencies will be a whole lot safer.
Just be cautious of the extra risks involved with using your smartphone’s text messages as an authentication method. If your phone is lost or stolen, it could provide threat actors with an easy way to access your crypto.
Keep your big investment wins to yourself
Let’s say you made a clever decision and traded some of your Etherum, for instance, for an up and coming altcoin and the altcoin took off in a big way. You made plenty of dosh and you definitely want to let other people know.
It’s problematic to share your successes though, sure, tell your significant other and people you know well in person, but don’t share your news with your trading forum buddies or on social media. Doing so makes you a target and cybercriminals can be very sneaky when it comes to “befriending” you online.
Choose your exchanges carefully
In 2019, there were a record number of 12 major cryptocurrency exchanges hacked. In total, more than US$292 million and around 500,000 items of customer data were stolen. Exchanges are not infallible, despite their best efforts. Do your research into each exchange’s security standards and protocols? Remember, because cryptocurrency is largely decentralized and deregulated, you have no resource for justice if you lose all your funds.
Get multisig addresses
Add an additional layer of security to your wallets by choosing multi-sig log-in processes. You can think of multi-sig (multi-signature) as akin to a door that requires two different keys to unlock it. You use digital keys instead, of course, to make your digital defenses even stronger. As you can imagine, multisig addresses are perfect when you’re investing with a friend as both your keys are needed to “unlock” the wallet with shared funds inside.