Millions of people around the world have recently joined the bandwagon of cryptocurrencies. While this has resulted in a dramatic rise in the value of digital assets, it has also made them an attractive target for hackers.
Every week, there seems to be another report of a major hacking or ransomware violation. Hence, protecting your cryptocurrency should be your top priority. How then can you protect your cryptos from being stolen?
Let’s now take a look at five of the most common ways that you can take to protect your cryptocurrencies from fraud.
1. Always use strong passwords and two-factor authentication (2FA)
Wherever you store your cryptocurrencies, two-factor authentication is one of the best ways to safeguard them from fraud. Many crypto exchanges today support 2FA. For obvious reasons, this provides a 2nd layer of security.
When 2FA is enabled, no one can access your accounts without providing a 6-digit code that is sent to you via SMS message to your cell phone or via Google Authenticator app. This password changes every 30 seconds, so it is almost impossible for a hacker to guess them and get access.
2. Don’t let others store your private key
Never share your private keys with others or store them online. Virtually everything online can be hacked. Also, once your private keys have been shared, you’ve become a target for hackers.
It is also worth mentioning that many crypto investors find it convenient to use an online exchange to store their assets. These exchanges store private keys on behalf of their users. In other words, these customers aren’t in control of their own private keys.
The downside, however, is that if an exchange gets hacked, their private keys will become exposed to these criminals. Hence, the reason we recommend saving your funds offline with a hardware wallet. This makes your cryptocurrencies more secure than online exchanges.
3. Use cold wallets
Another critical way you can protect your digital assets is to use cold wallets. This is a technology designed to keep your cryptos offline on hard drives, thus making it difficult for hackers to access your funds. For example, you can buy the Ledger Nano S or Trezor. These are the two most popular hardware wallets for safely storing crypto offline.
4. Don’t fall for phishing attacks
Today, there is an increase in phishing scams through email and Google Ads. Once you send a phishing email or website your private key you can kiss your cryptocurrency goodbye. The malicious website or email may look real but is in fact fake. Any passwords or usernames you enter will be recorded and used against you. This is known as phishing.
Therefore, you need to always check the email or website address before you click. You can identify a fake website by the URL. Make sure that the site’s URL begins with “https” and a closed lock icon. Additionally, you can install an ad blocker to block ads that lead to suspicious sites. You can also bookmark the websites you visit frequently.
5. Create difficult passwords
When creating a wallet, exchange account (example best bitcoin exchanges), or software (example immediate edge), be sure to choose a very complex and lengthy password. You can use spaces, upper and lowercase letters or even misspellings. However, it is not advised to repeat the same password for all your accounts.
Knowledge they say is power. The more everyone knows about how to protect their cryptocurrencies from fraud, the faster the world will move toward the mass adoption of digital currencies.