Crypto wallets get hacked more often than you think, and that’s not because the technology underlying them is not safe (although it would be wise to assume that it’s not indestructible but because malicious actors have found top-notch methods to compromise accounts and steal coins. Needless to say, you need to employ the best practices in order to safeguard your treasured assets.
There’s a saying among the crypto community members that your virtual currency is only as secure as your wallet. So, the first thing to be careful with is the place you store your digital money. Everything from phishing scams to poor private key management can lead to huge losses, and the solution to these doesn’t lie in quitting trading or investing. No, you can continue to buy Ethereum, for example, if you check the current Ethereum price.. But after that, you should focus on where you store it and what you do to protect the related private key.
Fortunately, there are several methods in this regard. Consider some of the likes mentioned in this article:
Don’t put all eggs in one basket – use multiple wallets
You may be tempted to store all your crypto in one wallet, as it’s much easier to manage. But experts recommend using at least two wallets in this sense, preferably a hot storage solution to keep short-term investments or less significant amounts of crypto and a cold storage solution to protect long-term investments or considerable amounts of virtual currency. Also, if you own more than one type of asset, both crypto and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), to say so, you should ideally distribute them in separate wallets. This way, if one wallet gets compromised, you will remain at least with the other one untouched.
Cold wallets, though, such as hardware wallets in the form of USB devices, are considered the most secure places to store crypto assets, so if you fear for the safety of your investments, consider opting for cold storage options.
Backup your wallets
Now that you’ve learned the most sure-fire method to store your digital treasures, ensure you have backups of the related private keys in an offline environment. To take crypto safety to the next level, consider storing these keys outside of your house as well. Not only does this allow you to have control of them, but it also keeps you covered in the case of a natural disaster or theft. Back safes are some of the most employed means in this regard, but possibilities can vary. Some investors even choose to bury the paper with their private crypto keys as an extreme precaution. If this seems viable to you, we can’t tell you the opposite.
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a second layer of protection that allows you to confirm each login attempt before access. In most cases, this option is applicable, as numerous crypto wallets nowadays come with a mobile application. This contributes to the ease of use, but it’s also one more reason to be concerned, as scammers could exploit such a thing. Therefore, use MFA to control who signs in to your wallet account and also the time to report the issue. However, be sure you choose the right MFA options. The recommended variant would be to opt for biometric authentication (facial recognition or digital fingerprint), as no hacker could beat this.
Stay vigilant of phishing scams
Although it’s an old-school method, phishing is still fruitful, as hackers have found new ways to gain access to systems and accounts. Some of the most popular ones include domains that imitate reputable sites, fake apps erroneously uploaded to the Google Play Store or App Store, and faux YouTube, Facebook, or Google ads. Victims could also receive emails asking them to click suspicious links from allegedly their banks or other trustworthy institutions. Hackers are creative, so don’t underestimate their abilities. You can even fall prey to phishing on a dating app – a recently emerged scam type is entitled ‘romance scam.’
Double-check the recipient’s address – always
Just as you should double- and triple-check the apps and games you download, you should also check multiple times the destination address before sending a payment. Remember that a receiver’s address should consist of a string of special and alphanumeric characters, usually 26 to 35 characters long. Therefore, be sure you don’t send the coins to another wallet that a hacker could own. Malicious software is often in charge of this mistake, but if you check the address multiple times, there’s no way not to spot it.
Avoid public Wi-Fi
One of the best pieces of advice that one can give you is never to use public Wi-Fi. But why? Why is this thing so important? Well, because you’re one hundred times more exposed to data theft when using a public Internet connection. Everything from your browser history and passwords to bank account details is visible to the individual owning that Wi-Fi. Consider a virtual private network (VPN) instead, as it acts like an encrypted tunnel that hides your sensitive data and activities from anyone, even the Internet provider. Anything you do will be encrypted, that is, transformed into pieces of code that are hard, if not impossible, to decipher. Therefore, if you need to make an online transaction from your wallet or bank account, ensure you use a VPN.
Keep a robust passcode and change it often
Although this goes without saying, we feel responsible for reminding you that the passwords used to protect your wallet must be robust and hard to guess. Password recklessness becomes a real concern, as a recent study suggests that 75 percent of American millennials use the same passcode across several devices. And that’s not all – common patterns of passwords include the classical ‘1234’ and name followed by the date of birth. This kind of passcode takes minutes, if not seconds, to crack, so ensure you rethink your passwords and build something complex, consisting of a combination of upper- and lower-case letters and numbers, as well as special characters that have nothing to do with you. No matter how ridiculous this may sound, a password will always remain the first-line defense.
So, have you employed any of these methods?