Here at cryptomonster we’re extremely passionate about empowering people with knowledge and experience to protect themselves online from any malicious threats, loss of funds and/or scams that may exist online.
If you didn’t catch our previous article, you can find out ‘ Choosing the right cryptocurrency wallet ’.
The last thing that you want is to fall victim to a scam. Whether your participating in an ICO, or transferring funds to and/from a different wallet service, it does sometimes feel like a dark, dangerous world out there.
We’ll cover the top tips that we ourselves follow from a day to day basis, including the best practices of keeping you and your assets safe.
What are the first things that I should do as a bare minimum?
Once you’ve chosen a particular asset, you’ll have also arrived at a conclusion of what wallet you’d like to store that in. We recommend a wallet that you personally own, i.e. no third party holds the private keys and is therefore decentralised.
A private key is essentially your key to unlock your wallet. All transactions use the private key to sign and confirm. Without a private key, your public wallet address can only receive transactions – and never send them.
When you look after your own wallet, you gain the ultimate decentralised flexibility of being in control of your own assets. The risk of being hacked is lower, however the responsibility is considerably higher. You’re the sole person responsible for keeping the wallet private key safe.
Here are ten top tips we recommend to keep your bitcoin wallet safe:
1. Always backup your wallet using the recommended method provided. Usually, this is done by a 12 or 24 word cipher that allows you to restore a wallet to a different device should you lose that device, or it’s stolen from you.
2. Choose a popular, tried and tested solution. It’s always safer to go with a solution that is mature and that has been tested by a wide community over time.
3. Never, ever, share your private keys and never store them locally on a computer you frequently use for cryptocurrency transactions. There are known malware vectors of attack that scan your devices for private keys in recognised locations.
4. Always verify the website address you are visiting is the correct URL address in the address bar of your web browser. A common threat is purchasing a very similar domain, replicating the look & feel and hijacking your passwords, private keys and so forth when you log in.
5. Don’t make snap judgements and always carry out thorough due diligence and research on all transactions or purchases. The cryptocurrency community is very forthcoming with reporting potential scams.
6. Remain skeptical and if it’s too good to be true, it likely is. No-one is giving away free cryptocurrencies. Twitter is a great facet of resource and opinion, however there are fairly convincing users pretending to be prominent figures within the space.
7. Use a password manager, and never use the same password twice. Update all your passwords to strong passwords. The key to a great password is entropy over complexity. Choose a human readable sentence that you can memorise as your master password. E.g. themoonlookslikeahorse would take 84 QUINTILLION YEARS to crack. For an added layer of security, add multi factor to your password manager, such as a Last Pass.
8. Multi factor authentication all the things. When you add multi-factor security to a particular website, it synchronises with a device that offers up codes to validate it’s you. It’s also recommended to backup your unique authentication code when you add multi factor for the first time, as you’re fairly screwed if you lose or uninstall the app. We recommend the Google Authenticator for Multi Factor authentication.
9. Have an action plan and/or written will. Whilst it’s a morbid subject it’s important to let your loved ones know that your portfolio is accessible and how. We will leave that entirely up to yourself, but ensure that it’s a secure method rather than “MyWalletKeys.txt” on your desktop computer.
10. Keep up to date with the latest industry news, such as any requirements for your tokens that need to be registered. When you register for an ICO by purchasing the token directly, such as EOS, or if you have sent EOS to Block.One, the company responsible for th EOS Token Sale, it’s important to know that your Ether address needed to be registered by June 2018 to keep hold of your tokens.
We hope that you find these tips useful. Hopefully, they’ll spark other ideas for you and ultimately they’ll lead to a safer, easier experience holding cryptocurrencies.
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