One of the most important things about investing in and owning any digital currency is security. As a rule, we advocate to never invest in anything more than you could afford to lose. By taking security seriously, that day is much less likely to arrive. In past posts, the security advantages of blockchain and decentralized currencies were highlighted. These security features have led modern hackers to focus on attack vectors that are more personally targeted than attacking institutions. What this means is instead of attacking the system many hackers go after individuals and their access information to steal funds. Traditional banks have security systems, protocols, and compensation strategies in place to protect the money their clients gave them. Digital currencies, on the other hand, rely more on individuals to keep their accounts secure. Below we take a look at the guiding principles to investing in digital currency and security measures that you can put in place to protect yourself.
Proper Antivirus Security and Device Safety
The importance of securing your devices, whether computer, tablet or smartphone, is paramount. It is important to have installed proper security software to deal with any sort of malware or digital threat on your computer. Do research and find one that you trust. On computers, a good habit to get into is to scan your computer with security software before making any sort of transaction. There is other additional software that can be used to encrypt various processes on your computer. Regardless of the device, it is important when using WiFi to only use secure connections. If possible do not use public WiFi for your digital currency needs.
Smartphones particularly are important to keep secure. The first simplest and most obvious thing to do is have a password. It is highly recommended that if you choose to do transactions or access your digital assets on your phone, that you keep the number as private as possible. Do not post your phone number on public platforms or forums allowing access to people you do not know and trust. One of the reasons for this is, hackers can use your number to call your service provider and request a new SIM card. With this new SIM card, they could get access to your accounts. This is called SIM theft. Set up a passphrase with your cell phone provider to be used when issuing a new SIM. It would also be advisable to keep which service provider you use a mystery.
Password, Key Safety, and Authentication
Be very careful where you store your passwords, key phrases, and codes. Never post your passwords in a word file, text file, etc. There are many options to store passcodes online which you may or could use, however, technology and hackers improve and find flaws in these options your information could become vulnerable. For many the safest solution to this is a low-tech solution, writing them on paper. Paper wallets or paper safes are fancy ways of saying a notebook or physical record of your passwords. Keep it safe! Perhaps, in a safe. If lost, there is no way to recover your digital assets.
For passwords in general, it is vital to create unique passwords or keys to secure your digital asset information. Use a long and varied password comprised of numbers, letters, and special characters if possible.
Two-factor Authentication software can be very useful to further secure access. Authy, Google Authentication, and others are options. If using a service, ensure you have done the research to validate that it works as desired. Also, if using a mobile service, make sure your mobile device is secure as discussed.
Create a unique email account to only use for your accounts associated with any digital asset. Do not use any email you have used for any sort of public services such as Amazon. When creating these accounts try to make them as random as possible while ensuring you will not forget it. Prioritize security when choosing where you create your new email. Do research to find one you trust.
Be Sure, Be Private.
The internet is a constantly evolving and live environment so be sure to be aware of what sites you are accessing. Triple check the URL of sites you use to interact with your digital assets and make sure it is correct. These should be sites that you trust. Bookmark these sites and use the bookmarked addresses to access them so you do not have to search them each time. Scam sites pretending to be other sites are created often and if you try to access your information through these sites they will have all your account information.
When involved in a digital currency or investing forum that is open for anyone to access, it is good practice to not use your real name, phone number, or primary email address. Do not talk about how much your digital investments are worth in online forums. This is a good way to become targeted by hackers.
Instead of leaving your digital currencies in exchanges, it is advisable to use your own digital and hardware wallets, also known as hot and cold storage.
Disclaimer: CryptoCanucks.com is not intended to provide tax, legal or investment advice, and nothing on CryptoCanucks.com should be construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any asset by CryptoCanucks.com or any third party. You alone are solely responsible for determining whether any investment, asset or strategy, or any other product or service, is appropriate or suitable for you based on your investment objectives and personal and financial situation. You should consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific legal or tax situation.