9 Practical Tips To Ensure Security of Bitcoin Wallets
A Bitcoin wallet is essential to receiving, sending and storing Bitcoins. Although blockchain technology and Cryptocurrencies offer security to their users, it is your full responsibility to do everything possible to guarantee the safety of your wallet. This means that you will need to be prepared and take all necessary precautions. Below we have compiled a guide to bitcoin wallets and nine practical tips to ensure their security.
The Basics of A Bitcoin Wallet
There are several ways you can obtain Bitcoin. For example, it is possible to receive it as a payment made by a friend or as an exchange for products or services. You can also purchase Bitcoin with PayPal or other payment services. Then, you will need to acquire a Bitcoin wallet which will contain a public key and a private key. They will work together to enable you to initiate and sign transactions digitally as a proof of authorisation. It is crucial that you are selective when it comes to the wallet that you choose. Ensure you select a reputable company with a proven track record.
It is advisable not to put all your Cryptocurrency assets into a single wallet. You could use multiple Cryptocurrency wallets to ensure security. If you are using a wallet which is connected to an app, it is also important to find cold storage as well. This type of wallets are not connected to the Internet so they would offer a safe solution for cyber threats. You can also distribute your savings in ways that will not be affected if one of the wallets is compromised.
Security Of Mobile-Based Wallets
You will need to ensure that your PC and mobile devices are protected. Remember not to use public Wi-Fi as hackers can breach your devices. Always enable strong password and never save your Crypto-related information when prompted on Chrome. You may want to use a 2-Factor Authenticator where applicable. For instance, consider setting up Google Authenticator for an extra layer of security. This will ensure that without physical access to your device, no one else would be able to log in.
It is vital that you keep your private key safe. Instead of saving it on any devices, write it on a piece of paper. Storing this information offline will prevent hackers from stealing it. Be sure to store it in a dry place protected from heat and sunlight in order to avoid deterioration. Alongside this, it is often recommended that you have a backup of your keys somewhere outside your place of living such as a bank’s safe. This will ensure you have access to them in cases of fire or an earthquake.
Phishing scams have increased in popularity over the last few years. There are many ways in which your devices can be compromised such as through Facebook, YouTube, or applications on the App Store. Scams can be so elaborate that even experienced people may fall victim. In order to be prepared better, ensure you look at this guidance on identifying common phishing scams. It is also of paramount importance that you avoid visiting websites you don’t trust and double-check the applications you download.
A challenge which Bitcoin users face is the possibility of entering the wrong address and losing their funds indefinitely. This is why you should take the time to ensure each address is correct before making transactions. Beware that some malicious programs may interfere with a simple ‘copy and paste’ and you might end up pasting a completely different address. It is advisable that you start by making a micropayment first and then proceed to making a larger one.
Another way to address safety concerns which come with single private key mechanism is the use of a multi-signature wallet. This type of Cryptocurrency wallets require two or more private keys to sign and send transactions. As a result, the chance of hackers obtaining access will be reduced as there will be more points for potential failure. Approval will be needed from multiple devices owned by the same person eliminating the need for using only one device.
All operating systems are usually exposed to a range of malware. This is why you should ensure your computer has a proper and up-to-date antivirus software in place. As most cyber-attacks use viruses to access your device, it would be advisable to complete a device scan prior to obtaining a bitcoin wallet. Also, remember to keep your software updates up to date, in order to get protection from the latest malware. For a better perspective on what is available to choose from, explore this guide on best antivirus software.
Storing Crypto On Exchanges
Whilst most Bitcoin exchanges are safe to use and even have insurance, it is still not a good idea to keep a large portion of your Crypto assets there. Ensure you do not keep more than what you need to trade. If it gets hacked, everything will be gone and by being extra careful you can save yourself some worry. It would be best to store the bulk of your Crypto in cold storage as this has been known to be the safest option.
Lastly, it is strongly recommended that you uphold a high level of privacy about your Cryptocurrency holdings. Private keys should not be shared with anyone. You are the only one who should know them. Never ask for someone else to make transactions on your behalf. Be sure to ignore any requests by third parties to disclose your private keys. Also, remember not to talk openly to anyone about your holdings. Nobody else needs to know how much you own or that you have any at all. If you keep these details to yourself, it will be less likely for you to get targeted.
Remember that the Cryptocurrency scene is constantly developing with new security improvements being introduced. Make sure you stay updated and take all the necessary steps to guarantee your Crypto assets are stored safely.