While Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies continue to gain interest from the public, it’s still an imperfect technology. The harsh reality is that there are security threats that exist within the industry that can make buying, selling, and trading Bitcoin a risky endeavor.
That’s why we wanted to create this quick guide to crypto security. We want you to have the tools and knowledge you need to keep yourself and your crypto safe. We’ll tell you about some easy security measures you can take to protect your digital assets.
Before we get to that, though, let’s talk about the safety of Bitcoin.
Buying, selling, trading, or making purchases with Bitcoin can be a secure process so long as you’re using reliable, trustworthy methods and platforms. Plus, the underlying blockchain technology makes hacking transactions very difficult.
Of course, there’s more than one way to skin a cat, and crypto hackers and scammers are well aware of the clever and nefarious methods through which they can get your crypto. With that in mind, here are some steps you can take to protect your digital assets.
If you want to protect your Bitcoin, think about implementing these security measures to keep it safe from hackers and scammers.
Secure and complex passwords are nearly always the best thing you can do to protect against nefarious people. These are ideal when setting up your credentials for exchanges, Bitcoin wallets, or any other type of crypto account. Be sure to use a mixture of numbers, symbols, and lower-case and capital letters. Doing so will help keep your crypto assets safe and secure.
Any crypto wallet you use will likely provide two-factor authentication, often referred to as 2FA. This process is used to validate the identity of a user when they attempt to log in, usually through an authentication application or through text message. Additionally, you can go the extra mile by using your fingerprint or facial recognition. Taking these additional steps can make it nearly impossible for scammers to access your crypto.
While we prefer you find your nearest Bitcoin Depot ATM if you want to buy Bitcoin, we know there are users who prefer to use a crypto exchange. If you do - and you decide to buy, sell, or trade while you’re using public wifi, always use a VPN.
VPNs work by hiding your network activity and your IP address. This prevents hackers from tracking everything you do while you’re connected to the internet - including buying Bitcoin. Doing so minimizes your chances of getting targeted or attacked by those with bad intentions.
If you don’t want to use a VPN, then we highly recommend that you don’t use public wifi. When you’re on public wifi, you’re opening yourself up to potential hackers that like to lurk about and attack unsuspecting users. Wait until you’re connected to a private network to perform crypto transactions if at all possible. Cyber hackers and thieves like to use malware and spyware to steal your information, which is much easier to do when you’re using a shared public network.
We’ve harped on this before, so you should know by now that one of the best ways to keep your Bitcoin secure is to keep your private keys and keyphrases to yourself. Never share them with anyone else unless you trust that person with your life. Like a spouse or maybe a superhero.
So long as you keep your keyphrase to yourself, you’re the only person who has access to your wallet, your account, and your funds. Additionally, store your keyphrase in a secure location. Some people use a password manager, so there’s no panic if they happen to forget it.
We’ve touched on this before, but cybercriminals are lurking in the crypto world, just waiting for an opportunity to take your digital assets and keep them as their own. Keep an eye out for some of these common crypto scams:
Fake Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) - With a fake ICO, you’re lured into investing in a fake business or project. “Founders” take your money and run while you’re left holding worthless crypto.
Crypto giveaways - A crypto giveaway scam is a ploy to convince you to transfer your crypto with the promise that you’ll receive high returns when you do.
Phishing attacks - Watch for email messages that insist that something is wrong with your account, and they require an immediate and urgent response on your part, typically in the form of some type of payment.
Fake applications - These are apps designed to appear legit. Unfortunately, they are all too often fake platforms that use malware to take your credentials or steal your funds before you know what’s happened.
Remember to keep an eye out for these scams and other obvious signs that cybercriminals are attempting to steal your funds or your personal information. These attacks are becoming more sophisticated by the day, so always validate and confirm information before sharing your personal data or sending your crypto to anyone.
Crypto security is a must when buying and selling Bitcoin. You need to pay close attention to who is asking for your information or where your digital assets are going. One way to ensure crypto security is by using secure methods to purchase your Bitcoin. Using a Bitcoin Depot ATM is an excellent way to add Bitcoin to your wallet without worrying about who is trying to steal your funds.