Crypto Dynamics: How to Keep Your Cryptocurrency Safe and Sound?
The crypto market is growing exponentially, the growth has been more pronounced since 2017. The peculiar part is that no matter how much the experts try speculate and predict, the market behaves in totally unprecedented way. It’s so tough to predict the crypto market: trading is ever-so-risky. Also, the underneath technology, blockchain, is very new to the people so fundamentals of cryptocurrency are not so clear. People confuse blockchain with cryptocurrency and hence use it interchangeably, which is wrong. Despite of the air of confusion, people are trading in crypto in a huge volume. As seen on Bitfinex on 24th July 2018, 24 hour trading volume has been $720,204,653. In just 24 hours! The enthusiasm among people is as big as the numbers.
With astronomical figures, comes astronomical responsibility of handling cryptocurrency. This article will elucidate how to keep your investments safe and secure. This article will highlight good practices so that any mishap can be prevented. Knowledge is always good. Be vigilant and you will thrive.
- Do NOT trust anyone. Not even your exchange.
Leaving your crypto in the exchange is a very bad practice. Time and again we have seen exchanges getting hacked. We must draw learning from such incidences and act in a responsible way. Even though exchanges claim that they keep the cryptocurrency on a cold storage (hardware), they don’t do it for 100% of the cryptocurrencies and you don’t want to play on chances.
- Always use hardware wallet to keep your crypto safe.
Use an isolated hardware to store your cryptocurrency to be 100% safe from hackers. The best hardware wallets are Ledger Nano S, TREZOR, KeepKey. But make sure you keep the hardware in a safe place. If you throw it away by mistake, your crypto would be erased and gone forever.
- Make use of 2FA feature on your exchange.
Enable the security feature of Two-Factor-Authentication while signing into your crypto account. This is to stay double safe because one-time-passwords (OTP) will be sent on your registered mobile phone for authentication.
- Beware of fishy emails/ads/links.
Cybercriminals want your money so badly. Citations of fishy emails with ponzi schemes are a common site in almost everyone’s spam inbox. Make sure you never fall into this trap. They never turn out the way they say. Clicking on such links may download some virus into your computer. Virus have ability to do just about anything. And you wouldn’t want that.
- Do not access your crypto account when on public wifi.
Please keep in mind that whatever you do on an open, unsecure wifi can be very easily tracked. So it’s a good practice to never open anything confidential over a public wifi. Always use a protected wifi while accessing your bank account, email, crypto account.
- Have a unique password for every account.
Don’t be lazy and set same passwords for all accounts. The odds of getting hacked all at once increase. Make sure you set a strong password with upper case, lower case, special characters, numbers. If you have problem remembering the passwords, write them down but not on your phone, or notepad on your computer. Rather write it some place where nobody has access to, or write it in encrypted form. For example, at the back of your notebook. You can encrypt your password on your notebook too! Suppose your password is “hello”. Now, you may not want to write “hello” as it is at the back of your notebook. So you can increment each alphabet by one position. “Hello” would become “ifmmp”. So now you may write “ifmmp” in place of “hello”. But make sure nobody knows the secret to crack it!
- Make sure you have a backup.
Always back your data up. Data is in form of binaries 0 or 1, if lost: it can’t be recovered. Make sure all your confidential and important data is backed up.
- Beware of typos.
Crypto wallets have very odd looking addresses, it’s easy to make a typo. Also, while you’re copy-pasting it somewhere, make sure you recheck. If at all you have a virus on your computer which alters what you copy pasted, you are at a very big loss. It’s always good to double check.
- Keep your private key private.
All crypto wallets have a private key. This key must not be shared with anyone. Anyone who has access to this key can easily manipulate funds of your wallet. It is recommended to keep this on a hardware too.
- Secure your PC/Laptop: Use antivirus/antimalware software.
Make sure your computer is well protected in advance. To do that, you should have a good antivirus or antimalware software. Make sure you don’t download it from anywhere from free because those are just traps. Buy the software online from the official websites.
These were some best practices to keep your crypto safe. Hope you are already following most of them but if you are not, then it is not too late. It is always a good practice to migrate to a more secure environment. Better to be safe than sorry. It is also our responsibility to teach others also about such practices so that the community thrives together.