With the crypto market getting lots of attention and investment from investors around the globe, many new comers have joined to quest to become successful crypto investors. However, this high level of attention also means that hackers see the crypto market, and specially the new investors as their favorite soft target.
They can easily manipulate you into transferring your crypto into their wallet. Amongst the long list of things you should take care of when dealing with cryptocurrencies, keeping your account safe from scammers and hackers should always be your priority.
Hackers have become so advanced that they can hack entire crypto exchanges and cause millions of dollars in lost funds. While authorities and concerned professionals are trying their best to make your crypto wallet and crypto exchanges safer, it is your own duty to do the due diligence and keep your funds safe. In this guide, we’ll see how you can make your crypto account safer and accessible only to you.
We’ll try to find out reasonable answers to all the questions you might have, and will provide you with the best security tips you can follow. Keep in mind that no security method is 100% secure, and you can choose or emit the security methods provided in this guide according to your own requirements. So, you can use this as a thorough guide on how you can buy cryptocurrency safely, and keep it safe in your digital wallet as well.
Let’s start with some of the best tips you can try to make your digital wallet more secure.
Always Use 2FA
In order to buy cryptocurrency, you will have to open an account with a cryptocurrency exchange. This is where your cryptocurrency is most vulnerable. For example, if the exchange gets hacked, or your account gets compromised, a hacker can easily get access to your wallet and transfer all of your funds to their wallet.
In order to minimize risks when buying cryptocurrency from an exchange, make sure that you are buying from a reputable exchange with high security measures in place, and use 2 factor authentication security method. This should be used whenever you or anyone else tries to withdraw your cryptocurrency from the exchange account.
By enabling 2 factor authentication, you will be telling your account to send you are called on your mobile phone to confirm every transaction. Enabling 2 factor authentication can be a bit annoying at first, but it will provide you with impeccable security by making it almost impossible for a hacker to transfer your funds to their wallet.
Just in case that you do not have 2FA enabled on your exchange account, any hacker with access to your email and it’s password can easily bypass this security system and steal your funds.
Whenever you visit and unsafe website on the internet, a hacker can still it’s cookies and find your password hash from them. This way, they can figure out your password by processing your hash through a software. Moreover, they might send you a fishy email with an attachment which you might download as are trustable software, but will turn out to be malware. This is another technique by which they can easily access your cryptocurrency wallet to steal your funds.
However, when you use 2FA security method, the hackers will find it really hard to hack both your email address and your mobile phone to get the code sent to you by the application. This way, the chances of you getting hacked into become really thin.
The hackers are always looking for soft targets, and 2 factor authentication introduces an extra layer of security which requires them to work really hard. This is why they will easily ignore your account.
Don’t Store Crypto on Exchange
Since most of the people store their cryptocurrency in their exchange account after buying it, exchanges accumulate millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency in them. This makes crypto exchanges are hard target for advanced hackers and scammers. So, right after you buy the required amount of cryptocurrency from your exchange, you should immediately withdraw it into your wallet.
You can easily find the steps to create a cryptocurrency wallet on your computer on the internet. Once your wallet is set up, you can ask the crypto exchange to send all of your cryptocurrency to your wallet address.
When your cryptocurrency is out of the exchange, hackers won’t be able to steal it simply by hacking your exchange account, or even the whole exchange. This time, instead of the exchange, the hacker will have to focus on your computer on which the crypto wallet is set up. This will make the task significantly harder for the hacker, and the reward very little.
Your computer is far less likely to be targeted by a hacker in contrast to the exchange you have bought your cryptocurrency from. So, just keep your wallet a secret from everyone, and you can easily keep your cryptocurrency safe.
Keep Your Password Strong
Even if your computer is compromised, the hacker won’t be able to log into your cryptocurrency wallet unless they know your password. Since you are the only person who knows your own password (hopefully), the hacker will need to get some hash from your computer and try to decrypt it in order to get your password. The password cracking softwares simply use thousands of possible combinations to crack the password of any account.
So, in order to make this very difficult for hackers, you should always choose a very long and random password. By increasing the number of letters and alphabets you use in your password, you will increase the total number of possible combinations. Moreover, you should use both upper and lowercase letters, numbers and even special characters in the password of your crypto wallet. This will make it almost impossible to crack.
Keep in mind that no password is uncrackable, but if you make your password significantly harder to crack, it can take a hacker years to decode. This way, they will just ignore your account and move on to the next one.
Since almost every crypto wallet uses seed words to allow you to forget and change your password, you do not have to worry about setting a complex password which you might forget later on. If that happens, you should have your seed words saved in a secure location to access them and recover your account.
If you have seed words with you and you have forgotten your password, you just have to uninstall and reinstall the wallet application on your computer, and import those seed words during the installation process. This will help you recover your account easily.
In short, you should always use a very strong and complex password for your cryptocurrency wallet in order to make it almost impossible for hackers to crack.
Try to Use Hardware Wallets
Hardware wallets are easily available online, and you can use them to safely secure your cryptocurrency in a physical USB device. Since the device is encrypted, the seed words are saved on it, and you can always access your account through the device by plugging it into a computer.
Since hardware wallets are actual physical devices with no internet connectivity whatsoever, they are almost impossible for hackers and scammers to reach and infact with viruses.
However, in order to use a hardware wallet to make crypto transactions, you must either connect it physically with a computer or mobile, or use the built-in Bluetooth feature for the purpose. These devices created digital signatures for your cryptocurrency transactions done on your computer which is connected to the internet. This way, even if your computer is infected with malware, no harm can be done to your hardware wallet by the hacker.
Even if the hacker succeeds at stealing your hardware wallet physically, they won’t be able to access it as these wallets also use a PIN to grant you access.
While hardware wallet scan also be physically manipulated buy an expert hacker, they will need physical access to your hardware wallet for a long time in order to do so. Even if your wallet is stolen, you can still log into the wallet connected to your USB on a computer, and transfer all of your funds to a safe location before the hacker succeeds at cracking the code of your hardware wallet.
The best way to keep your hardware wallet safe is keeping it at a secure and private location, and ensuring proper security of that location as well. However, hardware wallets come with their own drawbacks. One of the major drawbacks is the transaction time. Hardware wallet steak significantly more time than software wallets to execute your cryptocurrency transactions.
Moreover, if you have stored your hardware wallet at a remote location, you might need to spare some time in recovering the hardware wallet before you can make any transactions. You should also include the cost of buying a hardware wallet, which sits at around $100 at minimum if you are looking for a premium wallet.
So, looking at the costs and drawbacks, we recommend that you only use a hardware wallet if you have a significant amount of cryptocurrency holdings. If you have a very little amount of cryptocurrency, you should never spend this much money on a hardware wallet.
There are also certain softwares which you have to use in order to make your hardware wallet work. The pirated copies of these softwares downloaded from untrusted sources can potentially contain viruses. So, beware of such activity and always use the software provided by a trustable source for this purpose.
Beware of Fake Websites
Another trick hackers and scammers use to trick you into transferring your cryptocurrency into their wallets is by creating fake websites.
For example, there are fake exchange websites which offer you to convert your cryptocurrency into another cryptocurrency, or even fiat money. Once you put all of your information in the website and try to make the transaction, your credentials are stolen, and all of your cryptocurrency is transferred to their account.
Most of the times, these websites have names very similar to popular exchange platforms, but with a few exceptions in their website address.
So, you should bookmark the right address of your cryptocurrency exchange, and always use that bookmark to log into your account. If you do not pay attention to the details in this step, this scammers will easily make you sign into a fake website, and transfer all of your cryptocurrency to them without even knowing.
In this sophisticated technique, you are doing all the work, and willingly transferring your crypto to the other wallet. So, there’s nothing you can do to reverse the transaction after this happens. However, with the help of right knowledge, you can easily avoid these types of mishaps from happening.
One of the easiest things you can do is doing the due diligence and finding the best cryptocurrency application possible. The app should be trustable enough to add your credit card information and buy cryptocurrency from.
You can check out the reviews It has got on the Play Store or App Store, and on the most famous online reviewing platforms. As a general rule of thumb, you should stay away from any offers which look too good to be true.
Even when you have to login to the website of your application, you should only use the certified and bookmarked address. If your application is reputable enough, it will show up as the first thing whenever you type the name of your dapp into the search bar of your internet browser.
Once you have entered the website address and are on the site itself, you should look at the left of the website address and see if there is a lock present. This lock signifies the latest security measures taken to keep the website safe from hacking attempts.
Whenever you receive fishy emails, you should carefully check the email address for any typos before replying with your personal information. Never click on any link send to you by an unknown email address.
Avoid Using Public WiFi Access Points
Whenever you are outside your home and do not have a data plan, you might want to use the free Wi-Fi access points available in public sports and in restaurants. These Wi-Fi access points have almost no security built into them, and you should avoid them at all costs especially when doing cryptocurrency related transactions.
Very cheap tools can be used by hackers nearby to intercept your public Wi-Fi connection and steal your data when you are doing cryptocurrency transactions.
By viewing your transactions in real time, they will be tempted to hack your device by using the same public network. So, whenever you visit cryptocurrency related sites in public, ask scammer might be watching you.
After this, they will pay special attention to your device, and will eventually succeed in hacking it. That is why you should always avoid making cryptocurrency related transaction in public places.
Double Check Your Emails
Email spamming is one of the most common ways hackers still use to hack into different devices. In this method, they will get your email address and impersonate adjustable cryptocurrency website, or any other person who emails you frequently.
While compiling their email, they will attach a malware application which you will be tempted to download and install on your device. This can also be a simple looking file.
By intercepting your Wi-Fi and seeing what you are looking for, the hacker can easily manipulate you into downloading the attachment they send you over the email.
Everything else but the email itself will look like the real deal. For example, they might impersonate a company if you are looking for a job. They will create an exact copy of the email address that company sends and introduce a typo to register the email. This way, they can easily impersonate that business and make you download a file they attach with their email.
Once the file is downloaded on your computer, rest of the process is done by the hackers controlling the file remotely. You can easily avoid this type of scams by double checking the emails you receive on a daily basis.
With millions of people showing interest in cryptocurrency investment around the globe, the crypto market is becoming huge by the day. However, this also means there are lots of newcomers in the crypto market which can become a soft target for advanced hackers and scammers.
However, even though you have only a little knowledge of the crypto market, you can use your senses and logic to dodge any type of hacking attempts send your way by these hackers. There are various methods you can adopt in order to keep yourself and your cryptocurrency safe whenever a hacker attempts to hack into your computer. You should regularly update your security software and be more knowledgeable about your surroundings if you want to keep your crypto assets safe.