One of the main innovations of cryptocurrencies is the tight security they offer. This links back closely to blockchain, a technology that has changed the world. The blockchain offers a unique set of security tools. These tools are not just for securing your assets, but also for the logging and verification of transactions. But not everything is completely secure, and there will always be some gaps here and there. A conscious user like yourself will feel it’s important to ensure that your assets are locked away from any bad actors. These are the cybercriminals that are constantly trying to find loopholes and backdoors into security systems.
Cryptocurrencies have become much more popular in recent years. This means that more people than ever before are using them. It has also meant that more cybercriminals than ever have become interested in the value of crypto assets. One of the most common types of criminal activity is known as an account takeover. You will also see this being called an “ATO.” This kind of takeover gives the criminal full control of your account. They can then use this control to move assets into their own accounts. And this particular activity is on the rise.
At Bitcoin Codes we feel that every crypto asset owner should practise the latest security. Which is why we’ve put together a comprehensive crypto guide to help you secure your assets. Many of the following tips and tricks can also help in other areas of your digital life.
Security experts recommend using multi-factor authentication. This type of authentication usually comes in the form of two-factor authentication (2FA). Two-factor authentication adds another layer of security to an account. This extra layer means that criminals are not nearly as able to find a way into your account. They will battle even if they have your login credentials.
You can use 2FA technologies in different ways. One of the most popular ways is to receive an email to a secure email account. Another popular method is to make use of an authentication app. Aegis Authenticator is a great authenticator worth checking out. It’s simple to use and has the benefit of being open source. This means that its source code is auditable by the public. You should always stick with security software that is open source. Sometimes this can be difficult, but the advantages are worth your efforts.
Hardware tokens are the most secure kind of 2FA. This means that you will need some kind of hardware token. For most people, this hardware token is a Yubikey. You need to keep the Yubikey with you throughout the day. When you need to log in, you will use this Yubikey.
Two decades ago, it was easy to store all your passwords. This information was often written down on a piece of paper. Today, however, it’s a lot more difficult to keep track of all our account credentials. This is especially true if you want to keep your accounts as secure as possible. You certainly don’t want other people to see your login information. For this reason, it’s a great idea to use a password manager. These are special digital vaults that store sensitive login data.
You have a wide choice of password managers, but make sure to choose carefully. Many modern password managers are not safe to use. Bitwarden is the best password manager for most people. It’s free to use, open source, and has plenty of features. This password manager also offers a premium version for the low price of $10 a year. Some might not want to use a cloud-based password manager. This means that they will have to look for an alternative.
The best local password manager is KeePassXC. This is a cross-platform password manager that doesn’t need an internet connection. Choose this manager if you would like to keep your password vaults on your own devices.
No matter what type of password manager you use, make sure to have a strong master password. You will use this password to unlock your account. A passphrase is recommended as your master password. An important reason for this is because passphrases are much easier to remember. Bitwarden provides a free password and passphrase generating service. This is a secure service to use. As long as you can remember your master password, you will always have access to all of your other passwords.
Almost all password managers also offer mobile apps. This makes it extremely simple to keep track of all your saved accounts and credentials. A password manager is a necessity when it comes to securing crypto coins. With this in mind, it doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to set up a password manager. Next you will need to store your master passphrase somewhere. In fact, many people store theirs in a fireproof safe.
You have probably heard of phishing before. This is the practice of getting an unknowing party to reveal sensitive information. Typically, this information is in the form of login details. The criminal will then take these details and use them to compromise your account. It’s also worth keeping in mind that there’s no real “hacking” going on here. Instead, the bad actor is getting you to do the hard work for them.
The most common form this comes in is as an email or SMS. The email will look as professional and legitimate as possible. The idea behind this is to make you believe that the email came from a reliable source. Once you receive the email, it will try to get you to click on a link. Clicking on this link will redirect you to a new website. You might think that the website you’ve arrived at is legitimate, and then put in your login credentials. These credentials are captured and stored by the site. After this, they are sent back to the bad actor. The race is on from this point as the criminal takes control of your accounts. If the account in question contains crypto coins, the criminal will almost certainly move the coins away.
Phishing is currently among the most common methods of breaking into accounts. For this reason, cybercriminals tend to put their focus on money. This is also why crypto assets are so inviting to these kinds of people. It presents itself as the perfect method of stealing someone else’s money and getting away. This is also why it is so important that you double check any emails that you receive. Do this by first checking whoever sent the email. If the sender address is one you know, then it’s safe. Keep in mind, however, that they will try to mimic the sender address as much as possible. This is why some services will have some way of verifying that their emails are official.
Another great option to limit potential phishing is an email alias. An email alias works in a few different ways. An example would be a service like SimpleLogin. SimpleLogin allows you to create temporary email aliases. These aliases don’t have to have any ties to your personal identity. You then use them to create new online accounts. If you begin to get spam emails, you can safely delete the alias. This is great if you want to use the internet more privately.
Many crypto traders use email aliasing. This makes it easier to deal with spam. This is an excellent method of helping you organise your accounts, especially when combined with a password manager. Make sure to use a reliable email alias service. To this end, most people recommend SimpleLogin or AnonAddy. These are two open-source email alias projects that can help you obtain better digital security. They are also relatively cheap and extremely easy to use every day. This also makes it extremely easy to make aliases on the go. A good example of this is the SimpleLogin extension available for Firefox. Once installed, you can use this extension to create email aliases.
It’s common to use a private email service. This will work well with an email alias. It will help you to cover all your tracks when online. Proton Mail and Tutanota are two of the best private email services in the world. They are relatively inexpensive and support a wide variety of services. Using a private email is the best way to keep your communications private.
Common sense doesn’t seem like a defense against cybercriminals. But common sense is believed by many to be among the best weapons available. Think of the link in a phishing email. Using common sense means looking at the URL link and where it points to. You might also have some protection against phishing from your email provider. Gmail is a good example. This popular email service will automatically block email addresses commonly associated with phishing. Similar email services also exist. Proton Mail - mentioned earlier - is a private email service that has many protections built right in.
There are other facets to common sense. Avoid websites that don’t use cutting-edge encryption. These sites are easy to identify because they are missing a small lock in the URL bar. On top of this, the browser you use tells you when you have encountered an unsafe site. A browser like Firefox will let you know if you have downloaded potential malware. As you can see, there are many different protections in place. But practicing a little common sense will make your experience that much safer. Crypto assets are valuable and need to be protected.
If you’re new to crypto, you might not know what a wallet is. In essence, a wallet is a digital account that securely stores certain information. Before we continue, we need to clear up a common misconception. This misconception is the belief that the actual crypto is stored in a wallet. This isn’t true. Crypto is held on the blockchain on the Internet. Instead, what you have in your wallet are keys. These are private keys that give you access to the crypto on the blockchain. This is why it’s important to keep your wallet secure.
There are two main types of crypto wallets:
Experts agree that a local wallet is always better. This is especially true for hardware wallets. You can use a simple USB drive for this. If your computer is stolen, you will continue to have access to your keys. Just ensure that you keep that USB drive somewhere safe.
You are easily able to achieve anonymity online. The best way of doing this is by using the Tor browser. Keep in mind that you will have less website functionality.
There are a lot of technicalities when it comes to password length. Longer is always better. But you should make it complex, too. The more complex your password or passphrase, the better. Use a reliable password generator to make the best passwords.
A safe for your password isn’t truly necessary. But it’s a good idea to consider one anyway.
Two-factor authentication seems like a hassle. But it’s worth the effort. It provides a strong layer of security to your accounts.
Zero access is a common security term. It means that a service or entity cannot access your files. Only you are able to access your files.