The increase in the popularity of cryptocurrencies and the introduction of regulations by different countries have brought about the entrance of new investors. Just as digital assets are becoming popular, so are cybercriminals, especially hackers are also getting more creative and persistent in their attempts to steal people’s digital assets.
Also, the recent arrest of the Bitfinex hackers of 2016 has led numerous crypto investors to worry about the security of their digital assets. However, since some find their arrest as good news; others think it is bad for the world of crypto since its basis is anonymity, independence, and security.
Binbit has therefore gathered from sources all around the web; ways and guidelines to help you protect and secure your Digital Assets.
Protecting Your Digital Assets
- Use a Cold Wallet
One of the major ways to protect your crypto asset is through the use of wallets, either hot or cold. Since online (hot) wallets are the most popular, they have become a point of attraction for hackers. Hence the need to use a Cold Wallet in storing your assets.
However, your decision to use a Cold Wallet can be influenced by how valuable your assets are; and also depending on how long you wish to hold such assets. Cold Wallets should be used to store your most valuable assets to prevent hacking.
Cold Wallets look like USB drives that act as physical stores for tokens or coins. Private keys protect the cold wallets; they are codes that look like passwords used to decrypt the wallets and gain access to the assets.
Just as Cold Wallets are safe from hackers, you can also lose your assets by forgetting your private key. Since the Cold Wallets are not backed up digitally, the loss of your private key can lead to the ultimate loss of your digital assets. Also, ensure to buy your cold wallet from the manufacturer; as secondhand devices have the chance of being tampered with.
- Avoid mobile Phishing
Phishing is a social engineering tool used to gain information from unsuspecting victims. Phishing attacks are usually designed to look like the original ones, hence making it difficult to differentiate; except the users pay extra attention. Mobile phishing can come from texts, social media platforms, websites, emails, etc. Also, there are some mobile apps that spy on their users and gain their personal information for hackers.
February 4th, 2022, Binance CEO CZ, alerted the crypto community about a possible SMS phishing on the Binance platform. His tweet shows a screenshot of a phishing SMS containing a link whose aim is to cancel withdrawals. He also claims that such links usually lead to fake websites that collect the user’s data.
Hackers keep targeting crypto users on their mobile devices to steal their credentials. To avoid phishing; ensure to always pay attention to every message received, and not click on just anyhow links. Also, only use the websites of trusted exchanges to make transactions. When using exchange apps, be sure to download from verified online stores
- Research exchanges before choosing one
When deciding which exchange to use in starting your journey into cryptocurrency, ensure to research properly; the security infrastructure put in place by those exchanges. Be sure to choose a platform with strong security measures and different authentication methods – including 2FAs.
Some platforms allow you to create two passwords; one to log in, and the other to authenticate transactions.
- Use Wallets
Although like banks; most crypto exchange platforms offer FDIC insurance, it is still not advisable to leave large amounts of crypto assets on them. In the case where an exchange gets hacked, you might end up losing your assets permanently or the exchange can put you on an IOU basis. However, an IOU is only valid as long the exchange still exists; failure of which can also lead to permanent loss.
It is advisable to send your crypto holdings to another wallet. An example of such a wallet is the Bitcoin wallet. A Bitcoin wallet holds, receives, and sends bitcoin on the blockchain. Some bitcoin wallets do not only keep bitcoins but also other cryptocurrencies like ETH etc.
A Bitcoin wallet is a device or program for holding and sending Bitcoins.
Bitcoin wallets contain the private keys needed to sign Bitcoin transactions. Anyone who knows the private key can control the coins associated with that address.
The most secure Bitcoin wallets are hardware wallets. Web wallets are the least secure.
Some Bitcoin wallets also work for multiple cryptocurrencies.
- Install Antivirus
Another way to secure your digital asset is by securing your devices. Most hacks are usually a result of viruses. It is these viruses that will then create a loophole for hackers to come into your devices and gain access to your personal information.
Since cryptos are usually worth a lot of money, it is advisable that investors also put money into the enhancement of their devices’ security.