Bitcoin has gained so much popularity online and has revolutionized since it was first introduced in the market. As it gains a lot of audiences it’s security is put into risk. There has been a lot of news online pertaining to some users bitcoin accounts being hacked and illegal transactions processed. Security is one of the most important things to consider when investing in Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrencies.
Here are just some of the many things a consumer, trader, an investor should need to know to secure their Bitcoin.
A Web Wallet is convenient but never ever use it
It is true that a web wallet is convenient but it is one of the riskiest ways of storing Bitcoins. There have been a lot of cases where online hosted wallets have been compromised.
But if in the event that you will really need one, always remember to do research and scrutinize the website very well. Remember, a web wallet is hosted by a third party and there is no guarantee that your funds are secure.
Separate Funds into 'Hot' and 'Cold' Wallets
Bitcoin wallets that reside on machines that are connected to the Internet ("hot" wallets) are far more vulnerable to network-based attacks than ones that are offline.
The idea is to keep the bulk of your Bitcoin funds in the offline wallet while keeping just an ample "portion" of Bitcoins in your online wallet for daily use. If you receive a large amount of Bitcoin payments to your online wallet, always moved it to the offline wallet for security.
The offline mode of securing bitcoins is called “cold storage.” These wallets are not connected to the Internet and are at least a bit less susceptible to hacking. It is one of the most convenient ways of storing bitcoins. There are many methods on how to secure your bitcoins offline and among which are the paper wallet, sound wallets, storage devices (like a USB drive), and hardware wallets.
Store Private Keys Offline and Use a Dedicated Hardware
Public keys are used in receiving Bitcoins and private keys for authorizing Bitcoin transaction from Bitcoin wallets. Private keys can be removed and stored in a separate computer that is not connected to the internet so there is no possibility that it can be hacked.
It is important to note that it is more convenient to use a dedicated USB key for moving data between online and offline computers to lessen the exposure to potential virus threats. Also, use a dedicate offline computer exclusively for running your offline wallet.
Always check the URL if it is secured
There are some websites lurking online that do not have a valid SSL certificate. Some websites look almost identical as the legit website. Always remember to check the URL to ensure your connection to the website is secure and encrypted.
Beware of Emails Phishing
What is Phishing? It is the fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information by disguising as a trustworthy entity in electronic communication.
When you receive an email regarding your Bitcoin account, always check the details of the message before clicking any link on the message. Normally, emails addressed to you should include your name, not "Dear Member" or anything ambiguous like that.
Always check the sender field and properly check the email address to ensure it is coming from the right person or entity. Always report suspicious emails.
The easiest way to hack an account is through the password so always make sure that the Password is secure. Here are some tips on how to make a secure password:
- Use long passwords, with alphanumeric and special characters.
- Use a uniquely different password for every website and account.
- Never ever share your password with anyone.