Have you ever heard the saying “Silence is golden”? In the context of cryptocurrencies, being quiet about your funds will not bring you gold, but it might just save your coins.
Beware of stranger danger.
Let’s suppose that you have invested a lot of money in cryptocurrencies, or that your investments have paid off and your cryptocurrency funds have multiplied. Obviously, you are pleased about it, and you want to share your success story with other people, so you post a comment about it on Facebook or Reddit.
A random reader of your post might then decide that he or she really wants your riches and starts using a variety of malicious tactics to get them. These might include cyber attacks or even physical violence. (You would be surprised how much information can be mined from your social media, including your physical location.)
Use common sense.
In the offline face-to-face world, a bit of restraint might come in handy as well. It is easy to have a few beers and start to be a bit more talkative. Making friends is great, but the contents of a hardware wallet might not be the best topic to begin with, just like you wouldn’t talk to everyone about your regular bank account balance or your salary.
Don’t be an easy target.
Hardware wallets, such as Trezor or Ledger Nano range are a perfectly safe, cryptographically protected place for your coins and keys. However, keeping a low profile will protect you from other people even trying to steal your funds or harm you. Physical violence or blackmail are things even hardware wallets cannot protect you from.
What to avoid?
- While publicly advocating the benefits of crypto is perfectly fine, boasting about how much you actually own might not be a good idea.
- Avoid talking about your account balances with people you do not trust. (Sometimes, you should keep quiet even with people you trust.)
- Avoid posting about your personal funds on social media and on internet forums.
- Never ever post your recovery seed online or show it to anybody else.
- Use a fresh receiving address for your incoming transactions. If not careful, your address may be used to track your balance and transaction history.
How to keep YOUR cryptocurrency safe from hackers and theft
CRYPTOCURRENCY is unique when compared to money because of its inherently ethereal nature – but like anything valuable, bitcoin crypto needs to be protected.
In a year where £840million ($1.1billion) of cryptocurrency has already been stolen, Express.co.uk exclusively reveals how best to keep to keep your crypto safe.
Cryptocurrency such as bitcoin is an entirely digital entity requiring an internet connection for any transaction.
According to Steven Russo, founder of digital security company Krypti, this connectedness makes bitcoin increasingly susceptible to hacking.
Mr Russo exclusively told the Express: “Blockchain itself is safe, but there are two vulnerabilities: the storage of keys and the transaction and use of the keys.
“Well over a billion dollars of cryptocurrency has already been stolen, so it’s a pretty solid statement to say exchanges are not secure.”
Bitcoin wallet keys are the most susceptible to theft because they give users access to their cryptocurrencies.
The latest in a string of brazen thefts saw £46million ($60million) of digital coins plundered from a Japanese exchange.
And in January 2018, more than 660,000 crypto wallets were stolen from exchange service BlackWallet, costing crypto owners hundreds of thousands of pounds in losses.
Mr Russo also outlined the second major vulnerability with cryptocurrency, which concerns the transaction and use of cryptocurrency keys.
He said: “If you wanted to send me some cryptocurrency, whether you are inside or outside an exchange, you would have to type in literally about a 30 digit number, which represents your crypto coin and my address.
“If even one single mistake is made in that entire address, that money could very quickly be lost and you would never retrieve it.”
The crypto security expert said trusted crypto wallets enable users to send and receive digital currency, as well as monitor their balance.
He added moving money is always a “big vulnerability”.
In order to best protect your bitcoin and other crypto assets, you should invest in a physical crypto wallet – a hardware device similar to a USB pen-drive.
Hardware wallets are an incredibly popular method of storing your tokens and are key to making transactions.
These crypto wallets are password protected and come with a private key that only you should know.
You can also opt for an online cryptocurrency wallet from a reputable source.
Much like hardware wallets, online storage services will give you a private key to keep your digital tokens secure.
Depending on which wallet type you choose, you can always transfer between the two.
And always remember not to store your coins on a crypto exchange – once you buy or exchange bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency, immediately deposit it to your private wallet.