Decentralization is the keyword for cryptocurrencies. Decentralization means that each person handles and protects their own assets. This is an unprecedented advantage because everyone becomes their own bank. Like everything in life, there are some disadvantages. A high percentage of cryptocurrency owners don't have much experience or are tech-savvy. And From the birth of the mother coin, the bitcoin, to the present day:
Accounts are hacked, private keys stolen, and even worse, LOST.
YOU ARE YOUR OWN BANK!
In the Blockchain Era, technological predators are always one step ahead of everyone, and ignorance makes us always several steps behind. Always remember that it is your responsibility to adopt good practices in order to protect your money. You cannot simply store important files on your computer especially when you have multiple users or you plan to sell it later on. But worry not, the following rules will help to keep your cryptos safe. In a nutshell, these rules must be taken as a standardized security protocol, don’t let only one rule or encryption lure you into a false sense of security: they all are just one more layer of the security process.
10 Rules To Follow To Keep Your Crypto Assets Safe
1) Don't give anyone your private keys. Private keys are the only thing needed to access your cryptos.
2) Don't keep your private keys on your day to day computer. Save them on one or more external mass storage devices (pen drive, external hard drive), because they are exposed to the network for less time. You might also want to consider using different media like USB keys, papers, and CDs. Stored in a safe place, a backup of your wallet can protect you against computer failures and many human mistakes. It can also allow you to recover your wallet if your smartphone or computer is stolen.
3) All important files must be encrypted, for that, you can use simple tools like Winzip or Winrar. You can apply SHA256 encryption by entering a password, simply by right-clicking on the file and Winzip by clicking "add to archive". Do it on your wallets and or your smartphone.
4) Every time you receive an internal transaction in your desktop wallet, backup the keys (if the wallet allows that feature), otherwise backup the wallet dat. To backup, navigate to the right location, based on your operating system and copy + paste the file to a secure location. It is highly recommended to use an encrypted folder or offline storage such as a USB stick.
5) Keep the wallet in a safe environment where you don't download unknown programs, if you can afford a computer dedicated only for that purpose do it. This becomes more important if the sum you hold is relevant.
6) If you use wallets on sites on the net, like in an exchanger, always check that the website address is correct and that the connection is the right one, to guarantee not being subject to pishing.
7) Avoid keeping your cryptos on an exchange, because they have your private keys and they can do what they want. Therefore, try to bring on a desktop wallet if you have the opportunity.
8) Multi-signature to protect against theft. Always use on every device and websites like in exchanges all the security they offer (e-mail, 2FA, password, etc.).
9) Never use the same password you already use on a wallet, exchange, or other. Avoid if you can also using personal data for your passwords like birth dates or names of relatives. If someone tries to hack your assets, personal data is the first info hackers will use to decode your passwords. Also never forget your password, or your funds will be permanently lost. Use a strong password, one that contains letters, numbers, punctuation marks and must be at least 16 characters long.
10) Keep your software up to date. Using the latest software version allows you to receive important stability and security fixes. Updates can prevent problems of various severity, include new useful features and help keep your wallet safe. Installing updates for all other software on your computer or smartphone is also important to keep your wallet environment safer.
Final Considerations Regarding Securing Your Data
A cryptocurrency wallet is like a wallet with cash, and you wouldn't keep a thousand euros in your pocket, so you might want to have the same consideration regarding your cryptos. Keep only small amounts on your computer, smartphone, or server for your everyday use and keep the remaining part of your funds secure in a safe environment like an offline wallet. An offline wallet, also known as cold storage, provides you with the highest level of security protection against computer vulnerabilities.
One thing we like to postpone is thinking about the day we die. If you don't have a backup plan and the location of your wallets or your passwords are not known by anyone when you are gone, your funds will ever be recovered, so think about your testament.
Always remember that no one gives you money, and 99.99% of the websites that promise you immediate, easy-to-reach earnings often want to get your money and or data.
Now that you know the basics, don't be afraid to explore and learn more about encryption, cybersecurity and everything you can do to protect your data. Taking a bit of time on these matters can make a huge difference. Good luck!
Let me know if you’re already using measures for keeping your cryptos safe and what's your personal approach to these matters. Let me hear your thoughts in the comments below!
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