Safety and security is of utmost importance when doing anything including investing in Bitcoin and just about any other digital means of investing your hard earned money. There are numerous stories about cyber crimes going on where many have fallen victims. Internet has come bearing good fruits for millennials, however this does not stop some people from attempting to steal such monies with the hope of never being caught (which many almost always don’t get caught). It is the responsibility of anyone investing in Bitcoin or any other digital currency opportunity to be very mindful, find and carry out means to keep their investment safe and secure. With that being said, here are some of the top Bitcoin security and safety tips.
Use secured websites only
When investing in Bitcoin online, only buy from websites that are secured. Be on the lookout for a green padlock symbol just before or after the “https” of the URL link of the website. Only secure and encrypted websites with valid SSL certificates are safe and secure enough for you to login to. If the website does not have this valid SSL certificate, you are at risk by going forward with buying anything or making any Bitcoin investment on the platform.
Also, be very certain about the name of the website you are on. These cunny cyber thieves go as far as creating a website address that has a similar name to the one you intended to visit. For instance, if the website address you decided to visit is “www.merrymen.com” the fake look-alike website could be “www.merrrymen.com” or “www.meryymen.com.” Not everyone will think of verifying the spelling of the website address because the fake one most certainly would have properly cloned the website design of the original one.
Report all phishing emails spam and always delete it
When someone tries to cajole you to visit a website to supply information about yourself including your bank details or credit (or debit) card details, do not oblige, especially if you know you have never had reasons to interact with the sender of such emails. Rather report such emails as spam (if you are using free emailing services like Google, Yahoo, live and so on). If you are using a custom domain email, just flag that email address as spam, so every time an email from that sender arrives it is automatically sent to spam folder.
If you go ahead with the instructions written in such emails and supply sensitive details about yourself to them, they can copy it and make use of your information as they deem fit.
Use only verified web wallets
A web wallet is a Bitcoin wallet hosted by a third party. The risks involved in this is that your investment is being held by a company different from Bitcoin and should in case anything happens to the third party company, all the Bitcoin in your wallet is gone. There is also the possibility that some of these third-party services are fraudulent in their activities by finding creative ways to steal from your wallet. This is why it is very important to use web wallets from reputable companies.
Reputable third-party companies that usually have a safe and secure platform sufficient enough to protect those using their services from other vicious cyber attacks. If you do not wish to store your Bitcoin on your personal computer (with proper encryption), research well about the Bitcoin wallet you want to use to ensure there’s guarantee for safety and security (look out for genuine and unpaid reviews about them).
Keep all private keys offline
This is a very important security and safety measure. Remove the private key of your Bitcoin wallet and save it in a note or a device that is never connected to the internet. This is the easiest way to prevent the private key from being compromised by malicious attacks or hackers. This might be a bit inconvenient but if you have a lot of Bitcoin in your wallet you should consider this safety measure.
Use a separate phone and email address.
When you want to sign up with any cryptocurrency related website, create and use a new email dedicated to only your cryptocurrency investment and do not disclose this email to anyone or use it for any other thing. The concept behind this is that what remains unknown to an intruder cannot be accessed by the intruder.
Then take a step further by dedicating a mobile phone (with a new number) to carry out all our cryptocurrency activities. You can get less expensive mobile phones that are not as advanced as what is currently in use. This will help protect you from hackers who might want to use your personal information to access your mobile number.
Then to seal this up, download and use Google authenticator to activate a 2-factor authentication. This will activate a higher level of protection for every data stored in your email account and any activities you are doing involving exchanges on other websites. The amazing thing about Google Authenticator is that it does not require internet or cellular connection to work. Also, this device can be used as a mobile hardware wallet to store all private keys instead of buying Trezor or Ledger Nano S (which are the safest and secure hardware wallets).
Use a very strong password
This is a very important security measure that most Bitcoin buyers do not take seriously. This is the easiest way to protect your Bitcoin investment especially if you have a lot or you are planning to have a lot. A strong password must be at least 16 characters long (the longer it is, the stronger it is).
The stronger your password is, the more difficult it would be for anyone to hack it. A strong password must contain capital letters (A to Z), small letters (a to z), numbers (0 to 9) and symbols (like currency symbols, mathematical symbols, punctuation symbols and so on). Such complex and long passwords might be hard to remember, so it is advisable to write in down somewhere that only you can have access to.