When you are invested in cryptocurrencies (or anywhere else), your priority should be to secure your holdings and make you the less vulnerable to any type of attacks (cyber or physical).
In this chapter, we will teach how to secure your investments, your wallets, and the way you are behaving on social media. This chapter acknowledges that you are running on a clean computer, with an official version of the O.S. (Operating System) up to date.
If you want to learn more about how to secure your computer, feel free to read this guide.
The next security layer after cleaning and securing your computer and your mobile is to make sure your wallets are entirely safe.
Depending on what wallet you chose, there are several ways to secure it.
⚠We make sure to provide you with secure links, but do not be naïve on the web and always check that the web link is the official one, and do not hesitate to visit the official page of each website to make sure it is correct.
If you choose to hold your asset on an exchange or website providing an online wallet, your security is highly dependent on the safety of the service, which makes it the less reliable way to store any of your assets. But this should not avoid you to follow the most straightforward rules of being secure in Cryptocurrency that we will explain below
You should always first look for an exchange that has a good track record concerning the security of their users. The exchange should provide with most of the proper security protocols, such as 2FA, anti-phishing codes, captcha, etc.
Once this verification is done, you need to register. You should preferably use a single-use email for every exchange you will be using. As per the email, an original and secure password is required.
The most critical security layer to enable on the exchange is the Multi-factor Authentication, also called 2FA. First, you have to download the authentication application developed by Google. If you are on Android, download it here. If you are on iOS, download it here.
Now you must log in on the exchange, and go to the Security Settings page and enable the 2FA. A QR code and a 16-digit key will be shown on the page. Open the authenticator app and click the symbol 【+】on the top right-hand side to scan the Q.R. code, or you can manually enter the ‘2FA 16-digit key.’
The 16-digit key will not be shown again and is unique for each setup. You will need the key to re-bind your account; otherwise, 2FA will need to be disabled and enabled again. Store this key in a secured place (offline document or on a piece of paper)
In your app, you will see a 6-digit code. Enter the code into the Exchange 6-digit code field. Enable 2FA when ready.
Now every time that you will log into the exchange or process to a withdrawal, it will ask you for the 2FA code. Open the application on your mobile, and copy-paste the code when asked.
We assume that online wallet services, even if some have been running for a long time, are still vulnerable to attacks and then make them not reliable. If you are not actively trading, we recommend you hold your assets in a safer wallet, such as Desktop, Hardware, or Paper wallet.
Desktop wallets make everyone think they are safe, but that is not always true.
If you are using a desktop wallet, the first thing you should do is to encrypt your keys and have a strong passphrase. You should also pay attention to all the updates released by the developer team and make sure they come from an official member of the team, from an official source, to avoid any phishing.
Attacks with phishing and fake releases of updates are frequent for novice people, and not only the wallet you are updating is vulnerable, but also all the wallets installed on the computer as well as your private information.
The hardware wallet is the best solution on the market regarding security and user-friendliness. However, this solution is not free, and you will have to buy the product.
If you decide to purchase one, you will be the most vulnerable when buying the product. You have to be careful and only buy the hardware device on the official manufacturer website. A compromised process may substitute or modify secure devices by introducing a backdoor.
Now that you have your original hardware wallet, you must pay attention to the security of your computer. A Malware could swap recipient Bitcoin addresses. In this scenario, it is recommended to have a multi-factor confirmation of the recipient’s Bitcoin address.
As per the passwords, when you have to set up a passphrase, create a strong and unique one. Diceware is the right way of generating the passphrase. It should be at least 12 words long. You should never use it elsewhere. Write it down and store the paper in a safe deposit box.
While no being the most user-friendly wallet, Paper wallets appear to be one of the best solutions when it comes to security while being totally free for everyone.
However, generating the private key is the process where you can be the most vulnerable. If your computer is infected or you are connected to an unsecured or public network, a bad actor could steal this private key.
More than the network vulnerability, the paper wallet can be found physically by one of your close “friends” or even a bad intentioned coworker. This is why it is essential to secure your private information. Obviously, there are no such things as 0% risk, but we can help you to get closer to the next chapters.