Wallet Safety: An Overview
While crypto has gained massive popularity throughout the last few years, many people are scared of investing due to misunderstandings and misconceptions about protecting themselves. In the last few months, news of different defi protocols getting hacked has constantly been making the news. There has been over $1.57B lost in 2022 alone from a variety of hacks in the crypto market, with more money being lost with each additional month.
Today, we’ll discuss how to prevent losses, not at the source of a smart contract, but before the investment decision is even made, specifically, the risk of hackers invading crypto wallets. It is essential to understand the risks involved before anyone starts trading. While the risks should not be ignored, many of them can be easily avoided with proper knowledge and safety measures on how to protect yourself. In this article, we will cover how to protect your crypto wallet to ensure malicious actors can’t access and steal your funds directly from your wallet. It is essential to ensure that your wallet is secure in order to prevent hackers from gaining access to your digital currency.
- Use a Cold Wallet
Digital crypto wallets, such as mobile and desktop apps, are referred to as “hot wallets,” which contain your private key that allows you to manage your wallet and make trades. Therefore, in order to protect yourself it is vital to keep your private key close, never sharing them online or with others. Hot wallets are commonly used due to their easy accessibility, but they also require an internet connection, making them prone to attacks. It is recommended to use a cold wallet, as they do not connect to the internet, making them less prone to cyber-attacks. It is recommended that one uses cold and hot wallets in tandem. Popular brands include Trevor and Ledger, be sure to DYOR before deciding which one is best for you.
2. Avoid Use of Public Wi-Fi
Due to the risk of invasion through an internet connection, it is recommended that you only use a secure internet connection while trading or making crypto transactions. You should avoid using public Wi-Fi networks entirely and use a VPN while on your home network for added security. A VPN will keep your browsing activity safe from threats.
3. Secure Your Personal Device
You must take other precautions to ensure the safety of your accounts and devices, such as ensuring your personal device is up to date with the latest virus definitions and using a solid firewall to improve the security of your device and eliminate any vulnerabilities.
4. Keep Close Watch Over Your Emails and Any Links
It would be best to create an email alias for your online crypto dealings to decrease your chances of being the target of these attacks. No crypto information should go through your primary email. Be careful of any suspicious links or emails that may arise and avoid clicking on them, as this may give hackers access to your account and information. A widespread scam technique involves creating a fake, identical version of your web wallet page and emailing a link with a message encouraging the user to take action instantly. Be on the lookout for these websites and pay close attention to any links received. Always check if the link showing in your browser directly matches the one of your exchange or web wallet.
5. Use a Strong Password and Two-Factor Authentication
It is also imperative to make sure that the user has a solid and complex password that is difficult to predict, and it should be changed often. Use different passwords for different accounts and wallets to prevent hackers from accessing multiple accounts. Opt for two-factor authentication (2FA) for added security and the best protection. 2FA is when one uses two different methods (usually on separate devices) to access your account. However, do not use SMS 2FA because this can increase your risk of getting hacked.
6. Properly Store Recovery Sentences
Be sure to write down your recovery sentence correctly and check it with a small amount of funds. Store your recovery sentence in a fireproof safe and avoid inputting your recovery sentence anywhere online.
7. Maintain Multiple Wallets
One can diversify their crypto investments by using multiple wallets, such as one for daily transactions and another for the rest to limit the risk of loss from any one hack of your crypto account. For example, users can move any crypto they are not actively trading out of hot wallets and into more secure wallets.
8. Complete an Audit and Discontinue Retired Accounts
Take time to complete a thorough audit of all of your crypto accounts to allow you to visualize the number of services you are currently using and the different accounts you own. The more resources being used indicates an increased necessity to take steps to secure your account. Close any accounts, empty your unused cryptocurrency wallets, and eliminate any crypto tools no longer needed.
9. Be on the Lookout
Overall, it is essential for users to be suspicious and on top of their accounts and avoid trusting any site without verifying. Users should verify the brand reputation, transparency, methodology, rates, benefits, support, and overall user experience. Keep your holdings and information private and avoid telling anyone any information they do not need to know or storing information in places prone to attacks.
To sum it all up, if it looks fishy, it probably is. Be sure to always double-check any links before clicking on them. There’s no shame in asking friends or looking up and troubleshooting if something looks off. As more and more money enters the space, so will more bad actors. Stay safe everyone.
Thanks for your time — Juanbug.