The crypto market is reawakening after a few years of seemingly trading within some range. Recently, Bitcoin exploded towards $16,500 recording a 3-year high in the process. notably, the crypto market is in the middle of another major bull run. BTC is slowly approaching its all-time highs and more investors are joining the promising market.
With all that happening, the security concerns of crypto self-storage are becoming a relevant issue now more than ever. But, being your own bank does not have to be challenging, you can implement a few steps and strategies to get it right.
On November 12, the flagship cryptocurrency which is also the biggest by market cap surged above the $16K threshold for the first time since 2017. The previous rally landed the bitcoin price at an all-time high of just under $20,000. After flirting with $16,300, bitcoin has only ever been trading above this price for 12 days in its whole history.
As the biggest crypto is currently sitting at its highest historical levels and the crypto world is expecting more records soon, it is critical to note that the safety of cryptocurrency funds mainly depends on the user. Here are some of the measures that users can put in place to ensure that bitcoin and other cryptos are safe in this bull market.
Hardware Wallet Or Paper Wallet
Bitcoin is designed to enable the users to be their own bank which means that the responsibility of storing crypto hugely lies with the individual users. One famous expression in the crypto space states “Not your keys, not your Bitcoin”. That means that anybody that holds the key phrase to a wallet has absolute control of the coins contained therein.
Wallets are available in many forms, hardware, software, and paper. Each of these wallet types come with different security considerations. Just as the name suggests, software wallets are powered by software enabling users to access their funds through installing applications on their computers or mobile devices. In that context, these software wallets come in a variety of types including desktop, web, and mobile wallets.
While these software wallets are free and easy to use, they are not entirely safe since a majority of them are in some way connected to the internet. That connection can make them quite vulnerable to security breaches or hacking attacks. The users should keep their apps up-to-date to mitigate the risks of possible breaches.
A paper cryptocurrency wallet, by description, is a piece of paper that contains a printed out crypto address together with its private key in the form of QR codes that are generated via paper wallet sites. The written codes can be scanned at designated areas to execute crypto transactions. In most cases, a paper wallet is quite resistant to online hacking attacks and is normally considered to be a great option for cold storage.
On its part, a hardware wallet is a sophisticated strategy for storing cryptocurrencies. It isolates user private keys from the internet by keeping them always offline in a USB-connected device. Also known as a cold wallet or cold storage, a hardware wallet is normally linked to an increased security level since the private keys remain offline entirely.
The design of these hardware wallets is meant to make the private keys immune to any type of remote hacking. Ledger and Trezor are considered the most popular hardware wallet manufacturers and providers.
Ensure 2FA Verification Is Active
Experts advise that you should never ignore a critical additional layer of security by forgetting to activate two-factor authentication, or 2FA, found in the security settings of the wallet account. 2FA sends an extra password request to your email or phone every time that you decide to log into your account.
Activating the 2FA component enables the user to prevent a hacker from getting immediate access to a cryptocurrency wallet account since the cybercriminal will also require physical access to the user’s email or phone. For instance, Google Authenticator is one of the most popular 2FA applications offering users two-step verification on a phone.
Avoid Sharing Private Keys
It is always wise to avoid giving your private keys or a seed phrase to anybody. By doing that, you would be giving away the keys to your castle. Please note that the reputable crypto firms never ask you for your keys even when they are trying to help you resolve an issue.
Check To Ensure The Recipient Wallet Is Correct
Always make sure that you check the recipient’s address before you proceed with any transaction. Just one letter mistake might direct your transaction to another wallet. In some of the traditional financial services, transactions are reversible. However, most of the crypto transactions are irreversible.
Some malware can also change the right destination of your cryptocurrency. Thus, double-check a transaction and the details to ensure that you get everything right.
Avoid Giveaway Scams
It is always wise to avoid offers that sound like “send us Bitcoin and get double your Bitcoin back.” This attack strategy is common on Twitter. The attackers normally impersonate politicians, celebrities, and crypto personalities and they promise to double the user’s crypto fortune.
This type of attack is linked mostly to crypto newcomers and in some cases, it gets more exposure with an increasing rate of crypto adoption. Online hackers managed to collect around 12 BTC in July 2020 in a high-profile attack on Twitter accounts belonging to Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and the US president-elect Joe Biden.
Smaller Transactions And Different Exchanges Are Better
Avoid sending a bunch of cryptocurrency in a single transaction whenever you wish to sell or buy crypto on a cryptocurrency exchange. Whenever you need to transact a big amount of money in crypto, it is advisable to break it up into many transactions to be sure that an exchange is working efficiently.
Although all these double-checking and security layers might seem tedious, they are integral to ensure that users’ crypto funds remain secure always.