Hackers are known to infiltrate crypto wallets and make off with a fortune in stolen money. By being smart about how you use your wallet, though, you can reduce the chances of this happening to you. Here are six simple tips that will help you to prevent hackers from intruding on your crypto wallet.
6 Tips To Prevent Hackers From Intruding On Your Crypto Wallet
1) Create a Strong Password
We’ve all read scary stories about people being hacked, money stolen, and passwords dumped online. Unfortunately, there are a lot of these out there (especially since it’s common practice for hackers to dump millions of passwords online as soon as they’re compromised),
but by following a few simple tips you can help protect yourself from most attacks. That way, when your password does get leaked you won’t have much to worry about—other than creating a new one. One crucial step is creating a strong password. If yours isn’t unique (meaning nobody else uses it) or difficult to guess, then it probably isn’t secure enough.
In order to create a strong password, you’ll need to make sure it isn’t something anyone can guess. While you don’t want to go overboard and use a phrase that no one will be able to remember (or even say), certain steps can help.
Start by creating a password that’s at least 12 characters long, and include uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols in some fashion. This is not only more secure than most people’s passwords, but also means your password may be easier for you to remember.
2) Enable 2-Factor Authentication
Whenever possible, set up two-factor authentication on your accounts. Two-factor authentication can be used to secure individual accounts as well as entire wallets. For example, some cryptocurrency exchanges use two-factor authentication to protect trading accounts by requiring users to enter a one-time password sent through SMS before they can log in.
This additional layer of security ensures that hackers can’t access your funds even if they guess or steal your private login information. You should make sure that you enable two-factor authentication on all crypto wallet websites that support it—even if you don’t think you need it right now.
Like any account with sensitive data, enabling 2FA is just a smart way to protect yourself against potential intrusions and theft in case something ever happens down the line.
Even if you don’t have 2-factor authentication turned on for all of your accounts, you should try to enable it whenever possible. The extra security will only take a few minutes of your time, and it could prevent a lot of grief down the line if some kind of breach ever happens to one of your accounts.
It’s also important to practice good password hygiene when choosing passwords for these accounts. It may be tempting to reuse passwords between several different accounts—particularly if they’re all on separate sites—but it’s always a better idea to use unique passwords across each site.
3) Use A Hardware Wallet
Hardware wallets are physical devices that store your private keys, making it nearly impossible for hackers to steal them. They come in a variety of form factors, with most being USB thumb drives that plug into your computer and act as extensions of your keyboard.
Using a hardware wallet also adds an extra layer of security by not requiring you to enter your private key when signing transactions. In some cases, hardware wallets can add another layer of security by allowing you to generate transaction signing requests offline and send them to trusted signers (e.g., from an exchange). Read more about how to prevent hackers from intruding on your crypto wallet.
Software wallets, by contrast, are applications that live on your computer or smartphone. If you use a desktop wallet, hackers can potentially access your computer’s hard drive and steal your private keys.
Even if you have a strong password to protect it (this should be at least 10 characters long with letters and numbers), a hacker could still find their way into your computer and use advanced keylogging software to get what they need. Read more about how to prevent hackers from intruding on your crypto wallet.
4) Backup Your Private Keys
The most effective way to prevent hackers from intruding on your crypto wallet is to backup your private keys offline (preferably in a bank safety deposit box). This means that even if someone breaks into your home and steals your computer, you’ll still be able to access your crypto funds by entering these private keys from another device.
Storing your backup key in a bank safety deposit box ensures an added layer of security for you should there ever be an issue. Additionally, if you lose or forget where you’ve stored any of these things, it’s best to consult with a digital forensics expert who can hopefully recover them for you and/or help locate them using sophisticated tools.
If you’re not comfortable with storing your backup key in a bank safety deposit box, there are other options. For example, if you own cryptocurrency and use an exchange to hold it on your behalf, you can require them to be held in cold storage for you so they don’t have access to it when doing any updates or account maintenance.
If they do end up having a security breach, then there should hopefully be no issues accessing these funds. Additionally, if you store your private keys online but want extra protection against hackers, you can encrypt them with a complex password or phrase.
5) Use An External Hard Drive
If you don’t have a dedicated external hard drive, create one. If you have one but rarely use it, consider turning that into your dedicated crypto wallet storage device. Any time you buy or sell cryptocurrency, move it to your external drive and then delete it from your local machine.
The more you do that, the safer you’ll be. It’s not a perfect solution—you should still make regular backups—but it’s better than nothing at all.
Even if you do have a dedicated external drive, it’s still a good idea to keep only a certain amount of your savings in cryptocurrency at one time. Not only does that reduce your risk, but it also cuts down on fees. Moving funds every time you make a transaction is less efficient than just leaving them there, and storing assets in multiple locations is smarter than keeping everything in one place.
If possible, leave some crypto assets in cold storage on an offline device for maximum safety. You can also take advantage of free or low-cost options like Google Drive or OneDrive to store backups online without having access to your keys.
6) Do Not Download Fake Apps
Be careful of fake apps! While there are a lot of great crypto apps out there, some can be shady. And if you download them onto your mobile device, you might also expose your phone to vulnerabilities and viruses—and could give hackers direct access to your crypto wallet.
If you’re going to download an app, read reviews from people who’ve used it. If a company’s app has only 10 reviews but 5-star ratings, that’s probably a good sign. But if a company has 1,000 reviews with 3-star ratings and they’re almost all one or two stars…watch out! It may be best to look elsewhere for an app that will help keep your crypto safe.
If you have to enter your private keys on an app, look closely at how it’s requesting them. For example, if they’re asking for a specific format, make sure that matches what your wallet requires. If you can’t figure out why they’re requesting it or are unsure about their identity, just avoid it.
It’s better to be safe than sorry! You should also never download or open email attachments from senders you don’t know. These could contain viruses or links to malicious sites and programs—and if a hacker knows how much crypto you’re holding and where your wallet is located,
they’ll go after it! Keep your antivirus software up-to-date and always double-check before downloading anything that doesn’t look like official correspondence from a trusted source.
Also Read: How to Sell Products Online For Bitcoins
It’s clear that hackers are determined to steal money and information from crypto wallet users. Although they’ve been able to do so in several high-profile cases, it’s possible to prevent hackers from intruding on your crypto wallet through a combination of six tips. How these tips can help protect you from data breaches will be discussed in an upcoming post. Stay tuned!
Here are six ways to prevent hackers from intruding on your crypto wallet:
1. Use A Secure Computer – When you visit an exchange, make sure that you’re using a secure computer. Don’t log into your account from a public computer or one that has unsecured Wi-Fi.
Even if your login information is encrypted, a hacker can still retrieve it if they access it at any point in time before you’ve logged in and erased all cached data. If possible, consider purchasing a new laptop with security software to use specifically for crypto trading.