This is part 1 in a 4 part series about ideas on how to protect your crypto currency and yourself.
One of the benefits of cryptocurrency is that you are your own bank; with that ability comes the responsibility to guard your funds. With $1.7B equivalent USD stolen in 2018, it is now more important than ever to secure your cryptocurrency.
Downloading a wallet to your daily use computer that you leave online and with no anti virus is the least secure way to store your crypto.
A hacker, or anyone else that has access to your computer, could copy your wallet.dat file, loading it onto their own wallet and then move the funds to an address you would not have access to.
What steps can you take?
- Encrypt your wallet! This easy step gives you a layer of protection. Make sure you are not saving the wallet passphrase on the computer, as that file could also be compromised. Both SmartCash and Bitcoin Confidential contain the option to encrypt the wallet itself.
- After encrypting your wallet, make sure you make a new backup of the wallet.
- Password Guidelines
- How long should my password be? 10 characters long, minimum, but make it as long as possible. Length is the most important factor to strength.
- Does my password need special characters to be strong? Nope.
- Does my password need numbers to be strong? Nope.
- What about switching numbers for letters(1337 speak)? This does nothing.
More Reading: https://blog.fleetsmith.com/password-security-guide/
- Install antivirus, here is an updated list of good antivirus programs (https://www.tomsguide.com/us/best-antivirus,review-2588.html)
- Make sure your operating system is up to date with security patches.
Are you still vulnerable?
YES! If you have a keylogger on your computer someone could capture you typing in your passphrase and could use it to take your funds, even with an encrypted wallet. Note also, that not all malicious software is caught by even the best and most expensive antivirus software.
While these are good first steps to protect yourself, they are not an exhaustive list. Watch for part 2 to get more tips and ideas!