If you’re entering the growing market of cryptocurrencies, then you might know that it’s a bit risky to store things on your computer. Additionally, keeping your passwords safe and secure is even more important than ever because there are virtually no protections of cryptocurrency theft in the lawbooks. Given that it is not regulated, nobody will have your back if your passwords or coins get stolen.
With hundreds of “alt-coins” on the markets, the field of crytpocurrencies is a fast growing trend and that means that the more money is invested and at stake, the more the hackers are going to come out of the woodwork and start attacking people in an attempt to steal their coins.
Bitcoins are especially vulnerable to theft as they are worth the most in the field. But other currencies such as Litecoin and Ethereum are also at risk.
So what can you do to ensure the safety of your coins? There are a few steps you can take to ensure that you won’t be the next victim of a hack.
Use Two Factor Authentication
Some exchanges require this, and some don’t. However, two factor authentication (2FA) is essential. If you don’t have this set up and someone gets your password through malware of some sort, your entire account will be compromised. If you enable 2FA and your password is stolen, the thief would need your mobile device or access to the other element where you get your login code. Two factor authentication is becoming more and more commonplace for use in everyday websites and logins such as with banks and credit cards. Getting used to using it is an asset to your personal security.
Ensure your computer is secured from malware and viruses
At the same time you’ll want to ensure that your computer is free of malware and viruses and that it’s protected from any attacks and drive by malware installations. There are some great software tools that can help you with that. I employ the usage of Norton and Malwarebytes Premium for my computer security. This protects me from both Malware and Viruses, which are both slightly different in how they work.
Malware can compromise your passwords for your accounts as well as attack any software wallets that you might have on your computer. If you want to be extra cautious, you can scan your computer for malware before you log into your exchange website of choice (although I think that might be a bit overkill myself).
Use a Hardware Wallet
Using a hardware wallet for coins you want to store and hold is much safer than keeping them on an exchange. The Mt. Gox disaster a few years ago was exhibit A of why this is important. With no regulation, if an exchange loses your coins they are likely gone for good and you might not be compensated. Using a hardware wallet is essential for the safety of your coins. We recommend the Leger Nano S and we recommend that you buy it directly from the company’s website at ledgerwallet.com.