5 Simple Ways to Protect Your Cryptocurrencies

While blockchain has a reputation for being a difficult technology to hack, cryptocurrency wallets and transactions are prime targets for hackers. There are several solutions to secure your currencies quickly.

Cryptocurrencies are based on blockchain technology and therefore they have quickly gained a reputation as safe currencies. Paradoxically, not a week goes by without the media talking about the sometimes astronomical theft of virtual currencies. These breaches most often take place during transfers or simply by catching the owners. Because if the decentralization of the blockchain complicates attacks, it is always possible to attack the holders of these currencies.

If, like most crypto holders, you use an online exchange, then at the protocol level you don’t really own your coins. The platform has your money and the keys to transfer it. When you decide to withdraw the currency, you ask the exchange to sign a transaction on your behalf.

However, all of these services are online and assume that a third party may at some point interfere with the transfer. It is possible to transfer your cryptocurrencies to your hard drive or USB keys specially designed for this purpose. The last solution in terms of security is still sheet paper, but be careful not to tear it. Overview of simple methods to protect your cryptocurrencies.

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The Hot Purse (hot wallet)

The most accessible way is to download an application on the smartphone. In general, the services offered are very easy to use and suitable for daily use. For example, they allow you to scan an address in the form of a QR code to make the transfer faster. The apps offered are often free, and those that specialize in security offer affordable plans.

The companies behind these apps use combinations of online and offline server storage to protect users’ wallets. In general, the new tenors in crypto are also the ones that offer the most secure solutions.

However, you should be aware that wallets and keys on an application are connected to the Internet and therefore more vulnerable to attack. It is not recommended for large sums.

Some recommended apps: Coinbase, Binance, Zen Go, Trust Wallet, Exodus, Ku Coin, MetaMask.

The Cold Wallet (cold wallet)

A cold wallet is a physical wallet, completely offline, to store currencies. In most cases it is a USB key. Unlike secure applications, these tools are not connected and therefore less susceptible to attack. Currencies can remain hot on the key while there is panic on a platform. In addition, some companies offer an encrypted wallet to provide even more security. This is the most recommended solution when the values ​​are very high.

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Ledger and Trezor, the two market leaders. // Source: Unsplash

Cold Wallet requires a signature for each transaction to verify that it is indeed the owner of the currencies that is the origin. Exchange therefore takes a little longer than on apps. Count around a hundred euros for a key.

On the other hand, if you lose your device, you will never get your money back. You are always at risk of having your credentials stolen, so you need to make sure you take the proper precautions to prevent them from being stolen.

Some recommended brands: Ledger, Trezor, Coolwallet.

The paper purse (paper wallet)

The crypto world offers ways that were still unimaginable a few years ago to store money. You can actually print an address to store your currencies. The QR code drawn on the sheet is used to receive transactions. Obviously, this wallet is considered extremely secure as it is not connected to the internet.

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A paper wallet can have this shape. // Source: Wikimedia Commons

To create the famous wallet, you need to go to a website that creates a randomly generated key. The best known are bitcoinpaperwallet.com or bitaddress.org. You then need to click on the “Generate New Address” or “Generate Key and Print Paper Wallets” tab to create a new address.

To transfer your crypto again, you must go through an application, and therefore potentially take a risk.

Use a complex password

The advice is basic, but crypto wallets are among the most targeted items by hackers. Cybercriminals have several tactics to recover your password. A brute force attack, for example, uses software to try as many combinations as possible until the right one is found. The length of the password is certainly the most decisive criterion. You can choose a phrase, such as “Jaimelatartealapomme”. Then sprinkle numbers and characters and it gives “JaIm3latartealap0mm%”. This is a password that hackers will have a hard time finding.

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Source: Google

Enable two-factor authentication

When choosing a wallet, check that two-factor authentication is part of the security measures. This adds an extra layer of identification of your money by requiring verification before certain operations on your account such as login, withdrawals or money transfers. You will be notified immediately if someone tries to access your wallet. Most online wallets offer two-factor authentication. If you follow all these tips, your currencies are safe. However, it is also up to you to be careful and not fall for phishing emails from hackers.

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Bye-bye bitcoin // Source: CC0/Mohammed Hassan for Pxhere

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