Month after month we hear tales of woe about how someone has been robbed of hundreds of Bitcoins. For that very reason, security issues have become a major talking point in the world of cryptocurrency, with it becoming more important than ever for Bitcoin holders to protect their investment. Ensuring that you aren’t caught short and left at the mercy of hackers, we have put together the Bitcoin Safe and Secure guide. So, grab a pen and get ready to take notes, as the following addresses how to do it.
Dealing with the problem
There is something we need to make clear right off the bat – there is no perfect solution to the Bitcoin security problem. Hacking methods change along with the security methods that are in place to keep them at bay, so it’s often a case of doing your best with the basics, which should in most instances prove to be enough.
Start as you mean to go on
When you register for an account at any of the popular Bitcoin exchanges, it is advised that you set up a dedicated email account solely for this purpose. This detaches the email from the other emails you use, effectively giving you a unique login for your Bitcoin exchange account. You should also create a long password that is a mixture of numbers and letters – for this we would recommend using an online password generator. Through this approach you’ll have generated a completely randomised username and password, which throws down the first challenge to anyone that is attempting to gain access to your account.
At times, two-factor authentication can divide opinion, but one thing practically all Bitcoin holders can agree upon is that SMS two-factor authentication is worth avoiding. That being said, two-factor authentication via Google Authenticator is a different story entirely. Directly interlinked with the app on your chosen smartphone, it means that your device will be required to login into your Bitcoin wallet no matter what. Just make sure that if you do opt for Google Authenticator two-factor authentication you turn off SMS two-factor authentication first, as it could cause you a few issues otherwise.
Keep your voice down
The social media discussion regarding Bitcoin has been great to see, with it being something we actively encourage here at BitStarz. However, it is still something you should approach with caution. When talking about Bitcoin you should avoid talking about specifics publicly. Amounts, potential profits, where you spend it, and so forth, you shouldn’t look to splash all details related to your Bitcoin experience over social media. Enter the discussion by all means, but always look to keep details regarding your own “status” to a minimum.
Spread things around
There is a massive convenience to having all of your Bitcoin in one place, but it isn’t actually the wisest way to go about things from a security perspective. When you have your Bitcoin in a single wallet, you are one security breach away from losing everything. You can avoid this situation by looking to spread things around, ideally across three of four wallets. Also, by using unique emails/usernames and passwords for each, you can eliminate the risk of a single account hack leading to multiple account hacks.
As cold as ice
If you truly want to make your Bitcoin account airtight from a security perspective – and don’t mind a little bit of effort – then you can create a cold wallet. We aren’t talking about your standard cold wallet either, as there little more to it than that. Take an old laptop, carry out a complete reformat/factory reset, and keep it offline, then download a cold wallet application to a new, secure USB drive. From there, you can freely make transactions offline using the cold wallet application, more or less eliminating the risks that using a hot wallet can sometimes bring on.
Stay safe and secure your Bitcoin wallet!
Bitcoin exchanges and wallet providers do everything they can to protect the funds of users, but when it comes down to it they aren’t banks. There are flaws in security systems, with malicious parties certainly not fearful of exploiting them. The onus is on you to protect your Bitcoin at every step, which you should now be able to do having taken in all of the above information. Remember, when it comes to buying, using, and storing Bitcoin, safety and security is something that you can’t afford to take lightly.