If you look at the charts on Coinmarketcap, you can see that Bitcoin has gained pace in the past few years. Many businesses have embraced this cryptocurrency and utilize it to make and receive payments across various platforms. You can keep Bitcoin as an investment, you can buy food online at platforms accepting Bitcoin and even book yourself a pampering session at parlors. Bitcoin payments carry little to no extra charge and are free from borders and jurisdictions. There is no doubt that Bitcoin has made payments and receipts effortless.
Bitcoin is not yet regulated, which means that there is no federal or exchange body that manages all the transactions. Although the main Bitcoin algorithm is strong, ordinary users can still be exposed to cyber and malware attacks. There have been cases where scammers steal Bitcoins from insecure online wallets.
Online Bitcoin wallets do not come with any insurance. You do not own your money until you keep the key locally. This post is to talk about a few tips which you can use for ensuring security while using Bitcoin. Read further to step into your safe haven.
Stay away from unsafe Bitcoin wallets
There are many platforms that offer online crypto-wallets these days and even give enticing cash backs to attract customers. Online wallets are easy to use but they might be risky. You cannot trust a third-party wallet with your Bitcoins. Since the acceptance of cryptocurrencies has increased globally, hackers target online wallets more often now. If you still want to use an online wallet, please ensure to keep only small amounts there and use a reputable platform that provides the highest level of security.
Store your Bitcoin keys
Keys are required to make payments and confirm your balance. There are two security measures which you need to follow here. Store your Bitcoin keys offline. In other words, your key should be on the device which is not permanently connected to the Internet. How is that possible? Initiate the transaction and then turn off the device.
Most often people use flash drives also know and hardware wallets. You might find it a little inconvenient to use offline (transmit using hard drive / USB disk) but it provides extra protection to your hard-earned money. Some people even keep their Bitcoin key written on paper. No hacker can steal such keys.
Just reiterating the obvious, the password to your Bitcoin account (online wallet or online exchange) should be at least 12 characters long including special characters, numeric digits, and alphabets in upper and lower cases. Also, it is recommended to use multi-factor authentication where it is possible. And keep on updating your bitcoin software so you always have the latest version when you are transacting. The old versions are exposed to vulnerabilities that could act as a gateway for hackers.
Secure your computer
Your main device which you are using to do all transactions must have an antivirus installed and firewalls activated. In addition, it is great to have a VPN. Read this post and find out why you need a VPN for Bitcoin transactions. Your computer is at high risk when you make Bitcoin transaction and one flaw in security can lead to unbearable losses. Never compromise with security even if it requires investing a few bucks and is sometimes inconvenient.
Use two wallets
This is to follow simple old school thinking of keeping only a small number of Bitcoins in your online wallet which you require for daily usage and the main balance should be kept in an offline wallet. You can preserve your investment in offline mode and move it to online only when you have to do a certain transaction. If you are keeping Bitcoin in offline mode, note down your passphrase at a safe location because it is next to impossible to recover bitcoins if you lose your passphrase.
Check the address twice
This year there were several high-profile stories when companies announced an ICO and invited investors to send them BTC. Hackers created fake similar websites and people sent millions of dollars to the wrong wallet. Since it is impossible to reverse a Bitcoin transaction, both the company that initiated the ICO and investors lost their money. How to prevent this? If you intend to send Bitcoins to someone, make sure that you have the correct recipient’s address.