How to I make sure my crypto wallet is safe?
In a new and emerging cyber space, it’s always a great idea to keep everything underlock and key. Treat your Crypto wallet like you’d treat your bank account details.
We have all heard stories about people losing their tokens to theft, whether it be through impersonation or just a general lack of security. Decentralization is remarkable because you have complete control over your tokens. Decentralization means that there is no intermediary like a bank that you have to go through to send your tokens to another wallet anywhere in the world. With that said, it also means that there are no institutions that can help you if your tokens are stolen. This is important to understand, so we can ensure that we take extra security precautions.
Cold Storage/Hardware Wallets
Cold storage is the safest way to secure your tokens. Hardware wallets are physical pieces of hardware (like a Trezor or Ledger, which is a USB-like device). No one can access your tokens since they are offline and a hardware piece is required to access them and transfer your coins. In addition to the hardware piece, you also have a list of words to access your account in case your hardware device isn’t working. You should definitely use a hardware wallet to store your tokens offline if you have a significant value of tokens.
Separate email only for crypto
Having a “crypto” email that is not linked to other websites reduces the risk of someone hacking into your email account because that email account is used less often.
Change password every 3-6 months
This one is straightforward. It is a simple security measure that keeps hackers guessing.
Never share your seed word with anyone and don’t write them online/computer/website.
Your seed words are the holy grail of your passwords. They should, under no circumstances, be kept online, or even on your computer or phone. They should only be physically written down with a pen and then stored in a secure physical location.
Always make sure you are clicking on the authentic website of an exchange or wallet. Many hackers use phishing techniques that use websites that look almost identical to the real website. They trick you into thinking you are on the real website so that they can steal your username and password. If www.ABC.com were the real website, an example of a phishing website would be www.ABC.io. Triple check the website that you are clicking on, or just bookmark a website that you visit often.
- Maintain strong passwords
- Do not repeat passwords on different accounts
- Change your passwords often
- Back up your passwords in secure locations not connected to the internet
- Keep your software wallets up-to-date (less susceptible to hacking)
- Use two-factor authentication – requires code via text, email or an authenticator app to log into your accounts
- NEVER give out your seed phrase – no one will ever need this – don’t fall for scams
- NEVER share your screen while your wallet is open – hackers disguise themselves as tech support and scan your QR code to take assets
- Don’t click on links you don’t trust – downloading files that contain malware may track your passwords and hackers may be able to enter your wallet