The cryptocurrency world offers a lot of promise and possibilities to its users. It is a relatively new way to earn money, in comparison with other financial institutions that we have, but its explosive rise attracted a lot of attention. With this attention come both the enthusiastic people who want to try their hand at mining or trading and people who want to take advantage of them and the system itself.
That’s why you need to learn how to protect your assets and how to store your cryptocurrency. And don’t worry, Changelly’s got your back on that question, with this article as well as many others. Now, let’s take a look at what you can (and should) do to make sure that nobody but you will be able to enjoy the fruits of your crypto labors.
#1. Always DYOR
DYOR stands for ‘Do Your Own Research’. So, yeah, basically you should always check and recheck any information from articles or posts about crypto. Pretty simple advice, isn’t it? Yes, it is, and now let’s take a look at why you should do that.
While cryptocurrency is a newcomer in comparison to other financial markets, it garnered a lot of attention from the public, politicians, and media. There are tens of thousands of materials written about it, with countless blogs, columns, email newsletters, and so on. Not every one of them could be accurate. It might be an honest mistake, a little bit of negligence, or even just a little bit of outdated information that editors haven’t time to fix yet. No matter the reason, it is a fact that you might find inaccurate information, and this might affect your actions and, as a result, your assets.
To avoid that, you need to double-check the info you get, as well as keep an eye out on any additional data that you might find. Be it a historical price chart of crypto, new features from the exchange platform, or additional fees on trading deals, everything might be useful. Not to mention that it might prevent your loss, or add to your profit. Keep that in mind, and you might avoid some unfortunate situations.
#2. 2FA and Strong Passwords
Much more straightforward advice, some might even call it obvious: use strong passwords and 2FA for your accounts. Any accounts, even ones you don’t use to store cryptocurrency should be protected. After all, you don’t know which part of your personal data can help hackers get their hands on your money.
Strong passwords are necessary and should consist of both the uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers. Ideally, they would be over 10 symbols in length, and wouldn’t be a connection to your personal life. After all, it wouldn’t do for anyone to guess what your password is based on your favorite show or personal preference in coffee blends. A great idea would be to use a password randomizer along with a key archiver. This way, you can use different strong passwords for every account and keep them on hand.
2FA stands for 2 Factor Authentication. What does it do? 2FA allows you to connect your account to your email, mobile, or a special device. After this connection, you will be sent a security key there each time you try to log in. It protects your account in case someone gets access to your password, as hackers will also need this special key to enter your account. So even if the password protection fails, you will still be able to protect your assets.
Different mediums offer varying degrees of protection, with an email offering less protection than others, simply because you can lose a password to it. You can enable a 2FA for your email account as well, so it is a minor problem.
#3. Choose Strong Wallets
Another seemingly obvious advice that has hidden depths. What is a strong wallet? How do you find and choose one? Well, the first criterion of a strong wallet is that it comes from a reputable source. With the amount of crypto, exchanges, and companies working with them it is hard to track who does what and whether or not this sleek-looking desktop wallet comes from an honest developer. Or just a developer who can create a secure wallet.
Find out how to choose a suitable wallet to safely store your cryptocurrency in Changelly’s guide.
A good step in this direction will be following our Advice #1: do your own research. Check the reviews of the wallet, see if there are any problems. A good place to do that would be Reddit, and, if it appears on Google Play or AppMarket, you can look up its reviews there.
We have a lot of wallet’s reviews for almost each and every crypto. Check it out.
Also, see how the developer reacts to those reviews: do they actively try to engage with the community or are they just ignoring them? If it is an open-source project, look up its GitHub, see whether or not it is in active development. Those things, while not proving the honesty of a developer, can show you different signs that this wallet might be vaporware.
It would also be useful to choose the type of wallet you need. Different types have different advantages and disadvantages, with cold storage wallets being basically invincible to any hacker (since they are disconnected from the Internet), but at the same time, they are not as easily accessible as web or desktop wallets.
#4. Choose a Reliable Exchange
This one is a pretty straightforward one: after all, it doesn’t matter what passwords you use or where do you store your cryptocurrency if your transaction just disappears on its way. Along with the platform that you’ve chosen to use. To avoid that, you need to make sure that the exchange that you’ve chosen is trustworthy.
There are a few criteria that you can check to see whether you should use a certain platform or not. Reputation is one, and you can find it out on social media, like Reddit’s crypto-oriented communities, as well as crypto blogs. Another one is security, which includes whether or not the exchange uses 2FA, and whether it stores your transaction on the platform or not, as well as a few more.
If you want to know a little more about how to choose a reliable cryptocurrency exchange, Changelly team has recently published an article just about that. Check it out to see how to rate whether the exchange is reliable or not.
#5. Avoid Phishing
The Phishing attack is a type of scam where the criminal contacts the victim via email, phone, or text, and tries to persuade them to surrender personal information. Usually, it is a bank account info, social media and email passwords, or credit card details. In this case, it might also include your wallet address, security key, and exchange account password. You can guess why this would be a bad thing.
There are a few ways to avoid it.
- Check the email address of the person who’s sent you the email. It might have an address similar to one that a bank or a service uses, so you wouldn’t notice it at first glance. Look for irregular symbols, like ‘1’ instead of ‘i’, additional letters, and so on.
- Look up whether or not the sender’s address belongs to the corporate domain or if the sender has a corporate phone number. Usually, phishers don’t have access to that, so they send their attacks from the usual addresses and phone numbers.
- Don’t disclose your personal information to anyone who asks for it. No one has the authority to ask you to provide your personal data in any message or call.
- Don’t download any files sent to you by suspicious accounts, especially if you don’t expect any. Doing this is a cybersecurity hazard, as you might get a malware that can (and probably will) steal your data.
- Don’t follow links in such messages. It might send you to the false landing page that requires you to fill in your login information. This is where you’ll lose your account.
And that’s just a few possible angles of the attack. Phishing continuously improves and adapts, with scammers thinking up more schemes and methods to get your data. So keep an eye out, or even the best security system wouldn’t be able to save your money.
With all that, you now have basics on how to protect and store your cryptocurrency. Those are basic rules that will be helpful for anyone who works with crypto, no matter what they do: mining, trading, or just receiving their payments in BTC. As long as you store cryptocurrency and wish to keep it, you need to keep these tips in mind.
Of course, there are more ways to safely store your coins and tokens, like cold storage, for example. So yeah, do your research, keep yourself and your money safe, and stay tuned for more crypto- and safety-related articles from Changelly!
Changelly is a secure instant crypto exchange that has 160+ cryptocurrencies available to be swapped and bought at market-best rates. Operating since 2015, the platform and its mobile application attract over a million visitors monthly, who all enjoy quick and simple exchanges, low transparent fees, and 24/7 live support.