Security best practices

Cryptocurrencies offer a tremendous amount of freedom, but that freedom comes with a responsibility. In the case of crypto, the tradeoff for a more direct, fair, and accessible financial system is that cryptocurrency users each need to be more mindful of security and safekeeping. 

After all, in a truly decentralized world, there is no support number to call, or no corporate entity to write for a refund.

As we start to wrap up Crypto Literacy Month 2021, here are a few high level crypto security best practice to keep in mind:

One: Know the scams

Just like with traditional money, if a crypto deal sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Be extra vigilant when handling crypto and when communicating about your crypto —  because all of your activities can leave digital fingerprints, which could potentially identify you as a target. 

Some of the most common crypto scams are fake emails asking for some kind of identifying information which can then be used in a social engineering attack. Whenever you get any kind of email asking for identifying details make sure you confirm that it is legitimate.  Also, be cautious of crypto giveaways, or any kind of crypto system that requires you to give something before you get something. Trading bot scams (which are ponzi schemes that sound more plausible because of the crazy returns that crypto has been yielding) and fake giveaways are pretty common crypto scams.

Two: Use analog strategies to fight digital fraud

Be mindful of your crypto private keys and other crypto account or wallet-related details. The best way to secure these details is to keep them offline, but somewhere safe and memorable. 

Believe it or not, for how advanced crypto technology is, the safest way to guard wallet keys and information is by using a paper wallet or some other kind of offline system.

Three: 2FA saves the day

Turning on two-factor authentication on any account that is linked to your digital identity can help protect you in the event of a hack. Two-factor authentication (2FA) means that you need to use more than one device in your control to sign into an account. 

The easiest way to set up 2FA is to use some kind of authentication app like Google Authenticator.

Four: Be unpredictable

Use multiple crypto platforms and use as many different ways of signing in as you can, including different emails, different passwords, etc. You can take this a step farther and create email addresses that are completely independent of the other email addresses you use on the web. Another pro-tip is to get a good encrypted password manager, which will make creating different aliases and passwords a more manageable task. If you are looking for more crypto-security best practices, be sure to check out this article from CoinDesk, which goes into more depth on each of the security issues laid out above. And be sure to check out the other crypto-related content including info on NFTs, DeFi, and bitcoin on™.