Since the time digital currencies were introduced to the world of finance, there has been the target of hacker attacks. It’s nothing surprising since the same is happening to fiat currencies. Attackers are very innovative, always thinking about new ways to steal other people’s digital assets. It’s something that was expected, especially in the times when the value of certain coins is on the rise, such as it is with the bitcoin. At the beginning of 2021, it was predicted its value will rise immensely by the end of the year, which is exactly what is happening at the moment. And the rise is promised to continue.
Those who read crypto news have surely noticed that each month some article about the new attack on the crypto platform is being published. Thieves try very hard to find a loophole in the security systems or take advantage of the users who simply think it will never happen to them. Digital finance is generally young, which means the best measures, guaranteeing security are still being developed.
Lately, even the hardware wallets have proven to have a security issue. Bitcoin owners are now left thinking about what is the best way to protect the assets. However, there are still ways you can keep them safe from online thefts. Here are a couple of suggestions.
Don’t install browser extensions
Installing extensions to your browser might be the first thing that puts you on the most endangered. It is tempting not to, since many of them aim to protect us from harmful websites, however, in the sea of so many applications and extensions it is very difficult to know which one is safe, and which one will fish for your private data. Many of them are being advertised via google ads. Once clicked and installed, what it does is collect data based on which it locates from where the user data request is being sent, and then simply redirects it to the attacker’s address.
Once the extension is installed, attackers can access your private wallet keys, generate new ones, and keep track of the movement of crypto from that address. It’s how hundreds of thousands are being stolen, each month. Your assets can be stolen in the same way, without leaving a confirmed inscription in the meantime. Therefore, if you see a tempting google ad, don’t fall for it at once, it could be the reason you get attacked.
Work on crypto anonymity
In the past, the safest way to keep your bitcoins out of the attacker’s reach was to use hardware wallets. As we’ve already mentioned, the technology is quite young and so far, attackers have developed a way to steal assets even from these wallets, not to mention all other types of wallets. It became clear that the only way to keep the assets safe is to work on their anonymity. This way all the traces of transactions you perform will be covered, along with their flow.
It is impossible to perform an anonymous transaction, inaccessible to attackers, via exchange and trading platforms. This kind of safekeeping requires a bit of knowledge, therefore can be a stressful process for beginners. But, like everything about crypto owning and trading, you need to invest time in learning.
There have been some applications developed in the meantime which ensure the security of the transactions and anonymity as well. They work by interwinding transactions of different currencies available in the wallet and deleting statistics regarding previous transactions. This aims to complicate tracking of all transactions you perform, which in the end becomes impossible to the third-party trackers. No need to worry about whether the transaction will reach its final destination, this will not be influenced.
Avoid saving your keys online
To access your bitcoins, you need to have a key. What most of us are used to, is to save passwords, pin codes, keys, and other important things in our accounts, to avoid losing them. No need to explain how vulnerable this makes our assets to the attacks. Saving private keys is not only risky online, even when saved offline, on your drive, but they are also very much exposed to thieves.
Believe it or not, the safest way to keep them is the old fashion way. Write it on a piece of paper, and store it somewhere safe. It also comes with the risk, because the paper can be lost as well, however, the risk in this case is unavoidable. You just need to calculate which one is less.
Divide deposit and introduce multiple signatures
This should apply to the crypto service providers and could be a good safety solution. Diving deposits between cold and hot wallets will add to the safety of assets owned. How? The hot ones should contain a minimal amount of assets, for daily usage, while the cold one should contain the rest. This wallet would only allow manual access when the hot one runs out of assets.
It is highly advised to avoid a single signature for the cold wallets. Why? In the previous point, we discussed how important it is not to lose the access key. Allowing multiple signatures, shared among trusted people, enables access to the wallet in case one loses the key, thus ensuring the safety of assets. So, build your network of trust (include family members, for instance) and give a key to each of them. If you lose one, you’ll still have access to your bitcoins.
Don’t use public computers for accessing the wallet
The biggest mistake one makes is when the thought “It won’t happen to me” infiltrates the mind. In a hurry for a transaction, you connect to a public computer or a network and access your wallet. Never, ever, do this. For accessing your assets use only your laptop or phone.
There are many other ways you can keep your crypto safe, if you’re interested to read more, check out techdee.com. Make sure you apply more than one protection suggestion, to avoid the risk.