Tips to Increase Your Bitcoin Security
Of all the cryptocurrencies available today, Bitcoin definitely is the most popular one. Investors are attracted by the potential value of this cryptocurrency. But let’s remember that whatever gets popular on the internet draws the attention of cybercriminals as well. Thus, Bitcoin, because of its popularity and also because of its potential value, does attract cybercriminals. Hence, it’s important that security measures are adopted to ensure and increase Bitcoin security. Here are some very basic tips that could help you increase your Bitcoin security…
Use a trusted web wallet
Agreed that web wallets are convenient and easy to access. They do enhance your trading experience, making it all very easy for you, but at the same time, it’s to be noted that many web wallets have serious security issues. Cybercriminals regularly seek to exploit web wallet-related vulnerabilities, aiming to lay their hands on users’ cryptocurrency funds. So, it would be good to opt for only trusted web wallets- those that have a good reputation as regards security. You could also think of avoiding web wallets or else you could even store cryptocurrencies in small amounts so that you lose small amounts in the eventuality of a cyberattack.
Opting to keep your bitcoin in cold storage is good
Opting to keep your bitcoin in cold storage ensures better security. Cold storage is nothing but storing bitcoin offline as a security precaution. This could include storing bitcoins on a USB drive or other such data storage medium, on a paper wallet or by using an offline hardware wallet. As a best practice, keep on the server only the amount that is needed to cover anticipated withdrawals. That helps minimize the possibility of an intruder stealing your entire bitcoin reserve in one attack. When your bitcoin reserve is stored on a cold wallet, the transaction can be done only by using private keys that are stored in the cold wallet. Hence, even if your system is malware-infected, it won’t impact transactions that you do from your cold storage.
Always keep your private keys offline
This is important for all wallet owners. Always keep your private keys offline and also refrain from sharing them. The best thing would be to store your private keys on a separate offline device. This would help secure your bitcoins.
Refrain from keeping your cryptos in one place
If you could use separate wallets and not store all your bitcoins in one place, it would ensure better security. You could opt to keep what you need for anticipated spending or trading in your online wallet and the remaining bulk of your funds, as mentioned earlier, in your offline wallet. Whenever you transfer large amounts of bitcoins into your online wallet, make sure whatever remains after the transaction is done is transferred back to your cold wallet. This ensures better safety. Having your bitcoins saved in different locations ensures that you don’t end up losing everything in the eventuality of a hack.
Go for fragmented backups
You should always try to store copies of your back in different secret locations. A fragmented backup in which you divide the backup seed into fragments could help in securing your bitcoins. Your wallet gets an extra layer of security as any attacker targeting your bitcoins would have to look for the fragments.
The other important tips that could help you secure your bitcoins include using a type 2 deterministic wallet (which uses a seed to deterministically create all future private keys) and also to try installing, if possible, Linux for online and offline computers that you use for transferring bitcoin-related data (using a USB drive) from online to offline environments.
Such basic security measures, if adopted, could ensure better security for your bitcoins.
Julia Sowells861 Posts
Julia Sowells has been a technology and security professional. For a decade of experience in technology, she has worked on dozens of large-scale enterprise security projects, and even writing technical articles and has worked as a technical editor for Rural Press Magazine. She now lives and works in New York, where she maintains her own consulting firm with her role as security consultant while continuing to write for Hacker Combat in her limited spare time.