As long as you don’t get into Crypto, everything about the Blockchain and Open Finance could sound like an earthly paradise of peace, evolution and social justice. A dream come true! But, as soon as you do your very first movement inside the crypto sphere, you will find out that, since Crypto is real money with real value, you just entered a whole new dimension of security issues. You will need to remember basic measures that have saved the money of thousands and thousands of crypto users so far.
Here, we are sharing some of these measures in the form of tips. We hope these tips help all new crypto adopters and also those who already have experience. Never forget that security is first and foremost. There are thousands of malicious people who spend all their time looking for ways to intercept your actions on the network or your transactions on the Blockchain. Don’t let them steal your money!
I. Worry about having the most secure Internet connection whenever you access your cryptocurrency accounts!
No more accessing from any cafeteria or any public park where you don’t know who is providing your Internet service. Remember, whoever provides connection to Internet to you, might also be seeing your data or trying to grab your values.
II. Regardless of your years of experience, never execute a transaction without checking the withdrawal address three times!
Of course, most addresses are very long strings of characters. Yes, it is hard to check each character one by one. One useful tip: check the first and the last 5 characters at least. This is not a perfect formula. But checking the first 5 and the last 5 several times, chances of sending to a wrong address become very low.
III. Never – seriously, never – send a large amount of money to an address you have not used before!
If you are using a new address – no matter if you are sending from your old well-know wallet -, try sending a small amount first. Maybe $2 or $3. If the test goes fine, then, go ahead and send a larger amount.
IV. Take advantage of the 2FA (Two-Factor Authentication) system whenever available!
2FA is your friend not your enemy. Some times, in Crypto, one becomes too obsessed with ideas related to absolute decentralization and too desperate to avoid all types of control by third parties and, thus, keeps away from 2FA. Bad habit! 2FA helps electronic systems be sure that you are you! It is harder for bad hackers to take your money if you set 2FA!
V. Enter the new era of security culture and study about cybercrime and vulnerability!
YouTube is full of good videos about cybersecurity. Free knowledge for you! If you have entered Crypto – this means if you have or use some cryptocurrencies or crypto assets at least -, please inform yourself. Your computer, your smartphone and even your video-game console are very vulnerable. Learn about this if you want to keep your money in your pocket!
VI. Never forget! Bad actors cannot defeat the Blockchain, but they can steal from you!
The problem is not the Blockchain! Blockchains are the most secure way to keep value. But, humans are weak. If you share your private keys or send value to an unknown person, then, you are your own biggest problem!
VII. Do not use those easy-to-hack passwords anymore!
Forget about using your birthday or “iloveyou” as passwords. This is like giving your money away to others. Learn about creating and storing strong passwords. This will take some of your time, but not too much. You will be thankful for having invested time in this!
VIII. Have some antivirus on the computers where you manage your crypto assets!
Do not keep your Crypto in a computer without an antivirus unless you are an expert who knows too well what you are doing! A virus can easily copy the file where your money is and send it to pernicious people who are in the other side of the world.
IX. Do not access your Blockchain accounts from many computers!
If you have wallets in one, or in various Blockchains, access those wallets from a very limited number of computers. Only from your own computers! Only from computers that you know well and that you can control and verify! Never many! About two or three sounds reasonable!
X. Never make transactions of a lot of money from new wallets that you don’t understand well!
If you have just downloaded a new wallet, then, while learning how it works, execute only small transactions with it. Later, when you are totally sure it works very well, then, start moving more and more money to it. Also, learn about each wallet you have. Consume all kinds of tutorials and review other users’ experience with the wallet.
XI. Never trust your own memory! Store critical data on paper, but where no one finds it!
Write your passwords and key phrases (seeds) down. Better in paper! Never trust your memory! You don’t want to lose your money just because you forgot the password that you invented. Remember, Blockchains do not have password-reset services like Google or Amazon. You lose your password, you lose your money! Simple!
XII. Keep several records of each Blockchain account you have, but don’t lose control of your records! A mess can be a hell of an enemy!
For each account you create in any Blockchain – or for each address -, keep several copies of the passwords, private keys or seeds. Do not keep only in one computer or in one place. Again, you lose this information, you lose your money! But, of course, never create so many copies that you may lose track of each copy. Three copies might be enough.
XIII. If you have access to Crypto through your smartphone, set a strong password to access it!
If you want Crypto in your smartphone, then, prepare to transform it into an impenetrable device. Set very strong passwords and be sure nobody – except you – will have access to your Crypto.
XIV. Ask your exchanges for high levels of security through KYC!
As for 2FA, KYC is very important. These are not ways through which individual or organizational conspirators attempt to control every aspect of your life! Choose exchanges with good reputation and provide your correct data and ID to the exchanges, so that they can protect your money more efficiently. If they don’t know who you are, they cannot protect you well!
XV. Never forget the old lesson “Your private keys, your Money! Not your private keys, not your money!”
Yes, we know you love your boyfriend a lot and you trust him! He is the sweetest thing in the world. But, if you share your private keys with him – or with anyone in the world -, your money is very close to start not being yours. Be careful! And never share private keys with people in Internet!
XVI. Also, don’t forget the No-wallet-is-safer-than-cold-storage lesson!
Just in case you have not heard the expression “cold storage”, do not panic! Actually, it refers to the most basic form of crypto-hodling. Cold storage refers to having crypto-assets – or owning private keys – and not keeping information about them in any electronic device in the world. In such a case, naturally, you would want to keep some record of the access to your value on paper. Since, your access does not exist in a computer, a smartphone, a tablet, or in any other kind of electronic device, there does not exist one way in the world that somebody can steal your data through an electronic procedure. You can’t spend your value when it is in cold storage, though.
XVII. Be very careful with all the Internet pages you visit and with every click you make!
You have money in your computer now! Or in your phone or tablet maybe! Now you cannot just navigate the Internet like in the past when you checked any page not minding about security. From now on, you do not click any link without thinking twice! Or three times! One click can be enough for you to lose all your money in a micro-second!
XVIII. Do not trust people you meet in Internet!
As you get deeper and deeper in Crypto, you will find your self inside many groups. Crypto implies community involvement too, in many cases. You will meet many new people – some are bots, though – every single day. Some people will be incredibly nice and friendly, or will try to gain your trust. Do not trust people you don’t know! Do not send money or value to people you don’t know extremely well! And be specially careful about people who contact you suddenly thought direct message offering good opportunities to you! These are never good at all!
XIX. Never send money, passwords, private keys or the seeds of your wallet to anyone you don’t trust!
We insist once again! This time, please, stop here, and say it to yourself aloud I will never send my value to people that I don’t know very well! This little tip can save your funds! Unless you work for a professional project where some passwords or seeds are kept by all share holders for example, there is almost no reason in the world to send passwords or private keys to other people. Don’t forget it: your money is totally yours in the exclusive case that you are the only hodler of your private keys, passwords and seeds!
XX. If you are in a community, and there is a suspicion of a scam, make many friends and investigate!
You probably have heard about scams. This is one common topic in Crypto. Crypto users call a project a “scam” or “scam coin” when the developers are consciously trying to obtain a lot of money from regular investors and abandon the project. Crypto is full of scams! Hundreds of coins could be called scam coins. Usually investors cannot recover their money when they, erroneously, believe in the project and invest. Even professional crypto traders get scammed once in a while. So, prepare to get trapped in a Crypto scam at least once if you become a regular crypto investor. If you detect that a crypto scam is probably taking place, then, be smart. Maybe you lost your money already or maybe not. Our first recommendation is this: create a separate group with friends of the community and do responsible research! Be careful not think that there is a scam just because the team takes a lot of time to deliver, or because trading volume is extremely low for many months! Create a group to share your concerns and to do deep research. Together, with other investors of the same project, you will find a way to some solutions. Do not be passive, but do not be impulsive either! In case you want to know more about community action, check our article HOW COMMUNITIES CAN DETECT AND TAKE ACTION AGAINST A CRYPTO-SCAM.