Buying and selling cryptocurrencies is one thing, keeping the cryptocurrencies safe is another. This is an aspect often overlooked by newbies in the crypto world. This is a little bizarre since at the core of crypto lies cryptography and encryption. It is true that a blockchain cannot be hacked but this has not prevented millions of crypto from being stolen.
There is a lot that goes into being your own bank. The safe idea of outsourcing your money’s security to a bunch of bank employees is nowhere to be found in the world of crypto. To a large extent, we must all learn how to keep our personal assets safe as we engage with the blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
Let’s check out some blockchain security tips which you should always adhere to:
Beware of phishing
There are many definitions of phishing but broadly speaking, phishing is defined as an attempt to obtain information from an individual by using the identity of a trustworthy party. A common phishing tactic in the crypto space is creating emails with the logo and official information of a wallet or exchange brand. Then, disguised in the fake messages are links to fake websites where users are prompted to leave their login information.
There are many stories of users inputting their information on fake sites and having all their crypto stolen. To avoid this situation, never use the direct links provided in an email to access your wallet or exchange account from their official site. Always check that the URL displaying on your browser has a security id to be sure it is not one of the fake sites.
Fake crypto wallets and exchanges
There are many exchanges around the globe. This is good because it gives the public a wide variety of options for trading cryptocurrencies and picking the best prices. On the other hand, there have been a number of fake exchanges and wallets popping up on the internet. They offer unsuspecting users higher returns for trading, lower fees, and other perks that seem too good to be true. Most times, if it is too good to be true, then it is.
Take this as an instance, a user named Chidi Kany invested 300 USD in an online wallet named Satowallet. After a few months when she tried to retrieve her funds, the wallet became inaccessible and the website no longer existed. In another instance, a user created an account in an exchange named Bitsane. After several weeks of trading, the user tried to withdraw funds but the platform refused and suddenly blocked the user from accessing her account.
To avoid these types of scams, actively research any exchange you would like to use. There are many reviews and articles written online about the crypto business world. Only make use of sites that have several reviews and are known to be legitimate businesses. Crypto wallets are also reviewed online, but reviews in the app store can be manipulated. This is why you should always research any mobile wallet using sources from the internet in specialized news sites.
There are also exchanges that offer secure online wallets in Nigeria. One great example is Remitano, a peer-to-peer exchange that has an online wallet for crypto using the Nigerian Naira (NGN). Remitano allows for instant trading and secure holding of crypto assets.
Want to find out how you can make use of the Nigerian Naira (NGN) to make secure and quick trades? Find out in this article about instant trades with NGN.
Do not leave your crypto on an exchange
Centralized Exchanges do not operate on the blockchain. This means the unhackable status of a blockchain does not cover them. The main thing to remember here is that not all exchanges are created equal. It is important to look for reviews and analysis of any exchange you are planning to use for trading. Even with the good exchanges, once your trading session is over, always move your crypto to a specialized wallet and never leave large amounts of money in the exchange’s account.
Use a cryptocurrency hard wallet
This is a physical device that keeps the private key outside the internet. Hard wallets are the most secure storage for large amounts of crypto away from cybercriminals’ grasp. The most popular ones are Trezor and Ledger Nano. Both these hard wallets can be used with most of the popular cryptocurrencies. At the end of the day, they are a great investment for anyone managing large amounts of crypto.
Avoid Public Wi-fi
Public wi-fi is very dangerous. It can record passwords and usernames of sites the user visits. This means that a public hotspot can be used to harvest hundreds of accounts in a day. Additionally, a public connection can divert traffic from the official site to a dummy one. The fake site records the contact info stealing the information.
Be suspicious of crypto gambling sites
Gambling is one of the most regulated businesses on the planet. This means very few online gambling sites actually work within the bounds of the law. This makes vetting them very hard because most of them are illegal or in a very grey legal area. This results in the security or trust for crypto gambling services to be even lower than that of exchanges. In fact, a good portion of those sites are scams that lure users to deposit their crypto assets just to vanish with the assets after a while. If you are going to use gambling sites, be sure to research them completely, or best avoid them altogether.
Beware of crypto influencers
A sense of community is not a bad thing. We are early adopters of the crypto world and this means we have a somewhat niche online presence. This can give certain individuals with a platform a disproportionate power over the market. So, if an influencer or market guru is talking about this coin or that it is going to moon 10x or 100x, be very skeptical. Most times, this is a pump and dump scheme.
Pump and dumb refers to a financial maneuver where an individual or a group of persons draw attention to an asset under their control. They lure buyers to artificially inflate the price just to sell it all once it has reached a target price. The traffic and price action makes it seem like an investment naturally rallying, but it is all manipulation. This scheme is easier to carry out in the crypto world because it is relatively small and populated by traders with zero experience. Never follow blindly the advice of those that can profit off your actions.
Use many storage methods
As stated before a hardware wallet is the best way to store crypto. But to increase security it is better to use several wallets and never have too much money in a single one. There are web wallets, desktop wallets, paper wallets, etc. The list is extensive and all have their pros and cons.
In this article, you’ll find a complete guide on several cryptocurrency wallets so you can choose the best wallet combination for your asset portfolio.
Be private with your crypto
The best way to not become a target is to avoid drawing attention to yourself. Crypto is hard to trace when it is stolen, so it makes it attractive to thieves and scammers. These scammers search in social media for people boasting about how much of this coin they own or how much they have made trading. These posts are like magnets for unsavory actors. To avoid their attention don’t be too public with your crypto assets. Stop posting about crypto in popular social media sites. A low profile will help you avoid the unwanted attention of those looking to steal crypto.
Decentralization and personal ownership are a great thing. It is one of the main features of the crypto economy and has empowered millions of people around the globe. The flip side though, is that being your own bank also means being your own security team. In the world of crypto, we all have to take charge of keeping our money safe.
This is true, especially for developing nations. The lack of technical knowledge by authorities and the public at large makes these countries easy targets for global scams. It is important to get educated about crypto before beginning to use it. The resources are out there and more education is always beneficial.