Cryptocurrencies are virtual wealth. They’re as valuable as your regular dollar that you are keeping in a bank account or under your mattress. Regardless of how much or little you have, virtual assets are important to be kept as safe as possible. On the online, the chances of you getting robbed off of your virtual cash is not lower, nor higher than in the real world. Still, hackers are always on the lookout for weak spots.
If you’re doing the wrong thing and they find the loose end between you and your virtual cash, you will most likely be robbed of your assets. Which is why, using state-of-the-art technology and a tad of common sense, we’ve come up with a list of 5 ways in which you’ll be able to keep all of your valuable Bitcoins safe and away from the hands of thieves.
You can go for just one of these 5 methods. Or, if you’re more into precaution, you can also go for two or three of them at the time. The most important point is, from our understanding, number 5, which is also the most logical but most overlooked one from all cryptocurrency owners. All right, let’s dive right into them!
1. Virtual wallet
Probably the most common way in which you can keep your cryptocurrency tokens safe is with the help of the virtual wallet. This is a software designed to store your virtual currency either on a server somewhere or on your personal hard drive. There are tons of security measures in place for when you transfer your first Bitcoins to your virtual wallet. More often than not, this method will be sufficient for the regular user.
Still, because it depends on an internet connection and is usable only online, the virtual wallet method of keeping your cryptocoins safe has its downfalls. For one, it being online at all time means it can be attacked by hackers, especially if your last public transaction was hefty which will most likely turn some eyes on you. If that’s the case, you might want to use a safer method of keeping your virtual assets safe.
2. Physical or hard wallet
The most notorious at being safe method of keeping your virtual coins is the physical or hard wallet. This is also a software designed to keep cryptocurrency to its owner, the only main difference being it is a physical item as well. It usually looks like a small USB drive and it comes in many shapes and sizes.
When you get a hard wallet, you will also get some private keys composed out of tens of words and numbers which will act as your ultimate security code should you somehow lose the actual wallet. Or it falls into someone else’s hands. When that happens, you will be able to go online and, by using your private key, restore the balance of your hard wallet account into your virtual wallet and thus saving your virtual cash from extinction or robbery. These hard wallets are more expensive than virtual ones, but we do believe they’re worth it and should be considered by anybody who’s keeping at least 2-5 bitcoins on him.
3. Have more than one currency/wallet
Another good method to keep your virtual assets safe is to have more than one type of currency, as well as more than one wallet. For example, if you’re an investor, make sure you’re investing not only with Bitcoin, but also with Litecoin, EthereumEhtereum or whatever you’re into. This will help you keep your currencies in order and also save you some money should one of the currencies go down unexpectedly.
As far as wallets go, it is always a good idea to have more than one for obvious reasons. Many people believe they’re “play” money into a virtual account that’s readily accessible and easy to use when they need to do a payment or a deposit. Meanwhile they keep their “real” money safe in a hard wallet that they access only when there’s a big transaction coming up their way.
4. Keep away from public computers
It’s important to keep away from public computers and internet hot-spots when dealing with your cryptocurrency. Never initiate a transaction while at an internet cafe or when you’re on a public Wi-Fi network. Also, never write your private information to anybody else when you’re again using a public computer or an internet connection you’re not familiar with.
5. Common sense
Finally, the most important method of keeping your virtual currency away from thieves is by using common sense and logic whenever you feel like something is fishy. First and foremost, never trust anyone who’s not an established online company or presence with your virtual wallet address or any transaction that he or she might request from you.
If you’re into trading or exchange, only use trustworthy sites like Coinbase as your base of online operations. Going for smaller, more incentive sites that aren’t verified or positively reviewed online can make you lose your coins in a heartbeat. If you’re not safe enough while browsing these sites, they’ll take care of your funds, in a very negative way.
Also, if you’re a fan of online Bitcoin casinos, which is one of the main reasons why people get into cryptocurrencies in the first place, make sure you are only using casinos that are secure and have a great community around them. Giving these sites your virtual wallet and the address of your Bitcoin storage can end up in disaster if they’re not trustworthy.