Moving cryptocurrency across the internet is an effortless task thanks to its fast and borderless nature. It is one of the reasons why playing at cryptocurrency casinos is so enjoyable. It is super easy to deposit, super easy to withdraw, and it is perfect for large transactions – especially when cashing out after a big win!
Moreover, moving crypto is often safer in comparison with fiat currency. Payments into your crypto wallet only require you to supply a ‘public key’ as opposed to supplying your full name as well as credit card or bank info for fiat transactions!
That said, crypto’s large, quick, and borderless transactions features come with an element of risk. As with any connection to a device on the internet, be it an app or a website on the World Wide Web, there comes a certain element of risk.
Unfortunately, cybercrime is still on the rise globally, and so there will always be hackers out there looking to take your money, track your spending, and looking to steal your identity. Luckily, there are plenty of ways in which you can safeguard your crypto and maintain online privacy.
Below we have compiled 5 tips on how you can keep your crypto safe:
· Tip 1: Use Multiple Crypto Wallets
· Tip 2: Use Strong Passwords With 2-Factor Authentication
· Tip 3: Secure Your Devices & Connections
· Tip 4: Secure Your Private Keys
· Tip 5: Follow Crypto Transaction Best Practices
Tip 1: Use Multiple Crypto Wallets
If you have large sums of and/or multiple cryptos, keeping them all in the same wallet is certainly very convenient. However, doing so leaves your entire crypto balance at risk to a single hack i.e. if your only crypto wallet is hacked, you will lose it all. Therefore, spreading your crypto balance out across 2 wallets will help to prevent this.
You can use 1 wallet for your surplus cryptos used for online purchases, and another to receive crypto and store your invested crypto.
Alternatively, you could…
· use the first crypto account as a ‘live wallet’ to receive and send crypto
· use your second wallet as a ‘safe wallet’ to transfer funds to and from your ‘live wallet’
(See the section below covering ‘hardware wallets’ as a ‘safe wallet’)
Using a multi-wallet strategy does not come without its own added risks. One argument is ‘the more wallets you have the more susceptible you are to being hacked’. This is partly true because you are now giving cyber intruders 2 avenues in which they can find your crypto.
Storing crypto balances on exchanges
One strong word of advice to all those that keep their crypto on exchanges is quite simply ‘do not do it’. Always keep your balance in crypto wallets because as regular news reports would suggest, exchanges are more susceptible to hacks.
· Only use exchanges to swap currencies
· Always move your crypto to your wallet after the exchange
Cryptocurrency Wallet Reputation
Before you sign up to another crypto wallet, always make sure you check that the wallet you are using is credible. There are plenty of big brand name crypto wallets out there which are the safest options because these brands have already built a solid reputation within the crypto sphere.
You can also check:
· Does the wallet allow casino transactions?
· Which laws/jurisdiction does the wallet fall under?
· Is the wallet governed by local financial authorities?
· Does the wallet us at least 128-bit SSL (https)?
For a safe and secure wallet, take a look at our Moon DOGE Wallet Review…
Using hardware wallets
To cut to the chase, hardware wallets are incredibly safe to use because the only way for your crypto to enter or leave the wallet is when you bring the wallet online. That means ‘hardware’ wallets are offline.
This makes for the perfect ‘safe wallet’!
If you are confident enough, investing your time and money into setting up a hardware wallet is perhaps the best crypto investment you can make in the long run. There are a few options out there and each one will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to safely use their hardware wallet.
· Ledger Nano S
All 3 of these hardware wallet brand names each have their pros and cons but overall, they are all great options. The warning we would like to give you from here is that you should make sure you only purchase your hardware wallet from a reputable supplier because some tricksters out there have been known to sell hardware wallets with malware.
Utilising your multi-wallet strategy
As your hardware wallet is a physical device you should store it in a safe place where it will not get lost. A fire proof safe is usually a good idea.
Utilising your multi-wallet strategy
How you utilise the multi-wallet strategy is entirely down to your personal preference and situation. If you want to learn more about buying crypto, then check out our guide on how to buy bitcoins safely which may be quite useful on the topic on of using multiple crypto wallets.
As long as you use a reputable and safe crypto wallet provider your crypto will be safe. Once you have chosen your multi-wallet strategy, make sure you follow all the ‘Tips’ outlined below:
Tip 2: Use Strong Passwords With 2-Factor Authentication
When setting passwords for your crypto wallets, there are several criteria you can follow to avoid one of the simplest ways for cyber attackers to get into your crypto wallet – password hacks.
Strong password management for any of your online financial accounts is the first line of defence to keeping your cryptocurrency safe. Below we have provided some password tips that are fairly standard not just for your crypto wallets, but also for your email, social media, and other logins:
· Use a different password for each wallet
· Use characters like @#$%&
· Try to memorise your passwords
· Do not allow your browser to remember the password
· Use a free password generator online
‘Password management’ may seem straightforward, but there are so many variables to consider. For instance, if you are not allowing your internet browser to remember passwords, how do you set a super-strong password that you can memorise?
Our suggestion is to never allow browsers to memorise to save your passwords for financial logons. By all means, allow your browser to save passwords for your ‘non-financial’ information. Just make sure your browser requires an email login to access your saved ‘non-financial’ account access passwords.
Now you only need to memorise your ‘email password’ and ‘financial account passwords’ while passwords to all your ‘non-financial’ accounts are saved. This is just a suggestion.
One way to securely back up your financial accounts is to use 2-factor authentication. This is also known as the 2nd layer of security and abbreviated as 2FA.
It is a sequence that applies to when you log on to your device by entering your password to confirm you want to access your account, and then a 2FA confirmation code will also be needed on of this. Once the code is sent, there is a time-limit set which is usually about 30 to 60 seconds before the code expires. This gives hackers virtually no chance of getting into your account.
Common 2-Factor Authentication Methods:
· SMS a 4-digit or 6-digit code to your phone (very safe)
· Google Authenticator or Authy
· Email the code to your main email address
The safest option is to have the code sent to your mobile device. If a cyber attacker manages to compromise your passwords for your crypto wallet, your email account password may also be compromised.
Also, Google Authenticator and Authy are very safe options. Just make sure that before you implement any of these options, the 2FA works correctly.
Tip 3: Secure Your Devices & Connections
Accessing crypto account using devices that are not secure is one of the primary reasons crypto fraud exists. It is so easy to assume that using the internet is safe and that built-in apps like Windows Firewall on Microsoft or iOS operating systems are going to protect your device.
Hackers thrive on people’s complacency; especially those that have never been hacked before. Always make sure any device you use has all the necessary security tools installed to avoid becoming a target for cyber-attacks.
Creating a dedicated crypto device
Dedicated crypto devices are becoming increasingly popular to reduce the risk of scams, attacks and hacks. Most people will dedicate their home PC or their laptop, the latter for mobility reason, as a crypto-dedicated device.
This tactic does take some discipline because you would not be able to use your smartphone for crypto access if it has not been designated as your crypto-dedicated device. It is also the first in the list under ‘Tip 3’ because it is one of the best ways to sure up your crypto security.
You can then follow all the tactics below to make sure your crypto-dedicated device is up to the challenge of becoming a fully secured cryptocurrency enabled device.
Firstly, you can at the very least install a free anti-virus program. Although, if you are planning to carry out regular cryptocurrency activity, then you should seriously consider upgrading from the free package to a paid version. Although free versions are still great at detecting and removing virus threats, the paid anti-virus software will provide you with a flurry of extra security features.
· Remove virus threats
· Remove Ads
· Secure download area
· Web browsing protection
· Strong firewall solutions
Secure download area, browsing protection when surfing the World Wide Web, and additional firewall security features to close ports left open by your operating system’s built-in firewall. Nearly every anti-virus software program will allow you to install the anti-virus to protect your PC, laptop, smartphone, and tablet all under the same log in account.
Regular Software Updates
Never ignore system updates such as the Windows, iOS, and Android mobile updates. Yes, they can be annoying, and quite often we do not want to give them the time to shut down and update, yet these updates are being released for a reason.
As an active cryptocurrency guru, you should make sure you allow time for these updates to install. Other software updates for your anti-virus and anti-malware as well as software programs that connect to the net should all be given the proper due care and attention.
Always use a trusted internet access point
Today public Wi-Fi routers are a target for cyber-criminals. You can never be sure who has access to a restaurant, café, bar, or even train station Wi-Fi access point. As a result, these are examples of access points that you cannot trust.
4G connections from your phone are relatively safe and your home Wi-Fi. Some people may also feel safe on their Wi-Fi router at work, but even these can be compromised. In short, make sure you exercise extreme caution when choosing the connection, you will use to carry out crypto transactions.
Remove and disable remote-access software and services
It may come as a surprise to learn that some of the most popular remote access software programs are full of bugs. If you have chosen to use a dedicated crypto device, then make sure you remove programs such as Facetime and Zoom.
You should also make sure your operating system’s remote access services are turned off too. Having these turned on gives hackers a backdoor into your device where they can record your activity. Worst still, if they can gain access to your mobile device where your 2FA is enabled, the hacker now has a way past one of the most secure crypto wallet features enabled to keep unwanted visitors out.
Use HTTPS Everywhere
Another ‘good practice’ security feature you may or may not be interested in using is ‘HTTPS Everywhere’. This can be installed as an add-on or extension for most internet browsers such as Safari, Chrome, and Firefox. This extension will ensure that all URLs you enter into your web browser app will automatically add the ‘HTTPS’ extension.
This leads on to another point. Sites that do not use HTTPS are considered unsafe these days. They could have spy software installed which is used for hacking and even hijacking your connection. On the other hand, HTTPS encrypts your connection giving you secure information exchanges with the website you are connected to.
Tip 4: Secure Your Private Keys
Your private key is stored on your crypto wallet. It is the one thing that you never want a hacker to get hold of because if that were to happen, then you can kiss goodbye to all your crypto.
One way to make sure this never happens is to keep your private key ‘offline’, or as many crypto gurus like to coin it ‘in the real world’. But then, how do you effectively do this without your private key being compromised?
Most people keep their private key written down on a piece of paper or in a notepad.txt file or excel spreadsheet stored on an encrypted USB thumb drive. The latter is the best solution because paper can be fickle. It can get wet, fade, and so on. You could use both tactics if you so wish.
As an added side note, when your wallet asks you for a seed phrase, you should also make note of this because you may need it in the future to recover your account.
Some suggestions out there on how to store your private key on paper are quite fun. You can write the code backwards, write it in chunks of 4 writing each chunk forwards and backwards. Alternatively, you can use ultra-violent ink if you have an ultraviolet light at hand.
USB thumb drive
Thumb drives are the most obvious digital method used to store private keys. When you use the thumb drive, make sure your device is not connected to the internet. You should also use some form of local encryption software to encrypt the folder the files holding the private key info are stored.
Safe Storage of your private key(s)
When you use paper or a USB thumb drive, you need to make sure you store it safely. Do not put it in your wallet or place the USB thumb drive on your key right with house and car keys. You can get your house keys and car keys replaced or change the locks to regain access, but you will never be able to get your crypto wallet’s private key back if you lose it.
Most people use a safe at home which are also handy to store plenty of other items such as gold and silver so the small investment can be well worthwhile. Those with millions in crypto stashed away have been known to keep their private keys in safety deposit boxes at the local bank.
Be sure ‘never’ to store your ‘private key’ on any device that connects to the internet. The other 2 important take-home points when it comes to private keys is to never lose them and never allow them to be compromised because in both cases have the same result, and that is you lose your crypto.
Sharing your private key with a trusted third-party
There are plenty of stories out there of people passing away and leaving a mega fortune of crypto behind that is untouchable. Why is this untouchable? The person that sadly passed did not leave any clues as to what the private key is to their crypto wallet. You should leave your loved ones’ ways to discover the private key and instructions on how to access your crypto.
Tip 5: Follow Crypto Transaction Best Practices
As there are so many variables involved with protecting your crypto, we have dedicated this last section to best practices when you are sending and receiving crypto as well as storing passwords and private keys.
Checking your outgoing transactions
If you have made a typo, then you will be responsible. Unfortunately, typos mean the crypto will be lost. This is known as the ‘irreversible cryptocurrency transaction’.
The transaction will be deducted from your account balance, but no one will be credited. Double-check and even triple check the ‘public key’ for any outgoing transactions. Worst still, if you were given the correct public key and you made the typo, then you are responsible for the loss.
Checking your public key for incoming transactions
This is the reverse of the above point ‘checking your outgoing transactions’. If you supply your public key with a typo in it to someone making a crypto payment to you, and that person sends the transaction, then you are liable because you are the one that sent the wrong code.
There is no way for the person you supplied the public key to know if you have given him or her the correct string so it is down to you to double-check and even triple check the ‘public key’ you send.
Check your code even if you copy and paste
When you ‘copy and paste’ this is usually quite safe, but still, you should double-check and triple check before you hit the send button because you never know when you have accidentally press a button on your keyboard replacing one of the numbers or letters in the code.
Use a wallet that uses the ‘Retrievable Transfer’ feature
Now, this may or may not come as a relation to you, but there is a company out there that has designed a solution that protects your transactions. This system effectively spots incorrect ‘public keys’ giving the sender the chance to reverse the transaction – something that cannot be done without the ‘Retrievable Transfer’ feature. You can read more about this in our Never Lose Your Crypto Transaction Again! blog.
Always check fees attached before processing the transaction
Numerous stories are out there that cover either extortionate transaction fees in which people have lost thousands because they did not heck the fees. Do not fall victim to these simple scams or what are sometimes mistakes. Always check every detail within the transaction to make sure any added costs to the transaction are fair.
Continuously keep track of all crypto transactions
With most fiat currency banking transactions, you will receive an SMS and/or email when money leaves and enters your account. Your crypto wallets should have the same feature. This is a surefire way to spot fraudulent transactions as and when they happen.
A very popular tool used by most crypto wallet holders these days is the ‘Distill Web Monitor’. It can be added as an extension on Chrome and Firefox and only requires you to enter your ‘public key’.
Check to see if there are any special terms and conditions for transactions
Some wallets have been known to suspend accounts and hold crypto for a lengthy period if they suspect that funds were transferred to an online casino. Now the crypto wallet’s operating company will not have any right to confiscate your fund permanently, but you may find yourself without them for a long time.
Cyber-crime, Cryptocurrency, and Safe Crypto Practices
Just to be clear, cybercrime is not unique to crypto. Internet banking, your eComm accounts as well as eWallets with your credit/debit card details stored, websites you own, and any other online accounts you have could be targeted by cyber attackers. Albeit, there also cyber-attackers that specifically target those that hold crypto and that is how this guide came to see the light of day.
Giving you 5 tips for keeping your crypto safe is just the tip of the iceberg. There are tons more additional and much more complex strategies you can use compared those outlined here. However, what this guide does do is give you an excellent starting point by making your aware of the key online security tactics you can use to prevent losing crypto and keeping it safe.
It may look as though keeping your crypto safe may seem a little tricky with plenty of points to cover in this guide. Yet, most of the methods used here to keep your crypto safe are easy to implement such as installing anti-virus and setting up 2FA. While some more complex suggestions such as turning off remote access will require to elaborate with further research.
Moreover, many of the tips we cover in this guide are not solely crypto-related. They are best practices for ‘all online security’ that you should be using for your everyday banking. You can take each one of these tips by tackling them one at a time. As an avid crypto user, once you begin to make these tasks habitual, they will soon become second nature.
Once you are familiar with all the points made here, you will reduce the risk of being hacked, deter the efforts of cyber attackers who prefer to pick on easier prey and prevent the loss of crypto by using best practices.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Below we have created an FAQ that gives you some additional information about using cryptocurrencies and what to do in certain circumstances.
What should I do if my crypto wallet is hacked?
If your wallet does get hacked, then follow our guide on What To Do If Your BTC Wallet Has Been Hacked?
What is the difference between ‘private key’ and ‘public key’?
Your private key gives you access to your wallets and so only you should have this. Your public key allows you to give people an address to pay you. The public key cannot be used to withdraw from your crypto wallet so you can freely share it.
Are VPNs a safe way to connect to my crypto wallet when using public Wi-Fi?
We cannot 100% vouch for the safety of VPNs. On the one hand, they do offer high-end encryption and will encrypt your connection so data passes through a VPN tunnel meaning any hacker on the Wi-Fi router will not be able to intercept data packets. In the other hand, who knows if the VPN server you are connecting to is safe.
You can only take the word of the VPN software provider which will own servers in countries where IT security laws are weak.
Does my casino balance double up as a crypto wallet/exchange?
The definitive answer is no. Your casino account is not meant to be used to store crypto. You can leave a balance in your account for long periods, but any funds left in your casino account should be earmarked for betting on casino games.
Should I switch to Linux for crypto wallet access?
Linux is a very secure operating with very few vulnerabilities because of its secure design. Viruses and Malware are practically unheard of on this operating system, so it is certainly a good choice if you were going for a crypto-only device set up. The issue is that the Linux OS is complex so you will need to be confident as a techy to run this system. The good news is that it is free to install.