Crypto Hot & Cold Wallet Security Tips in 2021
Now that you’ve got some skin in the crypto space, the next step is to think about ways to keep it safe and out of reach from potential hackers, scammers, and other malicious parties from accessing your assets. Taking your crypto wallet security seriously early on in the game will save you a lot of headaches later on.
To help you with that, we’ll be discussing some important things to keep in mind with regards to keeping your crypto secure. We’ll be highlighting some of our curated tips and best practices to store your crypto safely in 2021. We’ll also be covering both hot and cold crypto wallets – to make sure we cover our grounds.
New here? Read our beginner’s guide on crypto wallets.
How to store your cryptocurrencies safely
When it comes to crypto storage, many people are happy leaving their crypto on an exchange. However, this is risky business and there are arguably better ways to improve your security than to leave it on an exchange.
While exchanges are inherently secure, they are still vulnerable to potential threats that could compromise your data and/ or access.
The last thing you want is to have your hard-earned crypto investments compromised – not to mention your personal information along with it.
Here at Easy Crypto, we have a philosophy where holding onto your private keys are the way to go.
“Not your keys, not your coins (#NYKNYC)!”
Best security practices to secure your crypto
Just like protecting your bank pin number is important, keeping custody of your keys means that you are the one in control of your crypto.
If you are trading or leaving some dry powder in exchange so you can make a quick purchase when your favourite altcoin goes on sale, leaving some crypto on an exchange is sometimes unavoidable, just be aware of the risk.
Our preferred options of how to store your cryptocurrencies safely are by using a hot wallet or cold wallet.
Not sure which wallet to choose?
Simple crypto security steps
Before we jump into the wallets there are a few simple steps that everyone should follow in order to stay as safe as possible.
- Never store your 12-24 word seed phrase or private key online or share with anyone.
- Treat anything that is connected to the internet with caution.
- Activate two-factor authentication (2FA) where ever it is available.
- Don’t tell others about your crypto holdings, where it is, or how much you have.
- Don’t keep all your crypto in one place.
If you spread your crypto over a couple of wallets then in the event that one is compromised, you will not be hurt as badly as you could be.
What are some good crypto wallets? Read our guide for our picks for crypto wallets.
Hot wallet security tips
Hot wallets, like Exodus or Coinomi, are usually connected to the internet in the form of an app on your phone or desktop. While this certainly has some advantages, such as accessibility and ease of use – there are some downsides as well.
Being connected to the internet means that it can potentially be targetted by hackers or fall prey to other malicious parties attempting to steal your assets or personal information.
While the majority of hot wallets today incorporate all sorts of security measures, it doesn’t mean you should rely solely on their promises. There are ways you can further improve the security and minimize the chances of your data or access from being compromised.
Below are some hot tips to improve your crypto hot wallet security:
- This may seem obvious, but make sure you download your hot wallets from the official website. There are seriously talented scammers out there copying apps and listing them in the play stores faster than a lightning transaction.
- Avoid transacting over a public Wi-Fi. If you must, consider installing a VPN on your device before proceeding.
- Password protect your device. Another obvious one, but you’d be surprised how many people still leave their devices with no password for easy access.
- Check your PC, Mac, and other devices up-to-date with the latest software. This includes antivirus programs, and OS updates, and any other apps that contribute to the accessibility of your hot wallet.
- Use a 2FA app like Authy or Google Authenticator, not text confirmation. This additional layer of protection will require a code for every login attempt, making it more difficult for any hacker to gain access.
- Backup your wallet – record your seed phrase in a safe place, preferably written down in an offline environment.
Cold wallet security tips
Cold wallets are the opposite of hot wallets, in that they are not connected to the internet. This creates an isolated environment in which to store your digital crypto assets, away from the likes of malicious hackers and scammers.
This also reduces the likelihood of them being compromised is much lower than that of hot wallets, but it is not completely risk-free.
There is nothing quite as heart-stoppingly painful as inputting your pin or password to a cold wallet and being told you only have 2 more attempts!
Below are some things that can help reduce the risk even more:
- Backup your wallet information and store in another location.
There are many ways to do this, from recording your seed phrase on different pieces of paper and leaving them in different places, to engraving it on a titanium plate or Trezor’s new Shamir Backup, which protects against theft and destruction.
- Beware of phishing scams – scammers will use text messages or email to trick personal information out of you. Often the emails come from companies you know, so never log into any account or site through a link in an email or text.
- Only buy a new device from an authorized retailer or directly from the manufacturer.
Looking to buy a cold wallet? Check out our products page to purchase one!
Due to the nature of crypto and the very personal nature of the industry, following these general crypto security steps will add another layer of protection to your crypto and internet activities.
Choosing the right option for where to store your crypto is a personal decision that involves some due diligence to make sure your assets are protected to the best of your ability.
Further reading: Read our guide on how to avoid cryptocurrency scams in 2021.
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