bitcoin protection cryptocurrency

8 Ways to Stay Protected When Using Bitcoin

The future and viability of cryptocurrency may still be a topic for debate, but the impact that Bitcoin (the most popular cryptocurrency) has brought to the marketplace is not debatable. The end of 2017 saw its valuation peaking at almost $20,000. In fact, when it comes to blockchain (the technology that underpins Bitcoin), it is predicted that by 2024, the valuation will peak at $60.7 billion. It is very much clear that a healthy dose of interest still exists in the transparent ledger system.

As we witness the birth of new forms of cryptocurrencies, it does not come as a surprise that hackers have arrived on the scene, with the plans to make money off unsuspecting users of the digital cash. Cryptojacking which means Cryptocurrency mining is the most recent trend in hacking. It becomes more effective on users who have their codes on the websites where your central processing unit can be easily hijacked.

These threats to digital currency wallet are not just theoretical, they are very real indeed. New scams are cropping up regularly while the old ones keep resurging instead of going away. Hacking appears in many forms such as phishing, attempts to steal private cryptographic keys, fake wallet set up to trick users and even fraudulent cryptocurrency schemes. Users have to be very careful and watch out for such situations at every turn. Below are 8 ways to stay protected when using Bitcoin.

1. Keep a low profile

People who already hold Bitcoin wallets should treat it as ‘private and confidential’. Absolutely no one should be privy of the fact that you are a Bitcoin holder, you should exercise caution with brandishing flashy Bitcoin merchandise like wearing their T-shirts or caps. The lesser the number of people who are aware of your transactions, the lower the risk.

Always keep your Bitcoin wallet protected with a lock and key protection or better still encrypt it. In case you ever find yourself a situation where you are encouraged to reveal your private key, you have to cast a serious doubt on the enquirer. The best option here is to keep as low a profile as possible with your investments because temptation lurks at every corner.

2. Secure your device

Even before the advent of Bitcoin, the online world has never been safe. If you are the type who constantly searches the internet for information about Bitcoin, the chances are that you will be exposed to different types of keylogger software and malware which are very difficult to detect. The work of such software programs is to send out important information on your Bitcoins and credit card details to hackers who are ready to pounce on your online account. It is of utmost importance for Bitcoin holders to realise that hacking is a reality, and anybody can become a victim. Secure your device 24/7 with a credible and robust computer/mobile security software provider. Ensure that your operating system is clean.

3. Protect your coins

It has been proven that having the ‘Cryptomining’ protection installed on your device is the best way to ward of hackers. It is a solution that works by keeping 24-hour surveillance on all outbound connections in real time, and it is very effective in blocking the transfer of data to crypto mining sites. When you operate at the network layer, it is guaranteed that any connections from other infected applications on your device are effectively blocked.

4. Have a 2FA (Two Factor Authentication)

2FA is known as Two Factor Authentication, and it means that whenever you need to have access to your Bitcoin, you will receive a message with a one-time password on your mobile phone. You will only gain access when you have accurately entered the password.

5. Be prudent

Users should try and be practical with Bitcoin transactions. The approval of transactions can be quite cumbersome with a hardware wallet. According to expert reports, the best way to have seamless access to your coins is to stash only a little amount in your wallet app to facilitate low–value transactions. The idea behind this is to carry only the amount you would be willing to lose. If you have the least amount in your wallet, the damage can only be minimal when theft occurs.

6. Secure your private keys

Private keys are the only gateway to have access to funds connected with the public keys in a Bitcoin wallet. Every private key is linked to a public key and having complete control of your private keys means that you are in absolute control of the funds. Your number one priority should be making sure that your private keys are safe and can only be accessed by you. Always be sure to back them up in a location that is secure. You have better chances of never losing control of your private keys if you have more secure backups in different protected locations. In the event that a person gains access to your private keys, they will be able to transfer your funds and there won’t be any chance of recovery.

7. Always have a correct wallet address

A wallet address can stand as a substitute for a public key. It is the address through which funds are deposited into your wallet. It is also what you send to someone you want to receive funds from. Although a wallet address cannot give anybody access to your funds, you can lose funds if you give out a wrong wallet address to a sender. You need to be very careful while copying it out because they are case sensitive and any tiny mistake will mean that the funds will go to another address, and when this happens, the funds are lost forever. To mitigate against this, try to double check before making use of a wallet address.

It is possible to generate several wallet addresses with each of them linked with a private and public key in your wallet. Your Bitcoin wallet is equipped to hold as many private and public key sets as possible.

8. Help newcomers

Once your Bitcoin investment is adequately secured, you need to lend a helping hand to that friend who is a newcomer in matters of digital currency. It is believed that if the entire ecosystem is wholly secured, hackers and hijackers would probably find it less attractive. Help any newcomer around you to adopt the same mindset and secure their Bitcoin investments.