Before you start investing in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies make sure you know how to secure them, we will be taking you through some different need to know and nice to know about securing your funds. And while you are here remember to push the red bell button in the bottom left corner and allow us to send you notifications when new articles come online.
Public address and private key
We will start with the basics of cryptocurrency security by looking at what to give out and what not to give out so let’s begin by dissecting what a wallet is build up of.
The public address is the one you want to give out and in many wallets, it is clear which one it is but if you take something like a paper wallet make sure you read which one it is. For example one of my public address is 1B8HnfBynMU1MHWFWwJ5AVgbAdYdmB4Dy2, and you can check the balance right here. There is no danger in you know that on the contrary, you will now be able to send me funds.
The private key is never to be given out or take pictures of this is because with this combined with the public address anyone can transfer out your funds. So that is needed to be kept safe.
The seed words are what you get when you set up most wallets this is just as important to keep safe as the private key. I usually write them down in hand never on a pc then laminate it, and I will hide it in a safe place where I know how to find it if I need to restore my wallet.
Before you start dealing in bitcoin, you should make sure your computer is secure. to a start, if you are using windows 10 then you have a built-in anti-virus software it is an okay software for ordinary use and you should always make sure i is active so to secure it is active navigate
start > settings > Update & Security > Windows defender > open windows defender security systems
Here you can see if all part of the software is active. But I want a higher level of security because windows defender defends my computer against most threats. What is still vulnerable is my identity, my home network (YES I know in windows defender that stands network security bu my software has found risks here), advanced trojan and from hackers. For that, I have invested in Bullguard which offer protection against all that, and I have secured a 65% discount on initial purchases which you can get right here. The reason I find Bullguard useful is that it scans my home network for threats coming in via my smart devices such as smart tv mobile phone and so on. And it secures my phone as well. The other significant benefit is that it scenes the internet including the “deep web” for my personal pieces of information so I can get a notification if my data is available for others to find/buy. so remember to get your 65% discount right here
Here I will go into some good advice on using a hot wallet, and I will not go into different wallets for that you can use our wallet guide right here. But first, we need to establish what a hot wallet is.
A hot wallet is a wallet that is connected directly to the internet such as desktop wallets, phone wallet and online wallets
First of all, let talk vulnerability because a skilled hacker can access your private key on almost all hot wallets but it has to be worth their time. So if you think of your hot wallets as your regular wallet or payment card, then you don’t have your life savings there and if you do you need to find another solution. In general, I say if you are not planning on using the coins don’t keep it in a hot wallet or an exchange.
A cold wallet is a wallet not connected to the internet. Unless you are an advanced user, I will recommend using a hardware wallet if you can not see yourself investing in such a wallet then there are the paper wallet alternative.
You should look at your cold wallet as your savings account, so here you can put a more substantial amount of currency. When you buy a hardware wallet make sure to buy it directly from the manufacturer and never from Amazon or eBay since many people have gotten scammed that way.
For recommendations of a hardware wallet, I can warmly recommend the Ledger Nano S it is what I use and find it easy to use. You notice right away that they care about the product because the experience of unpacking it feels so good. Once it is set up, you will find it just as easy to use as the jaxx.io wallet. You can get it directly from Ledger company right here.
You might ask what makes it secure because if a hacker can get in on your computer can they then get in on you ledger and steal your private key or transfer your funds out when it is plugged in? The answer is NO first of all the private key never leaves the Ledger all the calculation is done on the device, and when it is done in nanoseconds, you need to approve the transaction directly on the device before a transaction can take place this doubles up on security. So secure your purchase of a ledger today right here.
If you don’t feel like paying for a ledger, there is an alternative which is cheaper but requires you to have a higher focus on security, when making a paper wallet. We have made a step by step guide to help you make a safe and secure paper wallet. You can find the guide right here. Basic security when dealing with paper wallets is that they should be made offline more on that in the guide you will find right here. Another thing to be aware of is once you empty the wallet NEVER use it again.
Using your mobile phone
You might want to use your cryptocurrencies on the go and what better way than using your smartphone. Well, there are a couple of things to be aware of that’s why we have made an in-depth tutorial on android security which you can read right here.
But I have some essential advise I follow to the letter
- Have an antivirus such as Bullguard
- Shut down WI-FI and Bluetooth when you are not using it
- Uninstall apps you don’t use
- Encrypt your phone
If you want more in-depth security advise I recommend you read our article on Android security right here. Many of the advice can be used on iPhone and windows phone.
For phone wallet, you can use the jaxx.io wallet just as on PC, chrome extension and other platforms they make for. The benefit is that you can connect the same wallet over multiple platforms, so you have access to the funds where ever you are.