When it comes to our online security, there’s a variety of things we need to take into consideration. For example, online banking can require two separate passwords, as well as some other personal details to allow you entry into your account. Similarly, if you’re looking to access your email from another location, you may receive a notification stating the fact.
Remembering a password can be a hassle in some situations, but for the most part, they’re something we couldn’t do without. It’s what keeps our financial affairs and personal details safe.
We’ve been able to adapt to how the Internet works as the changes have been instilled in a subtle manner, allowing us to learn the ropes and become accustomed to new features. However, if we’re looking to spread our wings in the online domain, there will come a time where we must learn some new strategies to ensure that our information, and more importantly, our money is kept safe.
What Makes Bitcoin Different
There’s been a lot of press in relation to how information is stored by certain institutions and banks, and there have even been incidents where private information has been leaked for all to see. While the Internet is safe for the most part, such stories can cause some to look elsewhere when it comes to ensuring their money is kept safe.
Much of the appeal of Bitcoin is that information is kept private. And while purchase information can be viewed, there’s no way of telling who made the purchase.
In most instance, those purchasing Bitcoin will do so via an exchange, and access to this currency requires the use of a private and public key. These two keys are then combined to create a mathematical equation to show that any funds sent were sent by you.
Ensuring our Bitcoin remains safe is a relatively straightforward process, but we still need to ensure that we’re following the correct procedures, or we could be putting our cryptocurrency at risk.
Fortunately, there are several ways to ensure that we remain safe when purchasing Bitcoin, and none of them are too complex. We would also suggest that you research where to buy Bitcoin before you make any initial investments.
Keep Your Bitcoins in a Wallet
Depending on the method you use to purchase Bitcoin, there will be some instances where they are sitting in your exchange account. While many exchanges are here for the long-term, there’s no reason not to ensure we’re cautious with our money. As such, you should look to ensure that as soon as you purchase your Bitcoin, the funds are transferred to your online wallet immediately.
Never Share Your Private Key
Your online wallet will consist of the two keys you need to send and receive Bitcoin. The public key, as the name suggests, is the information that is publicised. However, your private key is unique to your, and shouldn’t be shared with anyone.
While you may feel you can trust certain people, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Store Any Copies in a Safe Place
There will be instances when you may want to print out your wallet, and this is completely understandable. However, we must ensure that we’re cautious when it comes to storing the information. While it may be tempting to store your wallet in a desk drawer or cupboard. You have to remember that if anyone has access to this information, they have access to your Bitcoin. You should choose storage that only you have access to, such as a safe,
Avoid Using Public Computers
While public computers are fine for everyday browsing, they shouldn’t be used for you Bitcoin activity. As well as there being others that use the computer, you also run the risk of keeping yourself logged in an exchange. While your private key would be needed to access your wallet, there’s still no reason to run the risk if it can be avoided.
Consider a Hardware Wallet
If you feel that storing your currency virtually is going to be problematic, then you may want to safeguard your Bitcoin on a physical device. There are many hardware wallets available such as the Ledger Nano S, that act in a similar way to a USB device, but they have been designed to deal exclusively with Bitcoin.
Of course, holding your Bitcoin on a physical device comes with its own set of worries, so you need to ensure that you have a safe storage place. While there are security features in place, we still need to be proactive in safeguarding our currency.
Backup Your Wallet
While there are many steps you can take to ensure that your information is kept safe, we should look to back up our wallet whenever possible. If something was to go wrong on the computer you’re using, it could mean you lose access to everything. A more worrying scenario would be if your device was stolen. Having a backup means that we can at least access our coins, on the assumption that the wallet on the device is encrypted.
Use a Strong Password for Your Wallet
This may seem obvious, but using a strong password is something that needs to be used in any kind of scenario where out information is involved. While it may be tempting to use a password that’s easy to remember, this often means that others are able to work out what your password is.
There are even programs online that can create auto-generated passwords to ensure that guessing your password is impossible.
For the most part, the Bitcoin community is a safe one, but we still need to ensure we’re taking precautions are reducing risk where possible.