Securing your crypto wallets
Cryptocurrency allows you to take ownership of your assets in your own hands, and this comes with responsibility. Learn about keeping your digital assets safe.
Topics to read before diving into this course:
At the end of the lesson, you will be able to answer the following questions:
How do I secure my seed phrase?
How do I secure my device?
How do I use a secure internet connection?
How do I avoid phishing scams?
What is Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)?
The growth of the web3 industry comes with a big increase in the amount of money circulating in the space. However, not everyone who joins is purely interested in investing. The digital nature of cryptocurrency and its increasing popularity makes it an attractive playground for thieves, frauds, and scammers, or what we call “bad actors”.
These bad actors lurk around, patiently waiting to steal assets from unsuspecting and unaware investors. Thus, it is important for everyone who will dive into crypto and Web3 to be educated on keeping their assets safe. Here are some ways to help you secure your crypto wallet:
Secure your seed phrase
Secure your device
Use a secure internet connection
Avoid phishing scams
Use two-factor authentication
Carefully go through each one of these before continuing.
Secure your seed phrase#Copy URL to this article section
Your “seed phrase” or “secret recovery phrase” is the master key to your assets. As long as you have your seed phrase, you can recover your tokens even if you delete or lose your wallet. However, this also means that if strangers get a hold of it, you are likely to lose your assets.
Because of this, it should NEVER be stored online as a screenshot, picture, email, or message. A safe way to keep a copy of your seed phrase is writing it on a notebook or a piece of paper and keeping it in a secure location. You should NOT store it digitally in any device that has access to the internet.
MetaMask providing a unique Secret Recovery Phrase when an account is created.
Secure your device#Copy URL to this article section
Securing your digital assets should start with ensuring that the devices you use have layers of security, too. This does not only protect your crypto wallets but also every data stored in your device. Think of it as building a sturdy gate to stop intruders from even coming near your doorstep.
You can do this by installing antivirus applications and/or software and making sure they are active and updated all the time. These apps can help keep your device safe by scanning existing and incoming files and blocking malwares. Applications that block pop-ups and ads can help with this, too.
Some software and apps like Avast and AdBlock Plus offer this protection for free, but we also encourage you to invest in tighter security measures they may propose.
Use a secure internet connection#Copy URL to this article section
Whenever you trade your tokens or log into your wallets, make sure that you are connected to secure internet connections. Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks on devices that you use to transact in the crypto world. Connecting to these public networks can easily expose your personal information like login credentials, financial information, and personal data.
Another threat of using public Wi-Fi is the implementation of malware on your devices like viruses and worms. These can get into your devices and compromise your wallets and accounts.
Avoid phishing scams#Copy URL to this article section
Phishing scams happen when an account pretends to be legitimate institutions, websites, or project managers to bait you with a link through your email or private messages. These links will either automatically download malware into your device or ask for your account credentials. Some scammers change the characters of the fake links (e.g. “A” becomes “4”, “.” becomes “_”) to make them look like the legitimate ones. Either way, they can easily gain access into your wallets and steal your assets when you click these links.
You may avoid this by bookmarking websites you frequently visit. Also, always check the official Discord server or social media accounts of the projects. Otherwise, you should contact a moderator to verify if the link is safe or not. Do NOT click on links sent by suspicious accounts immediately. You can change the messaging settings on Discord/Telegram to “friends only” so only people you know can send you a message.
Always remember that if the offer is too good to be true, it is probably a scam.
Scammers pretending to be Merit Circle and sending people messages that includes a suspicious link.
Use Two-Factor Authentication#Copy URL to this article section
When you create an account for a cryptocurrency exchange, you will be asked to enter your username and password to access their platform. Two-Factor Authentication or 2FA is another layer of security that you can add aside from your password.
When 2FA is enabled, instead of immediately gaining access, you will be required to provide a code sent either to your SMS or to your authentication application like Google Authenticator.
Custodial wallets or exchanges like Binance usually support 2FA. However, non-custodial software wallets like MetaMask do not.