Every so often you will hear about a large Bitcoin hack and may be wondering how to minimize your risk, these bitcoin safety tips are a good starting point. This is certainly not a comprehensive or detailed guide but it is better than not having a clue at all.
First of all you need to apply some common sense to the situation and understand that the very nature and appeal of Bitcoin is what creates the risk. It is difficult to trace and unregulated which makes it a great target for criminals and the lack of regulation means that any company or person can become a “bitcoin exchange” or similar. These means that the people running a bitcoin exchange or fintech startup may not have a clue about security or anything else for that matter. That is not to say that there are not good solutions out there and you there is no need for panic. It simply means that you may need to take a little responsibility for your risk and exposure.
Basic Bitcoin Security Tips
- Only use reputable online services for trading or storage
- Do not store all your Bitcoins online or in a web wallet
- Use 2-factor authentication for online services
- Learn about cold storage and keep the majority of your coins cold when not in use
- Make sure your computer is up to date and virus free
- Don’t leave your bitcoin wallet account logged in on public computers
- Consider a hardware wallet
- Never share your passwords
- Don’t use the same passwords in multiple places
Remember that things can go wrong and even if you are in the habit of making smarter choices you are not immune to problems. Exchanges get hacked, wallets get stolen and like most things in life you have to pay attention to reduce your risk. Don’t leave all your eggs in one basket and keep up to date with emerging security risks related to Bitcoin. Unfortunately there is no perfect solution but taking some basic steps can significantly reduce your risk.