Once bitcoin started gaining a lot in value, it attracted all sorts of scammers. Getting their hands on Bitcoin would be even better than robbing a bank or stealing data so it became quite a target.
Everybody knows how safe and secure the blockchain is compared to the cloud, but the problem is that there are still a number of ways for a hacker to access somebody’s bitcoin.
It’s up to you to make sure that you are able to keep your bitcoin safe. In this article, I will go over several ways that you can keep your bitcoin safe and secure.
Use a cold wallet
There are two types of bitcoin wallets to store your cryptocurrency. The most commonly used is a hot Bitcoin wallet which is basically always online. These are popular because when you want to make a trade or buy bitcoin quickly, you are essentially always ready.
You have to be careful with which hot wallet you use as not all of them are as encrypted as they should be. Those with less rigorous encryption methods may be an easy target for a hacker.
A better solution is to use a cold wallet or one that is not always online. This is essentially an encrypted USB drive that can be detached from your computer and stored away safely. Try to keep only enough bitcoin that you need to make trades or purchases in your hot wallet and the rest in your cold one.
The wallet contains the address of where your bitcoin is stored on the blockchain so it is important to never lose this wallet. If you lose your secret keys then you may lose your cryptocurrency forever.
Whether or not you use a cold or hot wallet, you should be backing up the contents of the wallet regularly for added security.
Don’t fall for phishing scams
One of the easiest ways for scammers to get your bitcoin is to simply ask for it. Phishing scams are nothing new, but they are still an effective way for scammers to work.
This scam is usually in the form of an email in which somebody pretending to be from the exchange from which you bought your cryptocurrency asking for access to your secret keys. Usually, they will say something to the effect that the keys need to be verified.
Nobody needs your secret keys at any point so never give them to anybody no matter how insistent they are. In fact, if you ever get an SMS or email from somebody asking for your secret keys you should forward that on to your local law enforcement to stop them from scamming others.
Be aware of where you access your wallet
Many people use their mobile phones where there is free wifi such as in a coffee shop. However, these networks are easy to infiltrate so avoid accessing your wallet while on a public network.
If a hacker gets access to a network then they can intercept certain transactions and yours could be one of them. Once they take your bitcoin there is no way to get them back.
*This article has been contributed on behalf of Paxful. However, the information provided herein is not and is not intended to be, investment, financial, or other advice.