Bitcoin and crypto security – 4 simple ways to protect your digital currencies & keep your crypto safe.

Bitcoin and crypto security – 4 simple ways to protect your digital currencies & keep your crypto safe.

Digital Asset News

Digital Asset News

December 19, 2019 by Jake Josephs

December 19, 2019 by Jake Josephs

Why expose your computer and crypto to hackers?

Why expose your computer and crypto to hackers?

If you have done any research on cryptos at all, you have come to realize that one of the great security benefits is the blockchain technology they employ.  A true crypto will use this decentralized technology.  By storing the computer code that represents a blockchain transaction across its network, the blockchain eliminates many of the security risks that come with storing data in a central location.

 

Additionally, most crypto owners also understand that whenever possible, you should never keep access to coins on an exchange.  You should use a cold wallet.  (Click here to see our article on the Trezor T cold wallet.)

 

This article is devoted to the often-forgotten and basic computer security measures that you should adopt if you haven’t done so already.  It’s important not to blow these off as minor or insignificant.  They are very important, and at a minimum, I employ each of the following 4 measures myself.

If you have done any research on cryptos at all, you have come to realize that one of the great security benefits is the blockchain technology they employ.  A true crypto will use this decentralized technology.  By storing the computer code that represents a blockchain transaction across its network, the blockchain eliminates many of the security risks that come with storing data in a central location.

 

Additionally, most crypto owners also understand that whenever possible, you should never keep access to coins on an exchange.  You should use a cold wallet.  (Click here to see our article on the Trezor T cold wallet.)

 

This article is devoted to the often-forgotten and basic computer security measures that you should adopt if you haven’t done so already.  It’s important not to blow these off as minor or insignificant.  They are very important, and at a minimum, I employ each of the following 4 measures myself.

LastPass password generator for greater crypto and bitcoin security.

LastPass password generator for greater crypto and bitcoin security.

Since hackers are global in scope, it’s important not to miss the most basic of steps to make sure they don’t gain access to your crypto.  Enter LastPass.  With all of the demand for login credentials at work and home, a strong password generator is a must.  When’s the last time you lost your keys, or forgot where you parked your car in a parking lot?

 

I checked out a number of password generators but decided on LastPass for a number of reasons.  It's only $4 per month for a family of 6 users and comes with a ton of great features the free plan does not have.  I use LastPass primarily for the password generator.  It’s easy to create a super secure password that saves to all my devices.  The LastPass mobile app makes it easy to access my data on the run.  As you build your crypto portfolio, it’s very easy to be using 10 or more different exchanges, all which require a unique and secure password.  Having one password to access all my exchange passwords eliminates a ton of stress.  

Since hackers are global in scope, it’s important not to miss the most basic of steps to make sure they don’t gain access to your crypto.  Enter LastPass.  With all of the demand for login credentials at work and home, a strong password generator is a must.  When’s the last time you lost your keys, or forgot where you parked your car in a parking lot?

 

I checked out a number of password generators but decided on LastPass for a number of reasons.  It's only $4 per month for a family of 6 users and comes with a ton of great features the free plan does not have.  I use LastPass primarily for the password generator.  It’s easy to create a super secure password that saves to all my devices.  The LastPass mobile app makes it easy to access my data on the run.  As you build your crypto portfolio, it’s very easy to be using 10 or more different exchanges, all which require a unique and secure password.  Having one password to access all my exchange passwords eliminates a ton of stress.  

Hideme VPN for crypto and bitcoin security - Virtual Private Network.

Hideme VPN for crypto and bitcoin security - Virtual Private Network.

A VPN is a group of computers networked together over the internet.  It creates a secure tunnel between you and another computer.  It encrypts all your internet traffic and not even your internet service provider can see what you do online.  That said, I want to make it clear, I’m not advocating any illegal activities, but I am saying that protecting yourself from identity theft and wi-fi hackers in today’s day and age is a must.

 

After researching a number of VPN’s, I decided on Hideme.  I was a bit skeptical because of previous products I was familiar with, but I found the speed of their product to be excellent.  I noticed no reduction in page load speed when my Hideme VPN is turned on.  They keep me secure with software update prompts, and their support has always been solid.  

 

What I really like is that they keep no logs of my online activity.  I even have it set up on my mobile phone, which is an added benefit.  

 

The following features are included with all plans:

  • 1400 available servers throughout Asia, Europe, and The Americas.
  • Hideme employs the highest possible speeds.
  • There's an automatic kill switch.
  • The privacy protection is awesome.
  • Hideme has apps for all devices.
  • They have unlimited server switching.
  • Hideme employs secure VPN protocols.
  • They offer split tunneling.
  • Hideme uses very strong AES-256 encryption.
  • It has great IP leak protection.
  • They stand behind their product with 24/7 customer support.

 

Based on the reviews and what the experts say, Hideme VPN is worth trying.

A VPN is a group of computers networked together over the internet.  It creates a secure tunnel between you and another computer.  It encrypts all your internet traffic and not even your internet service provider can see what you do online.  That said, I want to make it clear, I’m not advocating any illegal activities, but I am saying that protecting yourself from identity theft and wi-fi hackers in today’s day and age is a must.

 

After researching a number of VPN’s, I decided on Hideme.  I was a bit skeptical because of previous products I was familiar with, but I found the speed of their product to be excellent.  I noticed no reduction in page load speed when my Hideme VPN is turned on.  They keep me secure with software update prompts, and their support has always been solid.  

 

What I really like is that they keep no logs of my online activity.  I even have it set up on my mobile phone, which is an added benefit.  

 

The following features are included with all plans:

  • 1400 available servers throughout Asia, Europe, and The Americas.
  • Hideme employs the highest possible speeds.
  • There's an automatic kill switch.
  • The privacy protection is awesome.
  • Hideme has apps for all devices.
  • They have unlimited server switching.
  • Hideme employs secure VPN protocols.
  • They offer split tunneling.
  • Hideme uses very strong AES-256 encryption.
  • It has great IP leak protection.
  • They stand behind their product with 24/7 customer support.

 

Based on the reviews and what the experts say, Hideme VPN is worth trying.

SECURITY MEASURE #2

SECURITY MEASURE #2

SECURITY MEASURE #1

SECURITY MEASURE #1

Cryptosteel Capsule for crypto and bitcoin security - stores passwords and recovery seeds.

Cryptosteel Capsule for crypto and bitcoin security - stores passwords and recovery seeds.

No matter what type of crypto wallet you use, keeping your recovery seed secure is super important.  Without it, you will lose all your crypto if you ever need to restore your wallet.  In addition to keeping hard copies in multiple locations, I also use a solution called Cryptosteel.  

 

The Cryptosteel Capsule:

  • Is simple to use.  You just select the letters and characters that make up your recovery seed and stack them together.
  • Is made of 100% top-grade German stainless steel.
  • Cryptosteel supports all printable ASCII characters.
  • Passwords are not visible at first glance.
  • The Cryptosteel Capsule is small and easy to hide and protect.
  • It has adjustable separators and keeps your mnemonic seed in full in 123 characters.
  • Cryptosteel is fireproof up to 1400C - 2500F.
  • It's shockproof and waterproof.

Cryprosteel has been hailed by the press, and based on the many positive reviews, it's a tool every serious crypto investor should consider using.  It was the next purchase I made after getting my Trezor T cold wallet.  In the words of the CEO at SatoshiLabs and Trezor Architect, “Finally @cryptosteel in my hands!  Indestructible seed backups of @BitcoinTrezor are here!”

 

When you order direct from Cryptosteel you get the latest version of their product and no risk of getting a "knockoff".  Please note that they ship to the US all the time.  Their prices are in Euros, but if you use a credit card or PayPal, the amounts will be converted to dollars on your credit card statement.  You can do a Google search for current Euros to US dollars conversion rates to figure out the amount you will be paying in US dollars.  

No matter what type of crypto wallet you use, keeping your recovery seed secure is super important.  Without it, you will lose all your crypto if you ever need to restore your wallet.  In addition to keeping hard copies in multiple locations, I also use a solution called Cryptosteel.  

 

The Cryptosteel Capsule:

  • Is simple to use.  You just select the letters and characters that make up your recovery seed and stack them together.
  • Is made of 100% top-grade German stainless steel.
  • Cryptosteel supports all printable ASCII characters.
  • Passwords are not visible at first glance.
  • The Cryptosteel Capsule is small and easy to hide and protect.
  • It has adjustable separators and keeps your mnemonic seed in full in 123 characters.
  • Cryptosteel is fireproof up to 1400C - 2500F.
  • It's shockproof and waterproof.

Cryprosteel has been hailed by the press, and based on the many positive reviews, it's a tool every serious crypto investor should consider using.  It was the next purchase I made after getting my Trezor T cold wallet.  In the words of the CEO at SatoshiLabs and Trezor Architect, “Finally @cryptosteel in my hands!  Indestructible seed backups of @BitcoinTrezor are here!”

 

When you order direct from Cryptosteel you get the latest version of their product and no risk of getting a "knockoff".  Please note that they ship to the US all the time.  Their prices are in Euros, but if you use a credit card or PayPal, the amounts will be converted to dollars on your credit card statement.  You can do a Google search for current Euros to US dollars conversion rates to figure out the amount you will be paying in US dollars.  

SECURITY MEASURE #3

SECURITY MEASURE #3

Avira antivirus program protects your computer, bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies. 

Avira antivirus program protects your computer, bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies. 

I have used a Mac computer since the mid-90’s and was never concerned about viruses or malware.  Even though I never had an issue, with the advent of more cyber-crime, I decided to take a look at some of the antivirus products out there.  I decided on Avira because it is user friendly and offers a number of great features.  It works on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.

 

Avira antivirus protects your personal privacy, personal data, your searches, your software, and your shopping and banking.  It even safeguards your home network.  The program is very light, so it won’t slow you down.  Also, it scored at the top of the charts for protection, performance, and usability.

 

They have a free program for your computer and mobile device, however, I opted for Avira Antivirus Pro.  It’s about $3.75 per month and offers additional protection and features that are well worth the money.  

Here are a few of the extra benefits with the Pro package:

  • It's anti-ransomware feature stops unknown mutations before they attack.
  • It automatically fixes any software flaws it finds.
  • It automatically updates programs and drivers, which safes me time.
  • The Pro version also has upgraded unlimited support that includes a toll-free phone number.

 

Avira is super easy to use.  I can select either a quick scan, a computer scan, or I can do a custom scan.  I do a complete computer scan once a week and quick scans throughout the week.  For additional security, after I do the computer scan, I do an encrypted Time Machine backup on 2 separate external drives. 

 

Based on the reviews, Avira is a great way to go if you want maximum computer and additional crypto security and peace of mind.

I have used a Mac computer since the mid-90’s and was never concerned about viruses or malware.  Even though I never had an issue, with the advent of more cyber-crime, I decided to take a look at some of the antivirus products out there.  I decided on Avira because it is user friendly and offers a number of great features.  It works on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.

 

Avira antivirus protects your personal privacy, personal data, your searches, your software, and your shopping and banking.  It even safeguards your home network.  The program is very light, so it won’t slow you down.  Also, it scored at the top of the charts for protection, performance, and usability.

 

They have a free program for your computer and mobile device, however, I opted for Avira Antivirus Pro.  It’s about $3.75 per month and offers additional protection and features that are well worth the money.  

Here are a few of the extra benefits with the Pro package:

  • It's anti-ransomware feature stops unknown mutations before they attack.
  • It automatically fixes any software flaws it finds.
  • It automatically updates programs and drivers, which safes me time.
  • The Pro version also has upgraded unlimited support that includes a toll-free phone number.

 

Avira is super easy to use.  I can select either a quick scan, a computer scan, or I can do a custom scan.  I do a complete computer scan once a week and quick scans throughout the week.  For additional security, after I do the computer scan, I do an encrypted Time Machine backup on 2 separate external drives. 

 

Based on the reviews, Avira is a great way to go if you want maximum computer and additional crypto security and peace of mind.

SECURITY MEASURE #4

SECURITY MEASURE #4

Copyright © 2019. Digital Solutions Advisor

Copyright © 2019. Digital Solutions Advisor

Other security measures you can take to protect your crypto and computer.

Other security measures you can take to protect your crypto and computer.

  • Enable your computer's firewall.
  • Use 2-factor authentication.
  • Consider using a pre-paid mobile phone for your 2-factor authentication codes.
  • Keep back-ups of your passwords and recovery seeds offline.
  • Use a PIN code for your mobile device, or a PIN protected folder for your crypto apps.
  • Keep your computers software up to date.
  • Enable your computer's firewall.
  • Use 2-factor authentication.
  • Consider using a pre-paid mobile phone for your 2-factor authentication codes.
  • Keep back-ups of your passwords and recovery seeds offline.
  • Use a PIN code for your mobile device, or a PIN protected folder for your crypto apps.
  • Keep your computers software up to date.

LastPass AES-256 bit encryption for your crypto exchange passwords.

LastPass AES-256 bit encryption for your crypto exchange passwords.

Since 81% of breaches are caused by weak or reused passwords, it’s essential that each exchange account you use has a unique and very strong password.  

LastPass is SOC 2 Type II compliant, and uses AES-256 bit encryption with PBKDF2 SHA-256 and salted hashes to ensure complete security.  Once you create a password manager account and a strong master password, LastPass produces a locally-generated encryption key that is unique.  

Your data is encrypted and decrypted at the device level.  Data stored in your vault is kept secret, even from LastPass. Your master password, and the keys used to encrypt and decrypt data, are never sent to LastPass’ servers, and are never accessible by LastPass.

Multi-factor authentication adds extra security to your LastPass account by requiring a second login step before authorizing access to your vault.

LastPass does the work of creating, remembering and filling in passwords for all your crypto exchanges.  Simply log into your online exchange account for the first time and LastPass will store your username and password so every time you go back your credentials will be filled in automatically.  You can easily change existing passwords by generating a secure LastPass password.  

I also like that I can create folders and labels in the LastPass dashboard so I can easily locate my crypto exchange logins.  You can create additional folders for things like shopping, social media, newsletters, or whatever categories you come up with.

For additional security, I change my LastPass password every 90 days.  They have some other great features like a digital record storage wallet, online shopping payment auto fill feature, secure auto share, username generator, and LastPass authenticator.  However, I still keep all my crypto recovery seeds offline on paper.  I have multiple copies of those seeds in secure locations.

 

Based on the reviews and third party endorsements, they are worth a serious look.

Since 81% of breaches are caused by weak or reused passwords, it’s essential that each exchange account you use has a unique and very strong password.  

LastPass is SOC 2 Type II compliant, and uses AES-256 bit encryption with PBKDF2 SHA-256 and salted hashes to ensure complete security.  Once you create a password manager account and a strong master password, LastPass produces a locally-generated encryption key that is unique.  

Your data is encrypted and decrypted at the device level.  Data stored in your vault is kept secret, even from LastPass. Your master password, and the keys used to encrypt and decrypt data, are never sent to LastPass’ servers, and are never accessible by LastPass.

Multi-factor authentication adds extra security to your LastPass account by requiring a second login step before authorizing access to your vault.

LastPass does the work of creating, remembering and filling in passwords for all your crypto exchanges.  Simply log into your online exchange account for the first time and LastPass will store your username and password so every time you go back your credentials will be filled in automatically.  You can easily change existing passwords by generating a secure LastPass password.  

I also like that I can create folders and labels in the LastPass dashboard so I can easily locate my crypto exchange logins.  You can create additional folders for things like shopping, social media, newsletters, or whatever categories you come up with.

For additional security, I change my LastPass password every 90 days.  They have some other great features like a digital record storage wallet, online shopping payment auto fill feature, secure auto share, username generator, and LastPass authenticator.  However, I still keep all my crypto recovery seeds offline on paper.  I have multiple copies of those seeds in secure locations.

 

Based on the reviews and third party endorsements, they are worth a serious look.

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