If you’re just getting into cryptocurrency trading, you’re probably as nervous as you are excited. While there’s a lot to be gained from crypto trading, there are also several dangers you have to protect yourself against. These include disreputable coins, dodgy crypto exchanges, and the wild price fluctuations that are common in the crypto market.
But the most important factor to consider is how to keep your crypto coins safe. You can be the most successful crypto trader in the world, but if your coins get stolen, all your hard work will be for nothing.
Here’s some important advice to help you keep your precious coins away from would-be thieves.
Choose the right exchange
First and foremost, it’s important to choose an exchange that emphasizes security above all else. The more active you are as a trader, the more trust you’ll need to put in the exchange you use.
Just because an exchange is well-known doesn’t mean it’s impervious to attacks.
At Xcalibra, we’ve built security into every aspect of our crypto exchange. It’s our number-one priority at every turn because we believe crypto traders should be able to rest easy knowing that their coins are protected.
Here are the most important security features to look out for on any exchange:
1. Multi-sig cold storage - This is the holy grail of crypto safety features. Xcalibra keeps all its user’s assets in offline wallets, making it virtually impossible for anyone to hack them. These wallets are protected by multiple keys, which gives you the ultimate peace of mind as a user. A cybercriminal wouldn’t be able to gain access to your funds by hacking one point of entry; they’d have to gain access to a large number of keys at the same time to break through these iron-clad defenses.
2. IP-security restriction - One of the best things you can do to protect your funds is use an exchange that allows you to enable IP-security restriction on your account. This feature means your account can only be accessed from your physical IP address. In other words, a hacker would have to have physical access to your device to steal your funds. Not many exchanges offer this feature; Xcalibra is one of them.
3. Two-factor authentication (2FA) - It is an essential security feature for any crypto trader. Whenever you log into your account, you’ll get a security code delivered instantaneously to your phone. Without this code, you can’t gain access to your account. This simple security feature adds just seconds to the login process but makes it exponentially less likely for hackers to break into your account. As you’d expect, Xcalibra’s 2FA feature is rapid and user-friendly.
4. DDoS mitigation - You need an exchange that protects itself against distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. If it doesn’t have this feature, the exchange will be left exposed to cyberattacks that can make it impossible for you to access your funds for an extended period of time. Xcalibra leads the field in preventing such attacks. The exchange uses top-notch security programs to recognize and mitigate DDoS attacks before they do any damage.
5. Automated back-up service - Your exchange should include an automated back-up service that ensures data is saved on several servers. This protects you in case one of the exchange’s data hubs has a problem; a back-up hub will replace it immediately. Secure exchanges like Xcalibra offer this feature. However, if you trade on an exchange that doesn’t, you’re at risk of being unable to access your accounts if something goes wrong.
Protect your private keys in every way possible
You’ve taken the first step and opted for an exchange that takes every possible security measure to protect your crypto coins. But if you aren’t careful with your private keys, all of that can go out the window. It’s the equivalent of buying the latest, most hi-tech car alarm system for your new Ferrari, then leaving the keys in the door.
Here are a few ways you can keep your private keys safe from prying eyes:
1. Never send your private keys to anybody - Your private keys are just that: private. If someone tries to convince you otherwise, they’re scamming you. Treat your private keys as you would the PIN for your bank card; keep them to yourself and never, under any circumstances, send them to a stranger.
2. Encrypt all your critical information - Any sensitive information you store on your device or on any cloud-storage system needs to be encrypted. If it’s not, a hacker who breaches your initial defences may be able to use it against you. To avoid this risk altogether, it’s safer to store your private keys physically in a place only you know and have access to.
3. Use strong passwords and don’t reuse them - The stronger your password is, the less likely hackers are to be able to crack it. However, even more important than choosing a strong password is making sure you don’t use it across different platforms. If, for example, you use the same password for a social media account as for a crypto wallet app, the latter is only as secure as the former. A hacker might easily be able to gain access to the social media account, at which point he also has the password for accessing your crypto funds.
4. Back up your private keys in multiple ways - If you lose the private key to your crypto wallet, you’ll lose the funds stored inside that wallet. It’s as simple as that. Make sure you back your private keys up in at least two places, so if you lose one, you’ll still have the other. For example, it might be a good idea to store one copy of your private key in a heavily encrypted file on your computer, as well as a hardcopy of the key in your safe at home.
5. Be extremely careful when using API keys - API keys can be useful, but giving other users or devices access to your account is extremely risky. Never, ever give access to somebody you don’t know and trust, and even then make sure you check what level of permission the API key offers.
Don’t do anything that puts your device at risk of infection
This is one of the golden rules of the internet, and it’s even more relevant in the age of crypto. With more than ever at stake, scammers are finding increasingly sophisticated ways to gain access to people’s devices and infiltrate their accounts.
By following a few simple rules, you can dramatically reduce the chances of anything going wrong with your crypto stash:
1. Update your antivirus software - You should do this anyway, regardless of whether or not you’re trading crypto. But the fact that you’re about to invest some of your hard-earned money into digital currencies is a wake-up call to ensure that you’re using the latest antivirus software. Any rogue software that makes its way into your system could end up severely compromising your security.
2. Don’t download unknown software or click on suspicious links - This is another no-brainer, but it’s worth remembering when your crypto security is on the line. If you’re not 100% sure about the program you’re about to download, walk away. It could be cleverly disguised malware that will give cybercriminals access to your device and make it easier for them to steal your digital currencies.
3. Only install trusted plug-ins and understand the permissions you grant them - Once again, this is good general advice. As with software downloads, plugins can actually be malware in disguise. Double-check any plugin before you install it and make sure it comes from a trusted source. Even then, you should be wary about granting broad permissions to plugins. After all, your security comes first.
4. Store your funds in a hardware wallet - By storing your crypto coins in an offline hardware wallet, you eliminate the security risk that comes with being connected. This means that if something does happen to your device, your coins will remain completely unaffected. Of course, you need to make sure you keep the hardware safe and secure in its physical location.
We hope these tips have helped put your mind at ease and shown you that there are indeed many ways to protect your digital assets. It’s not impossible to keep your crypto coins safe - all it takes is some planning and a bit of extra care.
If you’re interested in trading on the crypto exchange that puts security above all else, make sure you visit Xcalibra and get started.