Bitcoin security is vital when you consider that around nine million dollars a day in Bitcoin is lost to scammers through phishing, fraud, and theft and hacking. It is said there is a sucker born every minute. Well there is also a scammer born every minute and these days with email it is much easier and more profitable scamming individuals than ever before.
How can we secure our Bitcoin in the face of these relentless attacks on our Bitcoin security? Well there are a number of things one can do to protect your Bitcoin security.
Sometimes there are links contained within emails with the suggestion to open them. You can check if the link is what is shown in the email by hovering you mouse over the link and checking the bottom left hand corner of your screen. The true link will always show up there. For example the link in the email may be getlotsofmoney.combut when you check in the bottom left corner the link actually says scammernumber6.com (all fake examples only to illustrate the point), indicating that the true link is very different and very likely a link to a webpage that will try to suck your details from your computer or offer you a fake copy of a page of something you log into in order to get your log in details. So it is a good security measure to check ALL links before you click on them.
We all get emails every day, from people we know and from people and companies we don't know. How do we know which are genuine and which are frauds?
Is the email addressed to you? Can you see to whom it was sent or was it a blanket email?
There are a number of things one can do to check. If you know for certain that an email is from someone you trust there is no issue. But it is possible to get an email purporting to come from someone you know and trust yet does not address you in the same way that individual would and may be just a link and nothing else. In that case do not open the link, (see above) especially if you do not recognise it.
With most emails it is possible to show the header or raw message. How this is done will depend largely on the type of email platform you are using. If you are not sure how to do this go to the help for your email platform and you can find out there) When you select this option the full text of the header will be displayed and often you can find out where it came from and to who it was sent.
Enhancing your Bitcoin Security
What can you do to enhance your Bitcoin Security?
Firstly ensure your private keys to your wallets are secure. It is best not to keep any passwords or private wallet keys on your computer. Instead, keep them on a USB which you plug in when you want to access them. Remove the USB when you have finished, that way your passwords and private keys are offline most of the time and are unable to be accessed by any scammer that successfully hacks into your computer.
Do not give out your private keys to anyone under any circumstances (inheritance excepted, see the article on Bitcoin Inheritance).
If you get an email asking you to log into your wallet to check your security or in fact any request to log into any account of any kind, do not do so but ignore the email and even delete it. Bona Fide companies will not ask you to log in from a link in an email Instead they will tell you to go to your usual link and log in there.
One of the main differences with cryptocurrency accounts and walletsd compared to other asset bearing accounts is that any transaction with a cryptocurrency is irreversible. Unlike accounts such as PayPal, credit cards and even bank accounts. All of those can be reversed but any Bitcoin transaction cannot be. The best you can expect is for the recipient to initialise a new transaction to return you the same funds but this can be extremely dubious at best so it is highly important that you:
a. Confirm that you really want to transfer the Bitcoin or altcoin
b. Confirm that the public key you are transferring to is absolutely correct
c. Keep your private key to yourself and do not give it out under any circumstances
Strictly following the above security measures will ensure the security of your Bitcoin and Altcoins.
This article is for information purposes only and is not to be construed as financial information for any purposes such as investment or speculation and it is the responsibility of the reader to perform proper due diligence before acting upon any of the information provided. We recommend that you consult with a licensed, qualified investment advisor before making any investment decisions.