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How to keep my crypto safe

Personal security of crypto assets

Easy Crypto avatar
Written by Easy Crypto
Updated over a week ago

There are many different wallets to choose from to store cryptocurrency, which all have their own pros and cons. The most important thing is to keep your crypto safe at all times and there are some simple rules to follow that will help you.

These are the basic safety rules to follow on your cryptocurrency adventure, no matter what wallet you use.

  1. Set passwords or pin-locks on your phone and computer so that no one else can access your devices

  2. Keep your computer clean and free of malware. Be careful about what sites you visit and what software you download

  3. Back up your wallet(s) - this will mean that you can still access your crypto should your computer die or your phone be stolen

  4. Use a password manager to store your passwords, passphrases, and backups

  5. Use a hardware wallet for added security, especially if you are storing larger amounts of crypto.

Sounds simple enough, right? Now, let's run through those again, in a bit more detail...

1. Set passwords and pins

Your cryptocurrencies will only ever be as safe as the device you store them on, so if you have a wallet on a phone, computer or another device, make sure there is a pin lock or password set.

Use a different pin/password for wallets, crypto apps and other log ins.

Make the password as long as you can remember.

2. Keep your computer clean

This is going to be a long list of don'ts, but they are very important, so please read on!

But first, a do: Do install a good anti-virus program. This is not going to be a 100% foolproof solution so you do need to also be vigilant (see the list of don'ts below) but it's an important first step.

See a rundown of the best anti-virus software on PC Mag's review here.

Now for the don'ts...

  • Don't download pirated movies, music, or other material - this is a super common way to get malware on your computer!

  • Don't visit dodgy websites - be wary of the links you click, and if you're in doubt, do a Google/Bing search for the website to make sure you're visiting the official site.

  • Don't click links in emails or sent them to you on messaging applications. It's always safest to visit the website and then search for what you need.

  • Don't open attachments on emails unless you were expecting them. If a friend sends you something you weren't expecting, it may be that they have downloaded a virus that is now trying to spread to your computer!

  • Don't ever install software unless you're sure you know what it is and it's from an official and trusted source.

  • Don't ever allow someone to access your computer via TeamViewer/ AnyDesk or any other computer sharing software. Having a Skype or Zoom call where you share your screen is safe, but don't ever allow someone else to take control of your computer.

3. Back up your wallets

No matter what wallet you use, you need to back it up. A backup means that should your wallet be destroyed (say if you drop your phone in the loo, or your computer fries itself) you can still access your crypto.

Each wallet will have a different backup process, it could be a password, a social recovery or most typically a passphrase (also called a "recovery seed" or "backup phrase"), which is a list of 12 or 24 random words that will allow you to reinstall the wallet should the access be lost to the original.

Once you have your backup, make sure you store it safely!

4. Use a password manager

We all know that we should NEVER use the same password on more than one website and that it's best to use strong passwords that include random numbers and characters.

Obviously, using a unique and complex password for each site would be quite a mental feat to remember - which is where password managers come in :)

A password manager is a secure way to store all of your different passwords and can help you auto-fill them into the different websites you use.

Here are some options:

  • Keepass is a free option for Windows. We like Keepass because it's open-source (which means anyone can check that the code is safe). We have a guide to setting it up here.

  • Bitwarden is another great secure and open-source option.

  • LastPass is a popular password manager with both free and paid options

  • 1Password is a paid option, but good security is probably worth shelling out for.

  • Dashlane is also another paid option.

  • If you're using Mac, there is an inbuilt Keychain feature. However, be aware this is only as safe as your security on your Apple device.

5. Use a hardware wallet

Hardware wallets are the gold standard in crypto security and we highly recommend them to all our customers - especially if you're storing an amount that you would consider valuable and worth protecting.

There are a number of hardware wallets out there:

  • Trezor- can be paired with some hot wallets, and this combo makes it easy to use and secure. Make sure you set a passphrase if you use Trezor.

  • Ledger- this is popular wallet on the market, and some models can be used with mobile which is handy for crypto-on-the-go

  • Ellipal - a highly secure option, the Ellipal is "air-gapped" meaning it never connects directly to the internet. Fund transfers are managed via the Ellipal app on your mobile

  • Keepkey - an option from the team at Shapeshift, with a wide range of coins supported

💡Important Note:
The user assumes all responsibility and risk for the use of third-party services to store cryptocurrencies or virtual assets.
Ensure that you do your own research (DYOR) before using any service, and are aware of the risks involved.
Easy Crypto will not be liable for any damages caused by the use of a wallet or exchange provider.

Whichever option you use, make sure you back up your hardware wallet (see #3) and store your backups somewhere very secure (see #4)

Last words...

With cryptocurrency, you are your own bank. This is incredibly powerful as it means you are in full control of your funds and no one else has access to them. This also puts a lot of responsibility on to you, to make sure your crypto is securely protected and accessible no matter what happens.

The steps above are, in our view, sufficient to keep your crypto secure and accessible.

Stay safe!

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