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Cryptocurrency Security Checklist

This cryptocurrency security checklist is a compiled version of things you should and should not do concerning bitcoin and cryptocurrencies; put together from the guides published on this newsletter.

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Adil Kazani

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Wallets

DOs:

  • Store your recovery seed offline. May it be on pieces of paper or a steel sheet, and store them somewhere no one else but you has access to.

  • Store the majority of your funds in a secure wallet. If you own a decent amount of coins, store your funds on a reputable hardware wallet like a Ledger or a Trezor, or a securely-made paper wallet(not recommended for non-experts).

  • Use reputable wallet software. If you’re using a software wallet, as much as possible, only use wallet software like Electrum which is open-source and have known to be reputable.

  • Be aware of the bitcoin and crypto scams. That way, it significantly lessens the chances of you falling for them.


What is a Seed Phrase? (a.k.a. Recovery Phrase)

A seed phrase is a string of words created by your cryptocurrency wallet and used to get access to the crypto linked with it. Consider a wallet to be a crypto version of a password manager, with the seed phrase serving as the master password. You'll have access to all of the crypto linked with the wallet that created the phrase as long as you have your seed phrase — even if you delete or lose the wallet.

Link.


DON’Ts:

  • Don’t use a paper wallet. Unless you are 100% confident that you can create one safely and securely via an air-gapped device.

  • Don’t save your recovery seed digitally. Not on a .txt file, a word document, on your email, on your mobile phone’s notes app, or anywhere digital.

  • Don’t give away your recovery seed. Some airdrop scams require you to hand over your wallet’s recovery seed for you to be eligible for the airdrop. Giving away your private key(s) is pretty much like giving away access to your funds.

  • As much as possible, prevent talking about bitcoin or cryptocurrencies to strangers.


What Is a Crypto Airdrop?

Crypto airdrops are a type of marketing approach used to promote cryptocurrency companies and their new coins. It entails transferring free money or tokens to a number of different wallets.

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Exchanges

DOs:

  • Use 2 Factor Authentication on your accounts. Your accounts having 2FA makes your accounts significantly harder to hack.

  • Use secure and complex passwords on your exchange accounts. Preferably 40 characters, with both uppercase and lowercase letters, and with special characters. We heavily suggest using password managers like KeePass and Bitwarden to generate and store your passwords.

  • Frequently check your browser’s address bar. Make sure you’re on the correct URL; to prevent being phished and prevent unintentionally downloading malicious software.


Don’ts:

  • Don’t click on bitcoin or crypto-related ads on Google or any other search engine. There’s a decent chance that a certain link you see in your search result is a phishing link that could potentially steal your funds. Alternatively, manually type in the exchange’s URL on your browser’s address bar, or bookmark the exchange’s URL on your browser instead.

  •  Don’t re-use passwords on exchanges or any other website. If a certain website’s account database gets hacked and leaked and you have an account on that certain website, hackers can try to use your leaked account’s credentials to log in to your exchange accounts.


“There are only two types of companies: those that have been hacked, and those that will be.”

-Robert Mueller, FBI Director


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