Getting Creative with A Secure Crypto-Wallet In The Digital Age
While it’s an incredible feat that the world is deep into a digital age from a technology point of view, it is probably not headline worthy anymore. Unless affected directly, not many however attribute the same importance to the risks involved. Cybersecurity is a hot topic across countless industries, but none more than that of finance and with cryptocurrencies working their way into more mainstream use – or at least recognition – having efficient security is vital. If you own cryptocurrency, then you’ll already know about wallets, but what about those looking to invest? Here, we’re exploring crypto-wallets, and just why it’s important to keep them secure.
What Is A Cryptocurrency Wallet?
At a basic level, a cryptocurrency wallet is similar to a normal wallet, however, it is only available digitally. Within these wallets, you can store, send and receive different digital currencies including industry leader Bitcoin and any other altcoins on the current market. There are multiple wallets available on the market, however, most coins will have an official option where possible and though these do tend to be the most secure, don’t always assume this is the case. Some coins might not have their own wallet, but instead, a few suggest third-party choices that you can choose from, and it’s always important to do your research before delving into them.
How Does It Work?
Remember how we said that cryptocurrency wallets essentially worked like a normal wallet? Well, this isn’t strictly true. In fact, the coins that you own aren’t actually stored in the wallet at all. Instead, your wallet stores your private key which can only be viewed by you and your wallet and will allow you access to your coins. A public key also comes as part of the wallet, and this is the key that is connected to a certain amount of the cryptocurrency. In other words, your wallet is the storage point for your private key, your public keys works as a ledger for your transactions, and allows you to send and receive your payments as you so wish.
How To Secure Your Wallet
Whether you’re looking to store your bitcoins, or you’re delving into an alternate cryptocurrency, ensuring that your wallet is secure at all times is vital in an increasingly digital world. Of course, most cryptocurrencies are naturally secure regardless, but increasing the wallet security never hurts. Here are just a few tips to get you started:
- Always Have More Than One Wallet – Have two wallets, if not more, regardless of how many coins you own. This will give you the opportunity to use one to store your savings that will remain untouched, and the other will be for trading or transactions. This will be the most active of your wallets, and is at the highest risk were a hacker to be successful, so make sure you follow our other tips to be safe!
- Do Your Research – Some wallet providers will have better security options than others and making sure that you do your research into which are the best will help you pick the most secure option. It can be tempting to rush into a decision when you’re focused on creating your wallet, but making sure that the encryption and optimization are at a high-level standard is a must.
- Don’t Use Public WiFi – This is a bit of a given for any kind of data, but if you can avoid it, never use public WiFi when making your transactions. Risky WiFi networks could be the difference between a secure wallet, and one that is easily hacked, especially during your transactions.
- Turn Off Auto-Updates – The cryptocurrency world is still fairly new, and as a result, bugs are rife. This is especially true for new updates that haven’t had a chance to have their full run yet. By turning off auto-updates, you can check to see if anything is going wrong through other people’s reviews and complaints, as opposed to having to deal with these bugs and faults yourself.
- SSL Security – SSL Security is the most important thing you need to keep an eye on when it comes to cryptocurrency wallets. If your wallet doesn’t have SSL security or the wallet you’re sending or receiving from doesn’t have it, then stop the transaction altogether. It’s simply not worth the risk!
The Most Secure Wallets Available
The right wallet for you will ultimately depend on the cryptocurrency that you are looking to invest in, but for the sake of giving you a few examples, we’re looking into some of the most secure and highly rated on the market.
1. Bitcoin Core
Bitcoin core was the original Bitcoin client, and as a result is still highly popular with Bitcoin users today. Being the first doesn’t necessarily mean the best in most cases, but with Bitcoin Core, it’s safe to say it’s certainly kept the high quality it was initially known for. It’s available for Windows, Mac and Linux, and with its ‘full-node’ properties (meaning it downloads the entire Blockchain), it means that hackers are less likely to find your coins which ultimately makes it more secure. Of course, this means that you’ll likely need a lot of space, so only those with beefy computers or secure external hard drives can use this wallet.
This wallet is perfect for those looking to delve into multiple cryptocurrencies. Developed in 2014, this wallet gives you the opportunity to host multiple cryptocurrencies at the same time, while keeping everything secure and safe. The simple interface makes it beginner friendly, however it’s important to remember that while it is a secure wallet, it can still have it’s vulnerabilities, so keeping a backup is a good idea.
Hopefully, this has given you an insight into crypto wallets and just why we need to keep them secure. The potential behind cryptocurrencies in the future is too great to pass up, and now is a great time to invest.
Featured image by David Shares