It’s pretty easy to buy crypto, but you need to keep it safe so you don’t lose it or have it stolen. Luckily, there are various steps you can take to keep your crypto safe at all times.
Here are some steps on how to keep your crypto safe in 2023:
- Buy your crypto from a reputable exchange.
- Don’t keep large sums of crypto in an exchange.
- Use a crypto wallet.
- Use a secure password for your wallet.
- Don’t connect to public wifi.
- Keep your seed phrase in a safe location.
- Use multiple wallets for large sums.
I will discuss the above steps in greater detail below. Be sure to read on if you want to know how to keep your crypto safe.
1. Buy Your Crypto From a Reputable Exchange
Firstly, you want to buy your crypto from a reputable exchange. There are many places to choose from, so make sure you choose one that’s not a scam.
Examples of popular and safe exchanges include:
Some countries may also have regional exchanges. However, you can buy from the above exchanges in many countries.
Before buying crypto from an exchange, conduct thorough research to ensure it’s legit. A quick Google search will give you plenty of information, and you can usually find reviews of crypto exchanges online.
It’s also good to read forums where people give advice based on personal experiences.
If you buy crypto from an illegitimate website, scammers can steal your card details and personal information. On top of that, you might not even receive the crypto you paid for. So, always be extra cautious when choosing a crypto exchange. Don’t be fooled by them, even if they promise you’ll make passive income with Crypto.
2. Don’t Keep Large Sums of Crypto in an Exchange
Once you’ve bought your crypto from a safe exchange, you want to make sure you move it somewhere safer (especially if it’s a significant amount). Although some people like to leave their digital assets on the exchange they bought them from, it’s not the safest option.
When your crypto assets are in an exchange, you don’t have access to your private keys – the exchange does. That essentially means the exchange has the rights to your crypto.
So, let’s say (hypothetically) you buy your crypto on Kraken. After purchase, you leave the crypto at the exchange. A few months later, Kraken went bankrupt and stopped its users from withdrawing funds. At this point, they can seize your crypto because they can access your private keys, meaning you may never see those funds again.
To gain complete control over your assets, move them off the exchange as soon as possible. That way, you’ll always have complete control over them.
Moving your crypto away from an exchange if you have a large amount is crucial – you certainly don’t want to risk losing access to a large chunk of assets!
3. Use a Crypto Wallet
I’ve discussed the importance of moving your crypto away from an exchange, but I didn’t mention where you should move it to. You may or may not have heard of a crypto wallet, but it’s essential to know what it is before investing in crypto.
A wallet is where you can store your crypto keys, and you will have full access to them (as long as you choose a legit wallet). There are many wallets to choose from; some only support a particular cryptocurrency, while others support many.
The two main types of wallets available are:
I’ll discuss each one below.
Software wallets are also known as hot wallets or online wallets. They are connected to the internet; you can access them on your phone or computer. Software wallets are suitable for people with small to moderate amounts of crypto.
Although they’re safer than exchanges, they’re susceptible to hacks because they’re connected to the internet. Luckily, most software wallets are secure. However, you should still be cautious and use a legitimate wallet.
Here are some examples of software wallets:
- Coinbase wallet: Coinbase wallet is a self-custody software wallet, meaning you completely control your assets. It supports all Ethereum cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Stellar, and Ripple.
- Exodus: Exodus is a software wallet that gives you full access to your crypto. You can access it from your computer and phone. It supports many cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano, and Litecoin.
- Guarda: Guarda is another safe wallet that gives you full access to your keys. It also supports many cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Binance Coin.
Hardware wallets are more secure than software wallets. Usually, more advanced crypto traders use hardware wallets because they’re better for large sums of crypto. Unlike software wallets, hardware wallets are offline; that’s why they’re the safest option.
The wallet is a small device that you can plug into your computer. It’s super portable and light, so you can take it everywhere. The most important thing is to remember your recovery seed.
Even if you lose your hardware wallet, you can regain access to your crypto with your seed phrase.
4. Use a Secure Password for Your Wallet
Although all crypto wallets require a seed phrase, you can add an extra layer of security by choosing a password. It’s always a good idea to do this. If you’re using a software wallet on your smartphone, you can also set a fingerprint.
When choosing a password, make sure it’s secure and different from any other password you might have.
It’s best to incorporate:
- Capital letters
- Lower case letters
- Symbols (such as !/?)
It’s also good to make the passwords as long as possible. That makes it harder for hackers to get into your account.
5. Don’t Connect to Public WiFi
If you want to access your crypto when out and about, avoid using public wifi. There are two main types of public wifi:
You should never access your crypto wallet on an unsecured public wifi network. You might be wondering what an unsecured network is; it’s basically a network that doesn’t require a password or any login details.
Anyone can use an unsecured wifi connection, which is why you should avoid using one when accessing your crypto keys.
It’s also advisable to avoid using a secure public wifi network (one that requires a password or login details). However, it’s safer than an unsecured network. So if you must use public wifi to access your crypto wallet, at least ensure it’s secure.
Unsecured public wifi is also more susceptible to hacks, and you certainly don’t want anyone to get your crypto wallet’s information. If you can, hold off using your crypto wallet until you’re at home or connected to a private network.
6. Keep Your Seed Phrase in a Safe Location
Your seed phrase is a string of random words you receive when you set up your wallet. You must take a physical note of the phrase and keep it somewhere safe where no one but you will find it.
It’s not a good idea to keep your seed phrase saved on an electronic device, like a phone. Electronic devices are highly susceptible to hacks and data loss, so keeping such a vital code on yours is not wise.
The best thing to do is to write down your seed phrase on paper. It might even be a good idea to write it on different pieces of paper and keep them in various locations so that if one gets damaged, you’ll have another copy elsewhere.
You’ll need to use your seed phrase if you:
- Lose your device (like your phone or computer)
- Want to set your wallet up on a second device
- Forget your password
If you don’t have your seed phrase and can’t access your wallet, there’s no way to access your crypto keys and consequently your crypto.
Another important note: avoid sharing your seed phrase with anyone. If you give it to someone untrustworthy, they can log into your wallet and gain access to your crypto keys. From there, they could steal your crypto by sending it to their wallet.
7. Use Multiple Wallets for Large Sums
This won’t be necessary for most people, but it might be worth using multiple wallets if you have a large amount of crypto. It means you won’t lose everything if you lose access to one of your wallets.
You can set up as many wallets as you want and divide your assets equally. However, you’ll need to be careful not to lose any seed phrases.
Keeping track of multiple seed phrases will be more complicated than keeping track of one because you’ll hide them in different places. Please do your best to remember where each one is in case you ever need to use them.
You must keep your crypto safe as soon as you buy it. Although it may seem safe in an exchange, keeping it in a secure hardware or software wallet is best. Before choosing a wallet, ensure it’s legit and supports the cryptocurrency you want.
One of the most important ways to keep your crypto safe is to keep the seed phrase hidden in a safe place. Please don’t share it with anyone, and don’t keep a note of it on an electronic device. Write it on paper and keep it somewhere you’ll remember.