Protecting your privacy online is a primary concern at all times and you definitely don’t want your digital data to fall into the wrong hands, even more so when you are buying bitcoin, as this could have an immediate financial impact.
Hackers are constantly looking for vulnerable security systems and users who have not taken their digital privacy seriously enough which is why you need to take steps to protect what you have from prying eyes and keep your online wealth as safe as possible.
Here are some pointers on how you can maintain a good level of security and privacy when buying bitcoin.
A VPN is always a good idea
There are plenty of valid reasons why connecting to the internet via a virtual private network (VPN) would be a sound strategy.
When you use a VPN it provides an encryption and re-routing service that automatically changes your server location and IP address so that it is extremely hard for a third party to track your digital footprint.
It should be remembered that not all VPN services are equal and you should be wary of a free VPN service as it is unlikely to offer the same level of security as one that you have to pay for.
Search out a VPN service that you can trust because of recommendations from reliable sources or through reliable reviews that you are happy to accept are trustworthy.
You might also want to see if your VPN provider offers a “logless” feature, which is an enhanced security feature where it is not even possible for the provider itself to access user data and specific traffic movements.
This level of encryptions and anonymity is highly recommended when it comes to completing bitcoin transactions.
Keep your email and messaging services safe
Another aspect of your online activity that could prove vulnerable to hackers without decent security precautions is your email accounts and messaging services you are using.
There are a good number of different service providers who can provide you with an email account that offers strong privacy protocols and end-to-end encryption to ensure that your data, such as details of transactions and personal information, are protected from being compromised.
You should seriously consider using an encrypted email service, but especially so if you are trading bitcoins, and the same applies to use an instant messaging service that offers private messaging facilities and the same end-to-end encryption features.
These are general security protocols that you should consider using to protect your privacy and data but if you are using cryptocurrencies like bitcoin over the internet you need to take extra measures to keep your digital currency safe.
Here are some of the suggested cryptocurrency security measures you can deploy.
Safety in numbers
A security feature you will probably want to consider using is multi-signature transactions (multisig) which is a method that involves using more than one person and multiple keys in order to authorize a cryptocurrency transaction.
The principle behind the multisig scheme is that it helps to provide an extra layer of security so that it provides protection to prevent assets being spent with all parties of recognized signers reviewing and agreeing to the transaction beforehand.
The fundamental advantage of using a multisignature address protocol is that the transaction contains a number of ECDSA private keys, all of which are required before a transaction can be verified and completed.
Taking your assets offline
It can be a constant source of concern that your digital assets might be subjected to an attack when they are online, which is why cold storage is well worth considering.
What cold storage entails is a practice that keeps your bitcoins offline and, therefore, out of the reach of cybercriminals who are operating online looking for vulnerabilities that they can exploit.
Going offline with cold storage wallets and other protected media can be a considered a savvy strategy for keeping your assets out of reach.
Confirming your identity
If you are already familiar with bitcoin authentications procedures you may be aware of multi-factor authentication (MFA) and two-factor authentication (2FA) security features.
If you don’t have this already it is strongly suggested that you add MFA and 2FA features to your bitcoin accounts and applications.
There are several high-profile providers of this security practice, such as Authy and Google Authenticator and others besides, all of whom offer multiple validations and should also offer SMS codes so that you are able to use a 2FA to access the service.
It would also be a good added security procedure to secure your email when it is tethered to an account in order to provide protection from attempts to hack your digital wallet and data from malicious social engineering attacks.
Remembering vital information such as passwords
A common theme running through all of these different layers of security and various features that you are using is that they are going to be protecting your privacy by using PIN numbers, passphrases, and mnemonic seeds.
That is good news from a security perspective but a bit of a problem if you forget or lose any of these critical details and find yourself locked out as a result of this issue.
It is essential that you create a reliable and safe way of backing up these details so that you can refer to them when needed.
To protect your assets in a digital world it is suggested that you use an analog solution of keeping details of these passwords in a secure offline location. Failure to do so could see you locked out of your account if you forget a password or lose a hardware wallet seed.
There are online password managers that you can use but there are a number of bitcoin users who have their concerns about how to secure some of these are, which is why an offline backup solution could turn out to be one of the best ways to retain details of vital account information.
You should always remain diligent and vigilant when it comes to protecting digital assets such as bitcoin and, hopefully, some of these suggestions should help you to keep them safe.