This is a simple Guide to help you keep your cryptocurrencies and NFTs safe in the bear market & prep for the future bull market.
These are 5 tips that can level up your privacy and protect your digital assets in your journey to financial freedom – Bringing peace of mind and confidence as an investor in web 3.
How to keep your crypto safe?
Prices for cryptocurrencies are rising, yes! even in a bear market (when in doubt, zoom out 2013- 2022), and many people, banks, companies, and businesses are purchasing them for the first time, especially during these times. However, while investors see this as a fantastic opportunity, so do hackers, scam artists, and other criminals who view these new investors as simple easy targets. While there are a number of problems to watch out for when investing in cryptocurrencies, keeping your money secure is unquestionably a top priority.
These are some of the ways to keep your crypto safe:
#1. Use a secure wallet to store your crypto:
Cryptocurrency is a digital asset, and like any other valuable item, it should be stored securely. Cryptocurrency wallets are the way to do this – they provide both a secure storage solution as well as an easy-to-use interface for managing your crypto. The most popular type of wallet is a hardware wallet such as a ledger, which stores your crypto/NFTs offline and requires you to plug it into a computer or other device when you want to access your funds. During this bear market of 2022-2023, we have seen many exchanges go bankrupt and simply by not have enough liquidity to pay the customers their deposits. Many individuals have lost thousands if not millions from keeping their funds on exchanges. And even NFTs are being compromised through malicious links. This can be simply avoided if you have just transferred funds and digital assets into a ledger, but moving forward it's well worth the investment to order and have a hardware wallet.
Another popular option is an online wallet, which allows you to access your crypto from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. Whichever type of wallet you choose, it’s important that you research its security features thoroughly before deciding which to use. Additionally, you should never share your wallet's private key or other sensitive information with anyone – this will ensure that only you have access to your funds. Never take photos on your iPhone or store pictures in emails of your seed phrases, this is also a hazard.
These tips are crucial to staying safe, and should not be overlooked. You also may need to trust yourself in the process of how you handle valuables.
* A metamask wallet is a hotwallet. This wallet is mostly used in the web3 space for nfts and the metaverse. Most web3 degens still keep thousands of dollars worth in digital assets, keeping their risks high for scammers and Hackers*
"Send and sign your NFT transactions with a ledger."
You can always try Exodus which is an online, desktop cryptocurrency wallet.
Here is a youtube tutorial on how to set up your ledger.
Never purchase Ledger on amazon, the picture above takes you directly to the ledger website.
#2. Keep your private keys safe and secure:
When it comes to cryptocurrency, protecting your private keys is of utmost importance. Private keys are pieces of information that you use to access and control your cryptocurrency wallets. These are in the form of words either 12-24 words. They allow you to move funds in and out of your wallet, so if someone were to gain access to them, they could easily steal all of your funds. To protect yourself from this type of attack, it's important to make sure your private keys are stored securely and kept out of the hands of malicious third parties. Make sure that if you are sharing your information, make sure they are trusted individuals. If you have heavy assets, make sure that in your will this can be accessed by family members or those coins will be a loss.
One way to do this is by using a hardware wallet like the ledger as we mentioned before. This is a physical device designed specifically for storing cryptocurrency, which keeps your private keys safe and secure offline. It also adds an extra layer of security by requiring the user to enter a pin code before each transaction. This should also be done if you have high-value NFTs.
Some tip I like to keep in mind is where you store these seed phrases. Although when purchasing a ledger, they do provide you a paper that allows you to write your 24 seed phrase, I'd also think about keeping these words on a Titanium plate that allows you to engrave the letters. These are useful if there is ever any type of disaster.
Living in Florida there are plenty of hurricanes that have damaged homes, paper wallets would be useless. So we always think ahead and take the steps necessary to secure ourselves and our future.
You can find these on amazon. The double one is nice and affordable as it allows you to engrave two different seed phrases in case you have multiple wallets which I recommend. Especially if you have other valuables like NFTs, Digital Real Estate ext. I do think separating long-term holds to nfts or cryptos you use more frequently if you work in web3.
ColdTi: Cryptocurrency Seed Storage (Double Plate) $34.99
Another way you can protect your private keys is by using two-factor authentication whenever possible. This adds an extra layer of security to your wallet, as it requires multiple pieces of information before authorizing transactions. You can either do this with google authenticator or some sort of password security like Last-pass, or 1password. I always recommend more security.
Also, something really unique is having an invisible pen. If you plan on writing down your words you can be the only person to know where it is written and cant be seen by the naked eye.
Finally, be sure to use a secure password for all of your accounts and wallets. Be sure to keep it long, complex, and unique to you. Changing it frequently like every 3-6 months is recommended for high security. If someone were able to access your private keys and passwords, they would be able to gain control of your funds and personal information.
#3. Don't share your personal crypto information with anyone:
Cryptocurrency-related information is extremely sensitive, so it’s important to keep your personal crypto information private. This includes things like wallet addresses, account numbers, passwords, and security questions. Sharing this information with anyone can put you at risk of being a victim of phishing or other scams.
Extra tips - With the rise of NFTs, and the metaverse, scammers arise with malicious links to lure vulnerable creators into the space, most content creators may not be aware of these options to stay safe, so make sure you only click links from people or websites you trust. I have provided links here that take you directly to the products recommended to help guide you and provide value to the metaverse communities I'm in. I am here to help bring awareness and help you in web 3.
#4. Only buy crypto from trusted exchanges:
You should always be careful when buying and selling digital assets, as there are many fraudulent exchanges out there. Many exchanges have gone down in flames, including FTX. The CEO, Sam Bankman-fried, had the crypto world and the masses captivated by his new exchange and goals for the business. He was very well-trusted and became very influential with endorsements and big deals by venture capitalists. But Exchanges aren't always thinking about you and how they will affect your family or your future. This is why it is important to take control of your crypto and learn these skills to maximize security. Always making sure to purchase cryptocurrency only from reputable sources that have a good reputation. Coinbase, Gemini, Kraken have been here very long and are reputable if you want to purchase crypto. It is also important to do your research on different exchanges and compare them before deciding which one to use. Once purchasing, figure out time frames to withdraw them into cold storage.
Also, make sure you understand the fees associated with each exchange and that you are aware of any potential security risks (such as hacking). Additionally, be sure to choose a platform that offers two-factor authentication, secure storage of your private keys, and other features to ensure the safety of your funds.
*keeping crypto on exchanges is a high risk, manage your risk properly. If you are a cryptocurrency trader spreading your funds on exchanges will lower that risk. Also keeping money on exchanges makes it centralized. It suggests just keeping the funds that you need online for trading or transaction online, but the rest of your net-worth should be offline*
#5. Send a small amount of crypto or low-value NFTs first before sending high Values assets
This step is so important, we can all make mistakes esp when it comes to typing or copying on the keyboard. Although most exchanges do have a copy-and-paste, there are so many cryptos and different networks available, which can add confusion and slip-ups. We want to read and re-read the fine print when making transfers. It's important to send a little bit of crypto first, I always use $5 -10 dollars just in case, depending on the fees, and double-check everything. Then, once I look on the blockchain and it is completed, I look to see the funds have been deposited, then transfer larger amounts. This is a great safety measure and also a great habit that will bring confidence when making transactions. Also when transferring NFTs always practice with NFT you don't mind losing just in case you do it incorrectly. Hiding valuable nfts on Opensea marketplace can also decrease your risk of being a target. Still suggest removing them to a safer place like your ledger. There are resources online if you are new to crypto that offers dummy accounts, trading platforms, or testnets where you can practice and engage in fake transactions to help you learn. There are tutorials on youtube academy that will help prepare you for the future when you are rich and loaded. lol. Education and experience is your best friend. stay safe.
Please feel free to check out the other blogs I have written and also my Digital art and music NFTs. As a metaverse Performer, I am here onboarding and also educating others in this space. Your support also allows me to continue to bring more value to web 3.
Check out these other Blogs on Crypto safety.
Serena Elis - Founder, of Daydream X Sea
Serena Elis is a Singer, Multi-Performer, 3D Artist, Blogger, and Music Producer. She is one of the First singers in Decentraland starting her journey in web 3 back in 2020. She's been featured on NBC news, and Mashable Magazine for her collaborations, and innovation in Space. You can find her in the Metaverse Performing weekly and working in the Entertainment World of Web3. She's also a digital native with a devotion to creating engaging content with resources and helping other artists in their Journey.