Cryptocurrency wallets have come a long way, both in design and in usability. The early versions of paper wallets are no longer used for the most part, and their role is now being filled by many other types of blockchain access points.
Among these are also mobile wallets. Being the most popular option to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, wallets for smartphone devices are constantly evolving.
Having said that, the different ways to exploit a cryptocurrency wallet are increasing as well. Hackers today are much smarter and sneakier than they once were, making every cryptocurrency holder at least somewhat worried about their funds. This is exactly why we wrote this article. In the next few chapters, we will share some tips and tricks to keep your crypto safe. Let’s get to it!
Choose a non-custodial wallet
Among all the mobile wallets that are currently available in the market, most are able to keep a copy of your keys and are thus able to access your wallet. This is also why mobile wallets used to be a bad choice for people who were hodling or trading with somewhat larger amounts of cryptocurrency.
That is until Blockchain Wallet came around. The popular crypto wallet that enables users to store multiple coins was one of the first wallets to give full control and responsibility back to its users, by not keeping a copy of their keys. This, in essence, is the concept of a non-custodial wallet. It means that the team behind the wallet does not have any form of custody over your funds.
After Blockchain wallet was introduced to the market, many other companies decided to follow on their footsteps. Even exchange backed storage solutions like Trust Wallet decided to follow this approach. Today, choosing a non-custodial wallet should be seen as a mandatory requirement for any investor that enters the space.
Enable 2FA (2-factor authenticator)
The Google Authenticator is an app for your mobile phone that showcases a 6-digit number for the duration of one minute. Each minute, the code refreshes automatically, showing a different combination of numbers.
2FA is very important for people who use online wallets, mobile wallets, or any other type of wallets that can be accessed on the web. It gives one extra layer of security to lessen the possibility of a hack by third parties. It is best to keep the 2FA app on a phone that you do not usually carry with you, to ensure that it never gets stolen or lost. But even if that happens, there are ways to redeem access to all your accounts.
Enable email or SMS verification
For those that use Coinbase or other types of exchange-based wallets, these types of verification are probably quite common. And yet, many choose to ignore this step, weakening the security status of their wallet and thus becoming susceptible to hacking.
Both Email and SMS verification are usually available for popular mobile wallets and should be activated either separately or together, to further enhance the security of your funds. Note that a verification like that will also act as an instant notification in case a third party tries to log in your account without your permission, making it easier to follow up with the case.
Be smart about your mobile device
We already mentioned that it might be smart to keep your 2FA code on a mobile device that you don’t carry with you everywhere. This strategy can be further applied to all other security measures of your wallet. It is best to use a secondary phone to:
- Login to your exchange account
- Login to your email inbox
- Store notes with password indications (or even the passwords themselves)
- Enter your bags on Blockfolio to track their value
In short, the mobile device you want to be using on a day to day basis should not give off any indications that you are invested in cryptocurrency. And this will also make it easier to not get obsessed with market movements by checking your phone all the time.
For large amounts use hardware wallets
As aforementioned, there are many different types of cryptocurrency wallets. However, the safest possible option you can go with is a hardware wallet. These small USB-like devices store your coins in a non-custodial manner while also taking them offline (cold storage). Furthermore, apart from all the layers of security mentioned above, these wallets require manual authorization by their user each time a login or transaction is attempted. This comes through manually inputting a pin code within the app.
Hardware wallets may have recently gotten somewhat of a bad rep due to the Ledger data leak, but they are still the safest option to go with. Especially at this moment, with cryptocurrency prices on the rise, chances are that your portfolio will soon be worth a lot more than you think.