6 Tips To Keep Your Digital Wallet Safe

How To Keep Your Digital Money Safe

The rapid growth of technology over the past decades has truly transformed society into an online society. In November 2021Malaysia recorded 233.6 million e-money transactions worth RM5 billion in November last year, according to data provided by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).

As our banking and financial institutions have evolved, so have the scammers and hackers looking to take advantage of our online presence. For this reason, digital security has never been more important. Much of our financial transactions are conducted online today, whether through online banking accounts, e-wallets, mobile wallets and now, crypto wallets.

Read more: What is an e-wallet?

In the past, when someone mentions a wallet, it usually means a physical item where you can keep your ID, driver’s license, various credit cards, and of course, your money. Just as your physical wallet can be stolen by a pickpocket, your digital wallet can also be hacked by online scammers through your mobile phone, laptop or any other online-connected device.

As such, you will need to take as many steps as possible to ensure that your wallet and accounts remain secure, and your private keys inaccessible to anyone who wishes to exploit them.

Strengthen email security

One of the most common ways to get scammed is to send a phishing email. Usually people will be tricked and lured to fake website as they brown the internet where they may end up entering password. These emails and sites can be very persuasive, even to savvy internet users. This is especially true for scammers who impersonate well-known official service providers. Here are some quick tips for spotting a phishing email:

  • The email was sent from a public email domain. Phishing attacks often use easily accessible email addresses like those from Gmail or Outlook.
  • The domain name is misspelled. Hackers may try to trick you into using similar domain names that imitate legitimate domain names. For example, you might see something like “googlesecurity@gmail.cominstead of the official alert email from “no-reply@accounts.google.com”.
  • Badly written emails. Legit emails are usually handcrafted to be as precise and grammatically correct as possible.
  • The email contains suspicious links or attachments.
  • The message contains a sense of urgency. The scammers want you to believe that there is no time to check the legitimacy of their email.

Be doubly careful when emails are about your finances and make sure financial service providers are who they say they are before disclosing personal information.

Clean your devices

By clean, we mean free from malware and other harmful programs. This is absolutely essential if you have digital currency.

Don’t install any software that you know is a bit dodgy on your devices, like torrenting and hacking software or anything that allows practices that might be legally questionable. Even legitimate software can sometimes be harmful because sometimes it can be bundled with additional applications or plug-ins.

Try disabling any extra software that comes with installing new apps. If you have any doubts about the security of the software, do not install it on the same device that you use for your finances.

Take advantage of two-factor authentication

Although they are the bare minimum for digital security, passwords can actually be seen as part of the problem. On the one hand, people tend to create easily crackable passwords that can be cracked without much effort. Either that or they forget their passwords and use the same one for multiple sites and accounts.

That’s why it’s a good idea to use two-factor authentication (2FA) whenever possible. This creates another layer of security to fall back on, which should hopefully keep hackers out if they gain access to your password. Additionally, installing an authenticator app that produces a time-limited code unique to you is standard among reputable Wallet Service Providers (WSPs).

Stay alert in public

Public wifi is both convenient and practical in a pinch, but you should avoid connecting devices that contain sensitive information as much as possible. At the very least, the provider will be able to notice the type of data you are sending and receiving over the network. In the worst case, malware could be used to steal your information.

If you absolutely must use public wifi, you should at least use a VPN to keep your data encrypted. Also, while this may be obvious, it bears repeating: don’t use Wi-Fi you don’t have to access your wallets.

Do not store tokens on exchanges

Exchanges are the markets where you can buy and sell cryptocurrencies. As such, they are an obvious target for hackers and attacks are quite common. You are much better off using a reputable wallet service provider that offers cold storage. Cold storage is an offline wallet used to store bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies. With cold storage, the digital wallet is stored on a platform that is not connected to the internet. This secures the wallet against unauthorized access. This goes doubly for those looking to use cryptocurrencies as an investment. Cold storage would be much more preferable if you’re not looking to swap as often.

Securing your private key

When creating your cryptocurrency wallet, you have a unique key to download. A private key is a unique randomly generated 256-bit alphanumeric password that allows you to transfer your crypto. As such, it is imperative that you take all possible precautions to protect it. Do not store the key using items such as:

  • E-mail
  • Note-taking apps
  • Cloud storage, such as Google Drive
  • In a file on your computer

The randomly generated key can be quite complex and it’s very unlikely that you can remember the whole keycard yourself. One of the best ways to store the key is to download the key to an encrypted USB flash drive and keep it in a safe place. An encrypted USB key that is not plugged in is a way to keep a digital copy of the key as a backup. USB drives can be easily misplaced or dropped somewhere, so you’ll need to make sure this digital version isn’t your only copy of the key card.

Conclusion

It has become increasingly clear that as technology advances, the need for even greater digital security also increases. As it becomes more and more attractive for malicious hackers to gain access to your personal digital wallets, it has become imperative to create a highly secure and efficient digital payments ecosystem.

The above steps can not only help reduce the underlying risks of owning and storing cryptocurrencies, but also save you from potential loss of data and money.

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