- In the first six months of 2018, cryptocurrency equivocal to $731 million in value, was stolen from online exchange wallets
- Since 2013, costs associated with cryptocurrency coin thefts using direct hacking and PC malware have increased from $3 million per year to $95 million
- Many cryptocurrency users don't realize how easy it is for hackers to compromise the security of even top-rated app wallets
Are You using the Best Bitcoin Wallet in Terms of Total Security?
Imagine buying a handful of Bitcoin in 2009. Today, even just five coins would be valued at over $42,000. What, though, if between then and now, you misplaced the PC or USB stick used to store those coins? Would they be recoverable?
Storing Cryptocurrency is Fundamentally Different to Storing Fiat Cash
Exodus, Jaxx, and other Bitcoin wallet reviews make storing cryptocurrency sound easy. However, backing up wallet recovery passphrases and coin private keys, won’t help wallet users recover coins stolen by hackers or keylogging malware. Worse, when the worst does happen, there is never the equivalent of local police or law enforcement to turn to for assistance
Webb & App Wallets Don’t Provide Bulletproof Security
Is the web or app wallet you use to store coins 100% secure? - Probably not.
- Keylogging malware can easily compromise app and web wallets like Exodus on PC’s and smartphones
- App wallets stored on devices which physically malfunction, are irrecoverable if users don’t create and store wallet recovery passphrases separately
- Bitcoin wallet reviews of exchanges like Coinbase, often omit to mention how malware and keylogging software can be used to steal user login credentials
App Wallet Popularity Vs. Actual Security
Do you look for the best Bitcoin wallet apps by comparing iOS and Android App Store reviews? If so, it is important to understand the difference between app wallet popularity vs. actual security.
Cryptocurrency malware infection rates on PCs and smartphones are on the increase. In fact, according to Coin Telegraph, ‘crypto-jacking’ malware can be found on 55% of business PCs globally. The good news, though, is that there are still ways to use web and app wallets safely.
Top Web & App Wallet Security Tips
- Consider investing in a separate ‘burner’ netbook or smartphone which is kept offline and only used to run your web or app wallet of choice
- Consider using alternative PC operating systems like Linux to avoid the most common crypto-jacking and keylogging malware
- Always backup coin private keys and recovery passphrases on separate offline devices kept in a secure location
Should You Consider Investing in a Hardware Wallet Like a Ledger Nano S?
The threat of cryptocurrency keylogging and screen capture malware isn't something to take lightly.
- Keylogging malware is often piggybacked onto smartphones by separate ‘authentic’ app installs
- Screen capture and keylogging software is used by hackers to record screen taps and two-factor authentication codes in real-time
- Hackers will often gather data over long periods, before emptying wallets when users least expect them to
Given the concerns mentioned above, the only way to store cryptocurrency 100% safely is to use a hardware wallet like a Nano Ledger S or Trezor wallet. This is thanks to the fact that Trezor and Ledger Nano devices require users to confirm all outgoing transactions manually.
- Hardware wallets like Trezor wallets scramble pin code panels every time a wallet is used to counter keylogging attempts
- Nano and Ledger hardware wallets can be used safely on even malware and virus infected PCs
- Unlike exchange and app wallets, no Nano or Ledger wallet has ever been successfully hacked
Keep Your Cryptocurrency Safe by Keeping it Secret
Did you invest in coins like Bitcoin early and make substantial profits in the process? If so, you might want to be careful not to boast.
Hardware wallets and web and app wallets can be used to secure coins against online hackers. What they can’t do, though, is protect users against real-world criminals and even kidnappers. Always be careful, in this case, never to flash your new Bitcoin millions too flamboyantly.