How to secure your accounts on crypto exchanges? The guide

How to secure your accounts on crypto exchanges?  The guide

Secure your accounts: After the recent crash of one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, FTX, investors are concerned about the security of digital assets.

In the case of FTX, investors lost their money due to mismanagement of funds by the company’s promoters (SBF and team). In addition to commingling of funds at exchanges, investors have repeatedly lost funds due to hacks.

Although you can’t do much if the crypto exchange is hacked on a broad level, but you can secure your account on the exchange, which will protect your money from specific (or individual) hacks and perhaps from company-wide hacking attacks.

Here are some steps you should follow:

1. Look for Proof of Reserves (PoR)

Given FTX’s mishandling of customer funds, it’s clear that transparency is critical to protecting your digital assets. A Merkle tree proof of reserves (PoR) certificate is the best option for crypto exchanges to demonstrate that they are qualified custodians.

Check the exchange’s POR in advance to ensure that customers’ balances are fully stored in the exchange and can be withdrawn at any time.

2. Use a strong password

This is the least you can do. A weak password is a lot like giving away your money to hackers. You cannot be careless with this.

Use a long, random and unique password for your exchange account. Do not reuse a previously used password or use the new (exchange account) password anywhere else. If you are worried about forgetting your password, write it down and keep it in a safe place.

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You can also use a password manager, such as LastPass, 1Password, or Dashlane, to generate and store unique passwords for all of your online accounts. However, remember that you must remember the password for the password manager. Remember or write down the password manager’s password and keep it in a safe place.

Critical: It is important that you never reveal your password to anyone. Any employee of an exchange will never ask for your password.

3. Use 2-step verification

2-step verification adds another layer of protection between your account and hackers trying to steal your username and password. The most critical action you can take to protect your account is to enable 2-step verification.

With this, users have to log into their accounts in two steps, using something they know (their password) and something they have (the phone or a security key).

Security keys are the most secure type of 2-step verification and provide protection against phishing attacks. Security keys are classified into two types:
A hardware security key (or a Titan security key)
The phone’s built-in security key

When a user logs into their account, the device detects that the account has a security key. The user logs in with the security key for the second verification step. Depending on the key type, users can connect the security key to the device using USB, Bluetooth or NFC (Near Field Communication).

If you’re not ready to invest in a security key or just don’t want to use one, the next best choice is to use a time-based one-time password (TOTP) by using a mobile authentication application such as Google Authenticator. By using TOTP, you significantly reduce the likelihood of your account being compromised.

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4. Protect your email.

Exchanges use your email address to verify new devices, provide you with important account notifications, and interact with you if you need help. You must make sure it is safe!

To begin, go to see if your email address has ever been compromised as a result of a third-party data breach. If this is the case, you will need to change the password for that email account. You should also enable two-factor authentication for your personal email account.

Apart from this, check your email account for strange rules, filters or forwarding addresses. Examine the account for unauthorized recovery emails or phone numbers, as well as unauthorized devices.

5. Secure the phone

Keyloggers, Remote Access Trojans (RATs), and cookie-stealing malware can all be used to steal your credentials and gain unauthorized access to your accounts. You need to ensure that your devices are secure against these types of threats.

  • Update your device with the latest operating system and security patches.
  • Update your browser and other software. Use antivirus software and scan your device regularly.
  • Uninstall any suspicious or unwanted applications from your device, especially tools that allow remote access.
  • Install an ad blocker in your browser, such as uBlock Origin, to protect yourself from malicious ads.
  • Use safe web browsing practices and avoid clicking on suspicious links or downloading sketchy apps.
  • It is not recommended to install and use browser plug-ins or add-ons made by unknown third parties.

A SIM swap or phone port attack poses a risk to any account that uses SMS-based 2-step verification, as well as any account that can be retrieved using phone-based authentication.

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To protect yourself from such attacks, contact your mobile provider and request port freeze and SIM lock. To port or transfer your phone number to a new device, ask them to issue an account memo that requires you to be in the store with a valid photo ID.

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