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How to secure bitcoin: What are the best ways to keep it safe?

As bitcoin's value has steadily increased, so too have cyberattacks on cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets. Michael Cobb explains how to keep your bitcoin secure.

One of our employees asked me recently what the best way to secure bitcoin is. I had no idea. Do you have any advice on bitcoin security?

While there's no pressing need to rush into upgrading your payment system to accept bitcoins, it is worth monitoring its usage, particularly for a business with a big internet presence or one that sells digital products and services, such as online games or subscriptions.

Cryptocurrency is probably here to stay, and although some countries, such as China, have banned its use, many countries -- including the U.S. -- appear more relaxed about its existence. Some large organizations began accepting payment for products and services in bitcoins; however, recent fluctuations in the value of bitcoin led some companies, like Valve and Stripe, to drop support of the cryptocurrency.

Still, many companies continue to accept bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency. One benefit for merchants is that bitcoin transaction fees are typically lower than the 2% to 3% charged by credit card processors. A top benefit for customers paying with bitcoins is that they leave no data behind that can be used in identity theft.

How to secure bitcoin

In addition to financial benefits, there are several elements that secure bitcoin from theft. Cryptography controls the creation and transfer of a cryptocurrency, and the protocols underlying bitcoin have proven to be robust. Bitcoin's use of a distributed ledger known as blockchain gives owners a record of all their transactions that cannot be tampered with because there is no single point of failure.

However, this hasn't stopped attackers from exploiting vulnerabilities within bitcoin exchanges or wallets -- the software used for storing bitcoins on computers or smartphones. Bitcoin exchanges are not regulated by the government, and they generally do not provide enough insurance and security to be used to store money in the same way as a bank.

For example, the Mt. Gox and Flexcoin exchanges both shut down after hackers allegedly stole hundreds of thousands of bitcoins from them in separate attacks.

bitcoin currency

Not surprisingly, a study by Dell SecureWorks in 2014 showed that, as the value of a bitcoin rose, so did the number of viruses designed to steal bitcoins from wallets. That trend has continued this year; there have been several cyberattacks on exchanges and wallets as the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has skyrocketed in recent months. In addition, new threats like cryptomining malware attacks have also emerged.

Despite the increasing rate of cyberattacks, cryptocurrency wallets are still among the best ways to secure bitcoin. Ideally, wallet software should be installed on a bootable USB or a live CD to ensure that the operating system is virus free and doesn't cache, log or store wallet keys anywhere.

Users have to treat their software wallet the same way they would a real one, and best practice is to use two wallets, keeping only a small amount of bitcoins on a computer or mobile phone for everyday use, with the balance kept in a separate offline wallet. This safeguards the majority of a user's bitcoins from malware trying to intercept the password used to access a wallet or to find unencrypted wallet data in the device's RAM.

The offline wallet needs to be kept physically secure -- maybe even in a traditional bank vault -- as the loss or theft of a wallet means the permanent loss of the bitcoins it contains. A computer hard drive storing more than $4.6 million worth of bitcoins was thrown away and lost when the owner forgot it contained 7,500 bitcoins.

Offline or cold storage services are available, but note that they aren't regulated by the financial services industry. Additionally, if an offline wallet is encrypted, it is important to not forget the passphrase. Some experts prefer not to encrypt this type of wallet because, in the event of death, descendants would not be able to access their inheritance.

Keeping bitcoin secure

Regular backups of a bitcoin wallet are essential to protect against computer failure, theft and human error, but never store them online, especially if the backup is not encrypted. Finally, always use the latest version of bitcoin software, and use a password that is at least 16 characters long.

Although bitcoin is a purely digital currency, it can be kept secure in analog form. Paper wallets can be used to store bitcoins offline, which significantly decreases the chances of the cryptocurrency being stolen by hackers or computer viruses. Printing the contents of a wallet -- basically the private keys and their corresponding public keys -- creates a physical record which, of course, must be kept secure.

Keeping bitcoins secure is complex and time-consuming, but well worth the trouble for anyone with a reasonable amount of bitcoins. Bitcoin is more than a passing internet fad, and when dedicated hardware wallets appear on the market, they should provide a better balance between security and ease of use, possibly increasing the general acceptance and use of bitcoins and cryptocurrency for online transactions.

Ask the expert
Want to ask Michael Cobb a question about application security? Submit your questions now via email. (All questions are anonymous.)

This was last published in February 2018

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What are the best ways to keep bitcoin secure?
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It is possible to recover what you lost to scam brokers but most people don't know this because they are either not informed or they have been conned by a recovery expert. Truth is there are only a few people who can pull this off and I was lucky to meet with one of them. If you need help with this I suggest sending mail to B T C R E C O V E R Y 1 0 1 @ C O N S U L T A N T . C O M. I actually went to their office so they are 100% legit. Get the peace of mind you deserve.
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This stuff is a little over my head, but I'm glad Michael took the time to demystify it. I'm a fan of crypto currency, but no, I don't hold any yet and will need to learn a LOT more before I put my finances into Bitcoin or other currency.
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Wasn't someone just hack for a lot of money? I can't remember the specifics but i though it was a few million dollars. I'm curious as to why a lot of retailers do not accept this form of currency. The flip side  to this, are the funds insured like banks in the US by the FDIC ? IT also make me wonder if this is circumventing tax laws as well ? 
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Losing money in the form of lost bitcoin is very easy these days and has also become quite common, a slight mistake is all it takes and we are actually all prone to making mistakes. Money lost to binary options or bitcoin can definitely be recovered with the help of an expert. I was able to get my lost bitcoins recovered recently with the help of: B T C R E C O V E R Y 1 0 1 @ C O N S U L T A N T . C O M, this guy is very good and professional and I recommend him to anyone who may need help recovering funds lost to binary options or bitcoin. you can also call\text: +1 775-372-9370.
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As bitcon tops the $7,000 mark,  Many early bitcoin investors are in a painful predicament. They can't remember the complex security 

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The best that could happen to anyone is to fall into the right hands when it comes to recovery of lost Bitcoins. I know a very reliable hacker that's real among others is M O N E Y R E C O V E R Y 0 0 1 @ S O L U T I O N 4 U . C O M or +1 775-372-9370, once you contact him you'll really be convinced. I once fell a victim of some unscrupulous hacker who stole 7Btc I lost all hope but luckily I found this amazing guy who helped in recovering all. He can render good services for all other hacking services as well.
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Thanks to this team for helping from been scammed 
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To be honest I’ve been getting some info about bitcoin making people rich , yeah yeah 
I know how that sounds , sometimes you feel it’s scam but deep down, something keeps telling you to give it a try , I’ve been scammed before ,so annoying and me trying all my best to get my  bitcoins back, after even paying some incompetent hackers that are lazy 
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To be honest I’ve been getting some info about bitcoin making people rich , yeah yeah 
I know how that sounds , sometimes you feel it’s scam but deep down, something keeps telling you to give it a try , I’ve been scammed before ,so annoying and me trying all my best to get my  bitcoins back, after even paying some incompetent hackers that are lazy 
But I’m happy now that I can prove to these lazy hackers that I got my bitcoin back from those loopholes with the help of these hardworking experts 
I’m happy I invested my bitcoin with this experts and I’m making a lot of money ,guess ,I’m getting $36k weekly , you think this is scam , I won’t be  saying if it’s not real , Invest your bitcoin with this team and get more knowledge about bitcoin with the help of this experts 
Thank you .

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Share your In 2018 I was asked to invest in bitcoin by a colleague of mine where I worked few years  ago .

I was not all that into it but i wanted to give it a try .. I made this decision early this month after I got to meet my old time friend who lives in Ohio , he was looking all fresh and nice .. 

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In 2018 I was asked to invest in bitcoin by a colleague of mine where I worked few years  ago .

I was not all that into it but i wanted to give it a try .. I made this decision early this month after I got to meet my old time friend who lives in Ohio , he was looking all fresh and nice .. 

I asked him how he was making his money and he opened up to me by showing me proof of  how this experts

 (Blockchainnexperts@gmail dot com) helped him achieved his dream by just investing 1000 dollars and earning a lot of profit with investing just $1k ... wow I was fully interested in it , I sent them an email in his presence and used his name as a referral for fast response , I invested 1000 USD also with this experts and  after 5 days I got my profit of 27000 United dollars  ... so amazing how real this is for me , 

I got my second profit last week .. 

Stop procrastinating, had it been I invested in 2018 I’m sure I would have been a millionaire by now but I’m getting there with the help of this experts. Send them an email and you will be glad you did.


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its extremely difficult for an individual to mine bitcoin and with the increased value over the last 365 days.Bitcoin will surpass gold in my own opinion ,the recent surge and custody given to national banks to safe guard customers cryptocurrencies will be a huge impact on the world positively and the economy of USA.I joined an online trading platform for cryptocurrencies with the best intention of getting out of financial backlash,after my first profit i was denied access to my account with the caption wrong password.it took me seven hours surfing the web for ways to retrieve my passwords,getting across to the admin of the platform proved abortive.
Have you ever try to clawed back your stolen bitcoin without getting the right expert to get it done.well,with numerous names i decided to write to Cryptobinaryexpert@hot mail com for assistance.One of the moment i will never forget was the partnership i had with this great expert after retrieving my account in 48 hours,signed up to their platform for continuity and i can happily say i am financially buoyant with my last profit of 90k after reinvesting and the process
 continues till i become a millionaire of bitcoin as wished for.
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This is the way of the future working with this expert , and this should interest absolutely anyone who is looking for an opportunity to diversify and grow their asset portfolio. This includes investors who are interested in adding to their traditional portfolio options such as fixed investments, stocks, property, gold and so on, this experts recommended will be the best to fit in for any bitcoin issue, stolen bitcoin, lost wallet or hacked transactions, i emailed this team at :Blockchainnexperts@gmail.com for a solution of my stolen bitcoin, well i thought i sent my money to another scammer but no not this time, it was real ,i got it back but unfortunately they recovered just little of my stolen bitcoin, then i asked if i could invest my bitcoin to get profit, yes, you can invest your money or bitcoin with this team,i invested $2k bitcoin with this team ,few days later i was asked to send my wallet address for my profit which i received with bonus , Thanks to this team for the hard work and time dedicated for my work.you are the best 

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Share your commentI am a computer scientist, I got laid off in June due to a minor accident that made me stay in bed for months, I got broke after spending so much on Medicals. So I started making personal research on bitcoin mining and investments which only requires me to invest from the comfort of my home. I happened to stumble upon multiple reviews on Google which surfing the Internet. I didn’t have much knowledge about cryptocurrency until I started working with this team. I contacted them and started investments of 1200 and in just 5 days my Return On Investment accumulated to 30k usd and that amount used to be like my annual income. The best news is that I just copped my first home and I will forever be grateful to this crypto expert team (email) 
If you have issues with password recovery, stolen/lost bitcoin. Drop an email and be sure to smile afterwards.
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I am a computer scientist, I got laid off in June due to a minor accident that made me stay in bed for months, I got broke after spending so much on Medicals. So I started making personal research on bitcoin mining and investments which only requires me to invest from the comfort of my home. I happened to stumble upon multiple reviews on Google which surfing the Internet. I didn’t have much knowledge about cryptocurrency until I started working with this team. I contacted them and started investments of 1200 and in just 5 days my Return On Investment accumulated to 30k usd and that amount used to be like my annual income. The best news is that I just copped my first home and I will forever be grateful to this crypto expert team (bitcointechnologist@gmail dot com ) 
If you have issues with password recovery, stolen/lost bitcoin. Drop an email and be sure to smile afterwards.
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I am writing on evaluating security in cryptocurrency wallets and I was wondering what designs testing framework can I use to evaluate the security of cryptocurrency wallets ? Please and Thank you
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I lost an incredible amount of money to a fake Binary option Brokers, It all started from a phone call and after some persuasion I decided to invest, after months of constant investment about 130k$, I decided to ask for a payout this was the beginning of my turmoil, to my dismay I was still asked to invest more. Being a Single father this really affected me and despite all efforts to contact them failed. I was introduced to intraresource.com they took legal actions against them and they helped me retrieve my funds couldn’t be more thankful.
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ive done bitcoins for awhile and never gotten hacked if you want to try follow this link https://freebitco.in/?r=38867009
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its extremely difficult for an individual to mine bitcoin and with the increased value over the last 365 days.Bitcoin will surpass gold in my own opinion ,the recent surge and custody given to national banks to safe guard customers cryptocurrencies will be a huge impact on the world positively and the economy of USA.I joined an online trading platform for cryptocurrencies with the best intention of getting out of financial backlash,after my first profit i was denied access to my account with the caption wrong password.it took me seven hours surfing the web for ways to retrieve my passwords,getting across to the admin of the platform proved abortive.
Have you ever try to clawed back your stolen bitcoin without getting the right expert to get it done.well,with numerous names i decided to write to Cryptobinaryexpert@hot mail com for assistance.One of the moment i will never forget was the partnership i had with this great expert after retrieving my account in 48 hours,signed up to their platform for continuity and i can happily say i am financially buoyant with my last profit of 90k after reinvesting and the process
 continues till i become a millionaire of bitcoin as wished for.
Cancel
Am short of words for the amazing profit you helped me earn in just a week with binary options strategy am so sorry I doubted at the beginning, I invested $200 and earn $2,500 in just one week, and kept on investing more, today I am financially successful, you can contact him via email: carlose78910@gmail.com 
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I advice you shouldn't hesitate. He's great.
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Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency scams are becoming rampant as the day goes by. One should be careful when dealing with people online especially when it has to do with your funds. Getting back your stolen bitcoins is very easy but they are lots of fraudulent recovery firms out there so you need to be careful not to end up being defrauded again. Btcsmartrecovery @GMAIL COM is the most trusted and reliable recovery firm online. They are the best recovery firm out there now. They are very fast and efficient in the recovery of your funds. To contact them EMAIL: Btcsmartrecovery @GMAIL COM, You can simply send an email or WhatsApp on +1 206 745-0108 and you will be helped to recover 100% of you lost funds.

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Just last month I lost over 8 BTC to a Bitcoin investment scheme hoping to make profit but this turned out to be a scam. I was so devastated by this situation and needed my BTC recovered, luckily for me a friend introduced me to a genius hacker who helped me recover all my Bitcoins somehow in just a day. If you need such help feel free to contact them via: Q U I C K C O I N R E C O V E R Y 1 1 0 @ C O N S U L T A N T . C O M.
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A wonderful thank you to my best plug

S W I F T B T C R E C O V E R Y 2 6 @ C A S H 4 U . C O M, this hacker got me covered in every angle, everyday and anytime, am glad i came in contact with you,  you are the best.

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if you are ever in a situation where your Bitcoin was stolen or lost, i recommend contacting the email; "Q U I C K C O I N R E C O V E R Y 1 1 0 @ C O N S U L T A N T . C O M, They really do great jobs. They come highly recommended gets, they helped me recover my stolen Bitcoin from a scam cryptocurrency site.

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