Buying cryptocurrency isn’t exactly the Wild West experience it was ten years ago, but there’s still a lot of risk and instability associated with the purchase.  New scams appear on a weekly basis, and those that we thought were quelled reappear from time to time as well.  Whether it’s a phishing attempt to try and steal your key, or a fake scheme altogether, there are plenty of things that investors need to be aware of.

Luckily, with a little bit of effort it is possible to keep your Bitcoin safe from scammers and hackers.  Below we will describe the main things you need to do.

Nail the Basics

First of all, you want to make sure you have all of your basics covered.  This includes things like setting up two-factor authentication for your wallet, using enhanced security protocols for your email address, and using an encrypted password manager.  These are things that a lot of people do already, but if you aren’t doing them, you absolutely need to before investing.  For those who are still worried, it can be worth adding a password or PIN to your phone number to make it even harder for hackers to access your accounts.

Use a Hardware Wallet

When you buy Bitcoin, most exchanges will give you the option of keeping it on the exchange or transferring it to a hardware (cold storage) wallet.  You want to do the latter.  When your Bitcoin is on a hard disk drive or a USB stick that isn’t connected to the internet, you can be sure that it is safe.  Leaving coins in an exchange or storing them on your phone isn’t wise.  Not only is it easier to be tricked into giving access to a hacker, but there are also a lot of different ways a scam artist can infiltrate your devices to access your coin.  When in doubt, always invest in a cold storage wallet and keep it offline.

If You Need to Keep Some Bitcoin in an Exchange…

Make sure it’s only a small amount.  The problem some investors find with storing all of their cryptocurrency in a cold storage wallet is that it can be quite cumbersome to trade it when the time comes.  Experts suggest that you add only what you are willing to lose to the exchange and never, ever give someone your private access key.  Additionally, make sure that your keys are encrypted and don’t leave them lying around.

Know How to Recover It

Finally, it’s a good idea to know how to recover your Bitcoin should you accidentally wipe your hard drive.  A company like Secure Data Recovery can help to recover a damaged Bitcoin wallet, or you can look for tutorials online regarding how to do this.  A word of warning: it is always better to work with a professional data recovery company unless you know what you are doing with the technology.

Whether you are new to Bitcoin or have been investing in it for a while, hopefully these tips will help you save money and keep your investment safe.