Our digital footprints continue to grow as we use more and more financial services online. And while it’s brilliantly convenient, transacting online does pose a much greater risk when it comes to the security and safety of our personal information and money. 

Fortunately, with a few careful and consistent strategies, we’re able to minimise our risk and make sure our assets - especially when it comes to bitcoin - are protected.  

5 Simple Steps to Keep You (and Your Bitcoin) Safe Online

 

 

 

  1. Pick strong, secure passwords 
  2. Add alternative authentication 
  3. Activate and update antivirus software  
  4. Become Bitcoin scam savvy! 
  5. Check company credentials 

1. Pick Strong, Secure Passwords

It may sound like a security basic - but it’s the one that most people overlook. When registering for an online service, like Gravity, for example, be sure to choose a super-secure password and not one that you’re using across other websites or social media platforms. 

A secure password should include letters (in both lower and upper case), numbers, and special characters. On Gravity, your password has to be a minimum of 12 characters, although you’re welcome to make it longer too. 

To keep your passwords secure and organised across all of your devices, I’d recommend looking into password vault services such as Lastpass or 1Password. Both of these can generate secure passwords and autocomplete your logins - all you have to remember is your master password.

 

2. Add Alternative Authentication 

By default on Gravity, we request that customers set up 2FA (two-factor authentication) for the website version. This is when you need to enter a time-sensitive code generated by an Authenticator application to confirm actions such as logging in or withdrawals. 

When the iOS application launches (soon™), you’ll have options for face identification and fingerprint scanning authentication too. 

These additional layers of security are an excellent way to bolster the safety of your account and guard against unauthorised transactions.

 

3. Activate and Update Antivirus Software

Using reliable antivirus software, and updating it regularly, is another basic yet often forgotten way to keep our assets safe online! 

While some operating systems or browsers are known for being safer than others, there’s potential for malware or other viruses to be unknowingly accessed from any device. 

Run routine scans to check your devices are free of any ‘nasties’ that hackers could use to steal your sensitive information or valuable assets. And always use the latest version of antivirus available. 

 

4. Become Bitcoin Scam Savvy  


There are plenty of scams out there! From your entry-level “You’ve inherited £12m from a relative you didn’t even know existed” email to full-blown “credible” investment schemes. 

Learning the tell-tale signs of a Bitcoin scam or Ponzi scheme will help you steer clear and guard your investments. Here are few examples of what should set off alarm bells:

  • Any claims of a guaranteed return on your investment 
  • Especially exponential returns in a short period of time 
  • An urgency to get in ‘now’ or any time-sensitive investments 
  • Pressure to continually bring in new investors who form part of your ‘team’ 
  • The ‘elevator pitch’ seems overly complicated and isn’t easily understood

The Bitcoin market is highly volatile. You should consider any business or individual claiming they can guarantee you returns with extreme caution. It’s simply impossible to guarantee returns without a multi-level marketing scheme propping it up, which will inevitably lead to someone losing money. Don’t let it be you! 

Avoid emotionally-driven investment decisions, especially when it comes to bitcoin, and never invest any more than you can comfortably afford to lose. 

 

 

5. Check Company Credentials 

Tied into the above recommendation to avoid scams and schemes is to complete your due diligence before you part with even a penny of your hard-earned money! 

All local cryptocurrency-related businesses must register with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK. These companies need to apply proper practices and processes related to Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML), such as requiring proof of your identity, address and income. 

You can check whether a company is registered with the FCA using their online database here. Otherwise, you can also see whether they’re listed on their unregistered business list here. This isn’t to say these businesses are scams. Still, they don’t have the legal requirements to operate in the UK, and therefore, it’s probably best to steer clear. 

Lastly, suppose someone you’re not familiar with has approached you to deposit bitcoin into a specific wallet. You can check the wallet address is listed on the Bitcoin Abuse Database. This is a public resource where you can report wallet addresses being used by cybercriminals, usually for blackmail scams or similar. 

Remember that, unlike traditional bank transfers, once a bitcoin transaction has been sent, there’s no option to recall it! Be 100% certain of your transaction before you push that button. 

 

Bonus Step 6 - Register for Gravity

Yes, it’s a shameless plug, but we’re proud of the fact that, for the last 7 years, we’ve kept our customers’ digital assets safe and secure. Our proprietary security model has a zero-breach record, despite tens of thousands of attempted attacks. 

As custodians of your bitcoin, we make sure they’re stored offline - in what’s called deep cold storage - out of the reach of would-be thieves. So you can rest easy, knowing your bitcoin is as safe as houses!

 

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