Securing your Cryptocurrency and online life

Securing your crypto and online life requires you to be aware of risks and attentive to small yet vitally important details. If you are new to the world of crypto, we encourage you to spend some time learning about cybersecurity threats and take the appropriate measures to secure your online life – not just your crypto.
In this article, we provide some basic reminders about Cryptocurrency security and general online security practices. To learn more, please do your research.

General Principles

Healthy Paranoia

When we think of paranoia, we tend to believe it is unhealthy, but learning to be paranoid online is good. Paranoia makes us think twice and slow down.

Slowing Down

Typically, we make mistakes when we rush things. Cryptocurrency is not something that should never be rushed irrespective of whether you are investing, securing or sending crypto. Take your time, don’t rush.

Beware of Scams & Fake Profiles

The internet is full of scams, and Cryptocurrency is no exception. Unsolicited messages in Telegram and other channels such as Twitter have a high likelihood of being scams, many of which are pretty elaborate. Never trust someone anyone whose identity you cannot verify.

Securing Your Accounts

Private Keys & Seed Phrases

Remember that your private keys and seed phrases are, in principle, the codes to a safe that is out on the street for everyone to see. The nature of Cryptocurrency is that the code cannot be cracked, but if someone gets your keys or seed, they will take everything, never forget this.

Strong Unique Passwords

Irrespective of how strong your passwords are, if they are not well managed, they are useless. Create strong passwords unique to the account using upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols. Furthermore, consider using a password management tool such as LastPass, Dashlane or Keeper Security.

Two-factor authentification (2FA)

If 2FA is available, use it. And if you choose to use Google Authenticator, be aware that your phone/device is potentially a security risk, so treat it accordingly and ensure your device has remote wipe features activated in case of loss or theft.

Email Security

Emails enable you to reset passwords; if your email is compromised, it can be disastrous. Consider setting up a new email address for important accounts and use it only for that account only.

Follow Security Instructions

Most wallets, exchanges and other accounts (crypto and non-crypto) will prompt you to go through various security measures, don’t ignore these prompts. They are there for a reason.

Verify Your Identity

When using exchange accounts, always verify your identity because if your account is compromised, you can use your identity to prove ownership.

Device Security

Premium Anti-virus & Firewalls

Try to avoid using free anti-virus software and always ensure you have a Firewall active. Standard or free anti-virus and firewall software typically offer a lower level of protection than paid software. Instead, look for software with a built-in anti-keylogger for extra protection; ZoneAlarm is a good example.

Updating Software

Software developers are constantly working to eliminate security vulnerabilities, but you will not benefit from their work unless you keep your software updated. So keep automatic updates turned on on all your devices.

Backup Your Data

If you become a victim of cyber attacks, the only way to restore your data is obviously from a backup. Therefore, using cloud storage and physical hard drives to perform frequent backups will save you time, and headaches should your device break, be lost or stolen.

Mobile Device Security

Use complex codes and biometrics for securing your mobile device. Only install apps from trusted sources, take advantage of remote wipe functions such as Find my iPhone and Android Device Manager and backup your device data using services like iCloud and Sync from Android.

Device Health & Cache Cleaning

Ensuring your device is working at an optimum level is highly valuable when it comes to online security. Consider using the premium versions of tools such as CCleaner to keep your device running at its best.

Internet Security

Phishing Scams

Be cautious about clicking links when you don’t know where they lead; unsafe links are made to look tempting, don’t be a click bate victim. Be aware of unfamiliar emails with embedded links and attached documents. Don’t open or click anything without knowing what it will do or scanning it first with your anti-virus software.
And, check you are on the right site before typing in your credentials by looking carefully at the domain name.

Personal Identifiable Information (PII)

Today, people are making themselves incredibly vulnerable through their activities on social media. Therefore, you should be very cautious about the type of information you display online, sharing only the bare minimum.

Router Password

Change the default password on your home internet router to prevent a stranger from gaining control over your router. Use a long password (rather than a single word) along with numbers and symbols as you should with any other password.

WiFi Password

Make sure your WiFi network has a strong password (this is separate from the router password) and create a guest network if your router has that option so that the primary network remains private for your devices only.

Public WiFi

Use your mobile data plan instead of public WiFi networks. If you have to use public WiFi, make sure to have a premium VPN from a reputable brand (avoid free VPNs) and avoid performing tasks where sensitive information may be exposed.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to securing your online activity, personal information, devices and crypto, the bottom line is that no one except you is responsible. Speaking specifically about crypto, you could be using the most secure wallet or exchange available, have the strongest password possible and be running the best security software available but still lose your crypto if you dont manage your info and activity appropriately.

The trick is to take your time, don’t do things you don’t understand, keep learning and always be discerning.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational purposes only. BitcoinVend does not provide any warrants or guarantees that you will be protected against cyber threats by applying the suggestions founds here. BitcoinVend, its directors, employees, associates, affiliates, or partners cannot and will not be held responsible for any losses, damages or costs incurred by your decision to act upon any information provided.

Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated: Sep 15th, 2021

Security:

How secure is BitcoinVend?

Our application’s back-end (all wallet architecture and technology) runs on the Fireblocks platform; Fireblocks is regarded as the most secure wallet infrastructure available. Read more about Fireblocks here.

Two-factor authentication is required for all sensitive activities, and users are encouraged to secure their accounts with biometrics.

Privacy & Data:

What personal information is collected by BitcoinVend?

We collect only a small amount of personal data. The only requirement is to verify a telephone number and email address. However, we encourage all users to verify their accounts with identity documents. Users will adjust specific privacy settings within the app, but BitcoinVend will monitor user activity to benefit all users.

All personal data is handled following GDPR, and a third party securely processes KYC documents.

Wallets:

How does the BitcoinVend wallet work?

BitcoinVend wallets are created in the Fireblocks platform. Imagine each wallet as an advanced multi-signature wallet. Read more about Fireblocks here.

Legal & Policies:

What can individuals and merchants sell/not sell in the App? I.E, what are the limitations?

In short, anything legal in the jurisdiction where it is being bought/sold is acceptable.

However, to avoid jeopardising the project’s future, certain items will be restricted (initially) to reduce scrutiny and limit risks (for both users and the BitcoinVend business).

Example 1 – Marijuana

Marijuana is legal in certain countries but not in others; generally speaking, it is considered a high-risk product.

This is a complex subject to navigate and requires careful consideration. Initially, high-risk items such as Marijuana or Cannabis-related products will not be allowed on the app. However, as a company, we will be consulting with legal professionals to ensure we do no impose limitations where they need not be. See the summary below for more information.

To clarify, when we refer to “Cannabis-related” products, we are talking about high THC products. However, low THC products such as CBD oils, foods, creams, balms, and others derived from Industrial Hemp will not be limited. On the contrary, the sale of such products will be encouraged because they are trendy.

Example 2 – Medicines

Initially, medicines will not be allowed on the app. Again, such items are considered ´high-risk´ and therefore require careful consideration and appropriate legal counsel, see the summary below for more information.

Example 3 – Weapons / Arms

The sale of weapons will be strictly prohibited. See the summary below for more information.

Example 4 – Pornography & Adult Content

Initially, pornographic and adult content will be prohibited. See the summary below for more information.

Summary

In short, BitcoinVend is not another Silkroad. It is however designed to be a free-market economy with as few restrictions and limitations as possible.

In this section, we are talking about marketplace listings/activity. Where it pertains to payment processing, any merchant who is appropriately licensed to sell their products/services will be able to process payments online or in their physical establishments and list items in the marketplace under their business ‘page’. Ultimately, whether things are sold to eligible app users and in jurisdictions/regions where they are legal will fall upon the companies who list/sell said products.

Disclaimer: The use of BitcoinVend App is subject to terms and conditions; terms and conditions can change at any time.

Am I required to submit KYC/AML documentation? And who will handle this / how will it be processed?

In short, users are not required to perform KYC or identify themselves to use the app. However, KYC is encouraged, and users who do not submit identity documents will have limited deposit and withdrawal capabilities as well as being restricted from using certain features. KYC documents are processed by an external processor.

Disclaimer: The use of BitcoinVend App is subject to terms and conditions; terms and conditions can change at any time.

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