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SECURITY: How Not To Lose All Your Money: Wallets, Laptops, Smartphones

Hopefully, at this stage you are already convinced that all exchanges and other intermediaries are a necessary evil and that you need to equip yourself with your own crypto wallet. One of the simplest, best and safest solutions is the wallet offered by www.metamask.io. In Chapter 8 I have described in detail how to you can set up your own wallet. Remember to go directly to the website I specified rather than typing the words MetaMask into Google because the list of results you get can take you to a fake MetaMask website with a fake wallet.

When setting up a wallet at www.metamask.io, remember to save, securely store and not share your private keys with anyone. The MetaMask wallet is completely sufficient for you if your planned investment or funds held there do not exceed $1,000. If you plan to hold more than $10,000 of crypto, you should purchase the so-called hardware wallet. Remember that even a small investment of $1,000 can easily grow to $10,000. The most popular, but not the only hardware wallets, are offered by www.ledger.com and www.trezor.io. The main difference between software-based wallets such as MetaMask and hardware-based wallets such as Ledger or Trezor is that in the latter case you will need a physical device to verify each transaction. It is therefore impossible to hack your wallet via Web without physical access to your Ledger or Trezor.

Order one of these and when you receive it, follow the instructions to perform setup, which is very straightforward. As with MetaMask, both Ledger and Trezor will generate new private keys for you. Proceed with them in exactly the same manner as I described in the previous section. When ordering one of these wallets, make sure you buy them directly from the manufacturers at www.ledger.com or www.trezor.io. Any other physical or online shop like Amazon is a risk that your private key has already been generated and copied by an unauthorized person. If your crypto investment exceeds $1 million, then consider a multisig setup with www.gnosis-safe.io. In general, multi-sig requires multiple wallets to be signed before a transaction can take place. This is a little more complicated than using a hardware wallet, but well worth the effort for larger cryptocurrency investments. This is especially true for long-term deposits , such as staking HEX for 5555 days. As an alternative to Gnosis Safe, you could spread your cryptocurrencies across several wallets like Ledger or Trezor.

LAPTOPS AND SMARTPHONES

When I introduce someone to the world of crypto and mention MetaMask for the first time, often the person will reach for his or her phone to download a wallet onto it. As a general rule, I advise against using wallets or performing any crypto transactions on a smartphone because it is less secure than using a laptop or desktop computer… Smartphones are easier to hack, steal and lose. Personally, I don’t have a single wallet on my phone and I don’t carry out any transactions via my mobile. This rule also applies to the use of exchanges and I highly recommend following it.

When using a computer, you should also follow a few basic security rules. Whether you are using an operating system Microsoft Windows or Mac OS, you should use antivirus software, a firewall and a VPN as a bare minimum. The next step for increasing your security should be to have a separate personal computer dedicated solely to working with cryptocurrencies. Such a computer should be equipped with the minimum and necessary software to function as well as a web browser, antivirus, firewall and VPN. This computer should only be connected to the Web when you intend to perform any transaction and disconnected once it has been finalized. If the aforementioned requirements sound to you like too much expense or a process requiring too much hassle, ask yourself if you are really right when you may own or soon will own crypto worth tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not even millions.

Read more in my book ‘Second Crypto Revolution: Build Generational Wealth With Richard Heart’s Crypto Ecosystem’.

‘Second Crypto Revolution’ is now also available as an audiobook! Click here to listen!

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