This article will help you protect your Bitcoin purchased through Swan by educating you about the most common ways to lose your Bitcoin. Unlike traditional banking transactions, Bitcoin transactions are irreversible. Thus, attackers often target Bitcoin beginners because there is little recourse once funds are transferred. No worries. With a few simple steps, you should be able to protect yourself from the most common ways of losing your Bitcoin.
Advice for Beginner Users:
1.) Never, ever, EVER reuse passwords across sites. If you reuse passwords and one site leaks your password, then an attacker can sign into all of your online accounts and try to steal all your funds from your bank accounts or Bitcoin exchange accounts.
Instead, download a password generator like Lastpass to generate long, unique passwords for all of your different sites. This way, you only need to remember one long master password for your password generator, not tens of different passwords! When you do create your one long master password, don't overcomplicate it.
People often create passwords from dictionary words with something extra, such as number to letter substitution ("p4ssw0rd!"). This is very low security and easy for hackers to figure out using computers. Instead, choose 5 random dictionary words (dice work great for this, or open the dictionary to different spots).
2.) Do not send Bitcoin to people you don't know personally, even if you've formed a long relationship with someone online. Do not send Bitcoin to people who promise either high returns or that they will send you more Bitcoin back. Question every website that promises any return on Bitcoin, and ask a trusted friend for a second opinion, or ask us.
3.) Protect yourself from Malware by using a trusted, free Malware scanner like Malwarebytes. Otherwise, DO NOT download other software you don't recognize, ESPECIALLY NOT TeamViewer or Ultraviewer. Never download software or open links sent to you via email or any messaging service.
5.) Once you have withdrawn Bitcoin to your own wallet, make sure to write down two copies of your private keys. Keep these copies in two physically separate, safe locations. Never type your private keys into any internet-connected device. Never point a camera at your private keys. Do not share your private keys 24-word seed phrase with anyone except your trusted heirs.
6.) Do not give out your personal information to anyone you don’t trust. Do not reply to any phone calls, texts, emails, or computer popups from unknown sources. It is easy for hackers to pretend to be your bank, computer company, or other "trusted party". Criminals often pose as technical support representatives and offer to fix non-existent computer issues. If you have a computer issue, ask a tech-savvy trusted family member, and if unavailable, take your computer to a large corporate location such as Best Buy or Apple. Do not tell the repair people about your Bitcoin holdings.
The only way to ascertain you are not being defrauded is to call officially listed phone numbers on company websites. It is better to avoid picking up calls from unknown numbers entirely.
Keep in mind: caller ID can be faked, so it is always better for you to place calls than receive them.
Advice for Intermediate Users:
8.) Update your device's operating system when prompted to keep its security up-to-date.
9.) Don't brag about your Bitcoin online or publicly. Don't talk about how much you have or how it's stored.
10.) Limit the number of online platforms you share personal information with.
11.) Set up a password on your phone and computer to access those devices.
12.) Purchase a Bitcoin hardware wallet and learn to use it (Trezor or Coldcard). Always make sure to purchase hardware wallets direct from the manufacturer's website, not through social media, or a third party. Don't even purchase a hardware wallet through Amazon. It's best if you can send your hardware wallet to a PO Box rather than your home address.
Advice for Advanced Users:
Please read these more comprehensive links about how to protect your Bitcoin from more sophisticated attacks: