A new year in crypto means new markets, new trading opportunities and new technological advances that let you do more with cryptocurrency and blockchain. More opportunities can also come with more risks, though; as new and returning traders come into the crypto market, so too do scammers and cybercriminals looking to take advantage of them. Luckily for you, the Bittrex platform gives you all the tools needed to make trading crypto secure, reliable and stress-free. The better you know your resources, the more you can use them to their full effect, so we’ve put together some practical safety tips you can be apply both towards Bittrex and your day to day internet activity. These are our top 7 tips to trade more securely in 2020.
Bittrex Security Resources
Let’s start by identifying the security improvements you can make just by using the safety features built into the Bittrex cryptocurrency trading platform. All of these options are easily accessible and can make a substantial difference in protecting your account with very little effort.
1. Setting Up 2FA on Bittrex
Bittrex strongly recommends authenticator-based two-factor authentication (2FA) which protects your account by controlling the devices you can log in to Bittrex with. By ensuring that you can only use Bittrex on specific trusted devices, you can create an extra layer of security that keeps others from logging in, even if they have access to your password. Bittrex does not use SMS-based two factor authentication because it is insecure.
2FA is a flexible security feature that can be enabled and disabled as needed, which can be useful in situations where you’ve lost a device or upgraded to a new one. For more information on how to set up 2FA for your Bittrex account, read our article on enabling two-factor authentication.
2. Getting Your IP Address and Wallet Address Whitelisted
Activating 2FA gives you access to two additional safety features in the form of whitelisting for both your IP and wallet address. Enabling them adds yet another layer of security to your trading activity and sets up a safeguard in the event that you lose your API keys or credentials.
By whitelisting your IP address, you can configure Bittrex to only support trades and withdrawals that come from that address. Bittrex also gives you the option to whitelist multiple IP addresses, be it on Bittrex.com, the Bittrex mobile app or an API. You can also set your account to only accept withdrawals to specific wallet addresses, which can be configured for each individual token.
3. Using Secure 3rd Party Tools and APIs
One of the great things about the Bittrex platform is that it supports trading via API and 3rd party applications, which lets you tailor your experience and trade the way you want. We encourage our customers to use the tools they’re most comfortable with, but also advise caution when sharing data through an API.
We strongly recommend doing your research before downloading any 3rd party trading app; just because it is on your app store of choice does not mean it is necessarily a secure option. Remember to always check how long an app has been available, how many people have reviewed it and what those reviews say as to its trustworthiness. If you are able to, it might also be a good idea to check the source code and see for yourself if the app is reliable.
Finally, we advise you not to share your API keys, since doing so can put your account at risk.
4. Checking for Suspicious Account Activity
Verifying your account status and security can easily be done without needing to interrupt your trading. By selecting the My Activity option within the Settings tab on Bittrex, you can get a detailed look at your transactions and logins from the last 28 days and even the IP address from which these were performed. Looking for and identifying unauthorized transactions or IP addresses you don’t recognize is a practical way of checking to see if your account has been compromised and also pinpointing the source of unauthorized activity.
Since only the last 28 days of activity are displayed at a time, we also provide you with the option to download your complete transaction history if you want to take a more comprehensive look. To do so, simply go to the Orders tab on Bittrex, and select the Download History option.
We put a lot of effort into protecting our customers and making Bittrex the safest place to trade cryptocurrencies. However, we also recognize that many of the risks people face lie outside of trading and using the Bittrex platform. As such, we have also included some general safety tips you can apply towards your daily life.
5. Limiting What You Share Online
The more personal details you share about yourself online, the easier it is for a bad actor to impersonate you and gain access to things like your credit card information, bank account or cryptocurrency trading tools. It’s obvious you shouldn’t disclose things like your phone number, address and date of birth to the public, but you should also be cautious about openly communicating things like the crypto trading platforms you use, since this is also info that can be used to impersonate you.
6. Password Management
You’ve probably heard the common advice of not repeating passwords and not making them too simple, but if this is all you’re doing, then you’re not doing enough. Do your research on the different passwords managers available to find one that fits your needs. There are a lot of bells and whistles and a lot of different options to choose from, but the bare essentials are a good password generator and 2FA protection that works with an authenticator app, rather than SMS which is insecure. Your password manager will help you create unique, strong passwords which will help keep you protected when combined with good security questions and a proactive approach towards updating your passwords.
7. Identifying Scams
No amount of security technology or best practices can protect your accounts and data if you willingly give them away, which is effectively what happens when you fall for a scam. There are a wide variety of strategies employed by scammers, many of which have evolved beyond flat out asking you to send over your information. As such, it is important to know the signs of potential scam, which we’ve outlined in this article.
We expect 2020 will introduce many exciting new developments in the cryptocurrency market for both new and established traders.