Be Your Own Bank
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies give people the power to cut out banks as a needed third party in transactions and storing value, which means more
freedom and privacy for anyone. Holding the private key for Bitcoin gives you some advantages that you do not have with the conventional banking system.
Bitcoin is immune to seizure, censorship resistant and permission-less.
A big drawback to being your own bank is being in charge of your own security. This is one of the issues slowing down mass adoption. Fortunately, there are
various safety nets one can utilize to protect against hackers and accidental loss of funds. In our opinion the most important safety net you can use is
educating yourself. That can be very time consuming, so it is our goal to give you a very good start here with this website and community.
Another important step to take is using two factor authentication for everything (we strongly recommend Google Authenticator) and saving your backup
phrases and keys securely. There are also hardware options available for 2FA that may be even more secure. Almost every site will have an option to
use Google Authenticator tho. We strongly recommend to not use any 2FA options which are tied back to your phone number. Phone numbers can be
hijacked and spoofed, and that definitely happens in cryptocurrency more than it should.
The more you get into cryptocurrency, the more passwords and passphrases and wallet backups you will need to take care of properly. Some people like to
store these in paper form and store them in a fire-proof safe or safety deposit box. Another option is to store them in digital form using encrypted folders and
drives. There are pros and cons to both ways but either will work fine if you do them properly. Make sure you do not rely on one copy of your backups. Best Practices for storing data always include having backups in separate geographic locations even, if possible. It is recommended to not store your backups
on the cloud. Always make sure you backup EVERYTHING and it is a good idea to do a test restore from your backups to make sure they are valid. Do not
test restore paper wallets or private keys unless you know what you are doing tho.
A separate new or clean PC or laptop is highly recommended, where it is exclusively utilized for cryptocurrency. A clean phone or mobile device can work when
you start out, but those are harder to maintain securely for big investments in our opinion. Your PC should be new or fully wiped and updated, including the bios.
Not re-using passwords is also highly recommended. Nothing is un-hackable and security is all about limiting your attack surfaces and limiting mistakes.
With true cryptocurrencies, only you are accountable for keeping your funds safe and secure.
Another common issue with getting started in cryptocurrency is mistakes. Most of us make them sooner or later. If you develop good practices and stick to them in the beginning, it could be very beneficial to you if you ever do make a mistake with your cryptocurrency. Some common mistakes are sending to the wrong
address, losing backups and passwords, and leaving crypto on exchanges when it is not being traded. If you do not control the private key to your cryptocurrency,
it is technically not your cryptocurrency. It is highly recommended that you control your own private keys when you own cryptocurrency. It is important to use bookmarks and be very suspicious of emails and private messages to avoid phishing attempts.
When sending cryptocurrency, make SURE you are sending it to the correct address. You need to at least double check the first 5 and last 5 characters of the address you are sending to. Also, for large transactions it is good to first make a small test transaction first. It is recommended not to try to type an address. Use copy/paste or a QR code. It is good to learn how to check your transactions and addresses using one of the recommended block explorer websites for the coin or token. These websites and other useful information can be found on the coin's page on coinmarketcap.com.