Coinbase is currently one of the top bitcoin to fiat and vice versa exchanges right now on most countries like the United States; but being one of the best has it’s own downsides. Along with Binance and Bitfinex, Coinbase is probably one of the exchanges that has their users frequently targeted by hackers. Because of that, it’s heavily recommended for you to make sure that your Coinbase account is secure enough.
Here are some tips on how to protect and secure your Coinbase account.
Use Open-source Authenticator apps instead of using SMS authentication
While having SMS authentication is still a lot better than having no authentication at all, using authenticator apps are still way secure than using SMS. There have been some incidences in the pasts whereas a hacker successfully convinced the victim’s mobile telecommunications provider to take over the victim’s SMS number through impersonation. These types of incidents happen a lot more frequently than you might think.
With authenticator apps, the hacker can only gain access to your authenticator codes if only the hacker gained physical access to your phone, which makes it a lot harder to be accessed by hackers.
Also, make sure to set your Coinbase account to require a verification code for withdrawals of any amount.
Good authenticator apps include:
- Aegis Authenticator: https://beem.dev/
- andOTP: https://github.com/andOTP/andOTP
Use accurate and up-to-date personal details
While this doesn’t help protect your Coinbase account from hackers, if something ever happens to your account or if you lose access to your account for whatever reason, chances are that Coinbase support would ask you to send in some documents to prove that you’re actually the legitimate owner of the account. They would be surely comparing the information on the documents you sent to the personal details you have in your Coinbase account, so make sure it’s accurate and up-to-date.
Login to Coinbase using your mobile phone instead
If you frequently login to Coinbase through your computer, there’s a higher likeliness of hackers gaining access to your Coinbase account simply because computers are far easier to infect with malware and viruses compared to mobile phones; especially if you’re using a device running an outdated version of Windows. If you’re going to need to use your Coinbase account, use your mobile phone.
Make sure your phone is secure
This is more for the android users out there. Make sure to not download and install shady .apk’s you find on the internet. If you frequently download and install cracked versions of certain apps, or apps for downloading and watching movies and such, you’re putting your phone at risk as hackers might be able to gain access to your photos, videos, messages, contacts, your location, and possibly even your passwords if a keylogger gets installed on your phone. Make sure to always check the permissions of the apps you’re installing.
Make Sure Your Device is Malware & Virus FREE
If you still prefer using your computer than using your mobile phone, always make sure you’re using a malware-free device as certain malware can give hackers access to your keystrokes and your clipboard history(your copy/paste history). Especially when using a device that runs a Windows operating system, make sure to frequently run your preferred antivirus software at least once or twice a week, just to make sure that your device is clean. If you’re quite paranoid about stuff that could possibly steal your passwords and your files, use an alternative operating system. Chances are, if you’re using a Linuxoperating system or an Apple device running OSX, your device is going to be significantly less likely to be infected by malware and viruses as these attacks are mostly targeted towards Windows devices.
Another way to make sure your device is secure, is make sure to always keep your operating system up to date, regardless if your using Windows or an alternative. Windows and other operating systems frequently pushes security updates for people’s devices to be as secure as possible.
Use a secure and unique password
Make sure your password is unique compared to all your other passwords online in general. If you have multiple accounts with the exact same password, if one of those passwords gets leaked, then all of you accounts with the same password will be at a huge risk. Play it safe, use a unique and strong password for all your accounts online, not only on exchanges. Preferably, a password with 40 characters, with both uppercase and lowercase characters, numbers, and symbols.
We suggest using password managers like KeePass2 for better password management, as memorizing multiple 40-character passwords for each of your web accounts are definitely not easy. At least with password managers, you’d only need to memorize one complex password. Do NOT store your passwords on text files, on word files, on your mobile phone’s notes app, etc. Only keep your passwords on password managers. Just make sure to also have a master password that’s not easy to crack.
Don’t leave majority of your funds on Coinbase. If you don’t frequently buy and sell your cryptocurrencies and you’re planning on actually storing your bitcoin/cryptocurrencies long term, store your funds in your own wallet. Remember that Coinbase is an exchange, and exchanges are frequent targets for hackers. Withdraw your funds preferably on a hardware wallet, secure your recovery seed, and you’re good to go.
We suggest reading this article to give you an idea on the types of bitcoin & cryptocurrency wallets: Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Wallets and it’s Risks
For more information on how to secure your Coinbase account and your exchange accounts in general, please read: 7 Ways On How To Secure Your Crypto Exchange Accounts