The digital nature of the cryptocurrencies and crypto wallets is such that it can leave you open to security risks and vulnerabilities if you’re not cautious enough.

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On Internet forums, you’ll find stories by people who’ve lost their money because they didn’t adequately secure their cryptocurrency wallet.

The first thing, of course, that everyone does right after creating a crypto-wallet is to set-up a password. Setting a password that is strong is the first layer of protection that you provide to your cryptocurrency wallet. So, set a password which can’t be exploited.

Password choice is a security measure that is 100% in the control of the user. An excellent approach to password-creation is making it close to impossible to guess. A user can use a healthy combination of letters, numerals, and symbols to create a secure, unguessable, password. Another critical point to remember is to avoid using anything personal (like name, birthdate, current identification markers) in a password to protect it from any form of social hacking.

Another way and one that has become popular in the recent times, to secure cryptocurrencies is through 2-Factor Authentication (2FA). If you haven’t yet activated 2FA on your crypto wallet, then you are at a security risk.

What is 2-Factor Authentication?

Along with the login details, 2FA is an added layer of security authenticated via an independent source. When 2FA is activated, it’ll require a code for accessing the wallet in addition to the username and the password.

People often end up not setting strong passwords. And if that’s the only security measure in place, then it creates a security loophole. Not to forget, the password can also be stolen via multiple methods including but not limited to phishing attacks, keylogging, and network sniffing. With 2FA activated, you create an independent mode of authentication. The combination of secure password along with 2FA is a robust strategy to amplify your crypto wallet security.

What Authenticator to use?

The traditional usage is, of course, through getting an SMS on your number. This method is frowned upon by experts because it’s risky and vulnerable regarding security. The ideal approach is to set-up 2FA through an independent, third-party authenticator, such as Google Authenticator.

Some people even prefer email 2FA, because they’re concern about losing their phone.

Types of 2FA Set-up

A lot of crypto wallets platform will ask to choose the type of OTP you want while setting up your 2FA. Technically speaking, there are two forms of set-ups. The first one is called HMAC-based One Time Password (HOTP), and the second one is called Time-based One-Time Password (TOTP). The key difference is that HOTP is valid for an unknown period while TOTP changes in every 30 seconds.

As you can tell, the TOTP approach is safer than HOTP since it doesn’t give the space for the OTP to be copied or stolen in any way. The appropriate change in TOTP ensures security.

TOTP occurs through an authenticator app (such as Google Authenticator). The way this app work is that it synchronizes your smartphone with their app server; thus, providing for that extra layer of secureness in the form of a variable OTP in a 2FA set-up.

What if I lost my phone?

Since the entire idea was to strengthen the security of your crypto wallet, you won’t be able to log into your account. However, there are always a set of private keys, which you should keep as a secure backup. Otherwise, the process of acquiring your account back can be a time-consuming and be taxing.

If you’re using Google Authenticator, you can quickly restore that account by scanning the saved QR code into your new device.


The holistic approach to password strategy for cryptocurrency involves setting a secure password as a first measure. However, to adequately secure the wallet, one must enable 2-Factor Authentication with a trusted authenticator such as the one that Google provides.