You Must Secure Your Digital Assets (Unless You are Willing to Lose it All).

Avery Engleman

“Your password isn’t strong enough.”

How often have you seen this message while creating a password? Contrary to popular belief, they are not being tedious just for fun. When you create a new account, you should be wise about the password you choose, regardless of the extent of personal information your account contains. DigiCert’s Flavio Martins shares the statistics of password creators: “73% of users have the same password for multiple sites, 33% use the same password every time… Chances are that compromised passwords are used elsewhere [than the target], leaving users vulnerable to hackers.”

There’s a reason why more websites are requiring longer, more varied passwords. “Every extra character in your password increases the difficulty for hackers to crack it,” Martins explains. “Think one extra letter or number doesn’t mean much? Consider this—

• A 6-character password with only letters has 308,915,776 possible combinations.

• An 8-character password with only letters has 208,827,064,576 possible combinations.

• An 8-character password with letters (upper & lower case) and includes numbers and symbols has 6,095,689,385,410,816 possible combinations.”

A security tool that many websites are beginning to implement is multi-factor authentication, or MFA. As defined by Margaret Rouse, multi-factor authentication is “a security system that requires more than one method of authentication…to verify the user’s identity for a login or other transaction.” The goal of MFA is to make it more difficult for hackers to access your account and/or personal information by creating an additional layer of security. If your information is only secured by a password and a hacker is able to guess it, your data is easily and instantly compromised. With MFA, if a hacker manages to guess your password, there is still at least one other barrier protecting your information.

Just as digital currency is on the rise, so too are the number of security hackers and data breaches. When it comes to cryptocurrency, security of your assets is especially important. Digital money is just that—digital. There are no physical equivalencies. So, if your account is hacked because your password wasn’t strong enough, you may as well kiss your money goodbye. There is basically no way to recover your losses.

With total digital bankruptcy just a simple hack away, how can you properly secure and protect your assets? The number one recommendation is to acquire a digital wallet. There are basically five types of wallets that are used for cryptocurrency: hardware, online, mobile, desktop, and paper. Everyone’s digital wallet needs are different, so it is important to recognize which features are most vital to you when choosing a wallet.