How do I keep my Ripple safe? This is a question that many XRP holders ask themselves, and rightfully so. Every week, countless people lose their coins due to hacks, scams, assaults, and other means. These coins could have changed their life forever, yet due to an inconsistent strategy for keeping them safe, they are now gone forever and the dreams are shattered.
The problem that many people face is that they want to learn how to keep their XRP safe, but when they do some research they realize that there isn’t a lot of understandable information out there. That’s precisely what we aim to address in this guide. In this article I will show you which strategies you should follow to keep your Ripple safe, together with a step-by-step guide for how to start implementing each one.
At the end of this article, you will know exactly what to do next to store your Ripple securely and make sure that it is not stolen or lost. Let’s dive right into it!
How to keep your Ripple safe
Watch out for phishing attacks
In a phishing attack, the attacker pretends to be someone else in order to steal your Ripple. This can be done in several ways and has become significantly easier with the advent of the internet.
The attacker could for example build a website that is similar to your cryptocurrency wallet of choice, he could send you an email that looks like it was sent by Ripple, or he could post a message on social media claiming that Ripple is holding a giveaway. These are all strategies to either obtain your password and personal information, or to get you to send Ripple to the attacker.
Please keep in mind that the phishing methods mentioned above are just a fraction of the strategies that attackers are currently using in the cryptocurrency space, and new ones are being tested every day.
Don’t trust, verify. That’s the mentality that you need to have to keep your Ripple safe. And please remember: nobody will give you anything for free, and if something looks to good to be true then it probably isn’t.
Be careful who you tell about your Ripple holdings
It is significantly easier for an attacker to steal someone’s cryptocurrency, than it is to empty the victim’s bank account. This is mainly due to the pseudonymous/anonymous nature of cryptocurrencies, while bank accounts follow strict KYC/AML procedures and are always tied to an identity.
In light of this, you need to be very careful with who you tell about your cryptocurrency holdings. This not only applies to the online world, but also to your outer circle of friends or other people in real life.
Several people have already lost all their coins, and in some unfortunate cases their life, because they told people about their cryptocurrency holdings. One troubling case is the one of a 24 year old Norwegian man that was brutally murdered after doing an in-person BTC to cash trade. Another sad case is the one of Pavel Nyashen, a russian cryptocurrency blogger that was found dead in his appartment after bragging about his cryptocurrency holdings on his youtube channel.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to talk about cryptocurrency and that you hold some Ripple. In fact that’s a large portion of what you will be talking about if you go to a blockchain meet-up or conference. However, if you want to keep your Ripple safe then you should never mention exactly how much you hold or insinuate that you might hold a significant amount. Remember that depending on where you live, people will be ready to committing cruel crimes for just a few hundred dollars.
Never leave your XRP on exchanges
Due to the confusing nature of some Ripple wallets, many XRP holders prefer to leave their coins on exchanges like Binance, Bittrex, or Bitstamp. This is often seen as a very simple way of storing cryptocurrency. However, while the abovementiond exchanges have proven to be trustworthy, we have seen over and over how even the largest cryptocurrency exchanges get hacked, resulting in the unrecoverable loss of customers funds.
In 2016, Bitfinex, the largest cryptocurrency exchange at the time, was hacked and $72 Million worth of Bitcoin (120,000 BTC at the time) were permanently lost. In order to cover the losses, the exchange reduced the balances of its customers by 35%. So if you had XRP on Bitfinex at the time, you would have lost 35% of your entire balance due to the hack.
Even more recently, in October 2018, Canadian cryptocurrency exchange “Mapple Exchange” was allegedly hacked. The exchange then sent out a notice that it was closing down due to bankruptcy. The users of the exchange lost all of their money.
There is a famous saying in the cryptocurrency world that goes “Not your keys, not your coins”, making reference that if you don’t hold your coins on a wallet you control, then you can lose your coins at any time, and nobody will be able to recover them. If you want to keep your XRP safe then you should not leave them on exchanges.
Consider purchasing a hardware wallet
There isn’t a safer way of storing your XRP than on a cryptocurrency hardware wallet. A hardware wallet is a device that stores your private keys, leaving them unexposed to potential attackers. On most hardware wallets, transactions need to be manually verified with a physical button click before being executed. This protects these wallets from hacks and viruses, keeping your cryptocurrency secure at all time.
The two most popular and most trusted cryptocurrency hardware wallets are the Ledger Nano S, and the Trezor. Both of these hardware wallets can store dozens of different cryptocurrencies and both can also hold XRP.
That being said, please keep in mind that even if you use a cryptocurrency hardware wallet that still does not keep your XRP safe from assaults. In other words, if somebody is holding a gun to your head then a hardware wallet won’t change that. In order to use a cryptocurrency hardware wallet effectively it’s very important not to tell anyone about it and to store it in a safe and hidden place.
Do you have any additional questions about how to keep your Ripple safe? Make sure to leave them in the comment section below and I’ll try to answer them!
CoinDiligent Staff Writer