One of Bitcoin’s most significant strong points is its security and the anonymity it provides. Although there are those who see this as a negative since it makes it convenient to use Bitcoin for crime, overall the security and anonymity provided are a good thing. That is especially so after considering the current state of cybersecurity and the increase in hacking. However, knowing that Bitcoin is secure and anonymous is not enough. You have to understand how it provides such high levels of security, whether there are any weaknesses and what you should do to cover up for those weaknesses.
Blockchain technology is the strength behind Bitcoin’s smooth operation, security, and anonymity. Consider the Bitcoin blockchain as a highly encrypted public ledger that records every single Bitcoin transaction. The design of the Blockchain is in such a way that it is not stored anywhere and thus is not owned by anyone. Additionally, due to the heavy encryption, it is relatively impossible to hack into the blockchain and alter the records. The fact that you cannot use personal details in your Bitcoin account also plays an essential role in guaranteeing the privacy of the user. Nevertheless, the security granted by the Blockchain is not all-powerful.
The weaknesses in Bitcoin security
The user’s Bitcoin account – the Bitcoin wallet – is the most significant weakness where Bitcoin security is concerned. Logically, it would take unrealistic amounts of time and resources to try and hack your way into the blockchain. However, you can easily acquire Bitcoin by stealing it from someone’s Bitcoin wallet. The weakness of the Bitcoin wallet also turns some of the blockchain’s strengths into weaknesses. For instance, since you don’t use personal information to register for an account, it is impossible to prove ownership of that account once someone’s else gains access and locks you out. Additionally, because no one has ownership of either Bitcoin or the blockchain, it is impossible to follow up if your account is taken over. How can one then overcome these weaknesses and avoid becoming a victim of Bitcoin theft?
Fortifying Bitcoin security
Install cybersecurity measures
It is risky to conduct financial transactions without securing your network and device. When connected online, your device shares sensitive information such as your IP address and the contents of your network traffic with website servers. Such information poses a threat when it falls into the wrong hands. For instance, tracking one’s IP address can lead to their physical location. Using cybersecurity measures such as installing a VPN for Bitcoin security and privacy is the best option. Aside from encrypting and securing your network and network traffic, a VPN also hides your IP and assigns a different one based on the chosen server location. Additionally, you should install antivirus software to protect against malware that could pose a threat.
Protect your key
Every Bitcoin wallet is assigned a unique key, used to access the account. If someone got their hands on your key and changed it, you would be locked out of your account forever. It’s detrimental that you protect the key for instance by storing it in an encrypted folder.
Coinjoin is a system that allows multiple individuals to pool their Bitcoin together and use it for transactions. In so doing, you prevent the Bitcoin addresses from being discovered during transactions thereby preventing hackers from targeting the users.
Although Bitcoin offers formidable security and privacy, there are still weaknesses that you should account for. Relying solely on Bitcoin security without taking measures to cover for the weaknesses is ill-advisable. The best approach to increasing Bitcoin security and privacy would be using all the available security measures simultaneously.