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Cryptocurrency wallet factor authentication

cryptocurrency wallet factor authentication

Two-factor authentication enhances security by ensuring that you not only need to supply a credential but you also (typically) need to be in. Cryptocurrency Wallet: What It Is, How It Works, Types, Security · Many wallets have integrated QR codes and near-field scanner technology that allows you to. Once a user initiates a cryptocurrency transfer, the user is requested to input a pin number or a time-based one-time password (TOTP) generated. 4XP FOREX PLACE

Using 2-factor authentication is one of the strongest defenses against account abuse and crypto theft. What is "2-factor authentication? Authentication is the method by which you prove that you are who you say you are. A "factor" is a type of evidence, typically falling into one of three categories: Something that you know like a PIN code, password, or answer to secret question Something that you have like a cellphone, authenticator app, Yubikey, smartcard, etc.

Something that you are like your biometrics: fingerprint, face or voice recognition, etc. So 2-factor authentication is a way of identifying yourself to a device or service where you must provide 2 different factors of authentication - for example, a password, and a number from a special app that generates one-time codes aka a "Time-based, One-Time Password," or "TOTP".

MFA could incorporate two, three, or more factors of authentication. While 2FA is the most widespread, crypto exchanges usually prefer three or more factors for safety reasons. Why is it important to authenticate using multiple factors? Using multiple different authentication factors increases security because if one of your authentication factors like a password is accidentally disclosed, an attacker would have to perform a completely different kind of attack in order to gain access to a second type of your authentication like a dynamic authentication code.

Put another way, if you identified yourself to an account using a few "things that you know," it is possible that someone who gained access to a trove of information about you could successfully answer many questions of that type. With multiple-factor authentication, you are protected by the combined strength of all types of required factors.

However, the strength of 2FA varies: passwords could be weak or sloppily-stored. Cellphones can be stolen, and SMS messages can be hijacked or spoofed. Even fingerprints, facial recognition, and voiceprints can be impersonated. But if you carefully choose and protect a varied combination of identifying factors, you can make it highly unlikely that anyone could break into your accounts by pretending to be you. As a crypto asset holder, you should get into the habit of checking your account settings for any software or hardware that you use for crypto access or secret storage, and make careful choices from the 2FA options that are available to you.

The problem with SMS in a two-factor-only setup is that it is sometimes designed as a "master" factor, such that if your SIM card is swapped or stolen, your password may not be needed at all, and SMS could then be used as your sole identifying factor. Some SMS vulnerabilities are unpatchable due to legacy design in the GSM phone system, and also due to lax adherence to secure procedures by a highly-distributed, loosely-regulated cellular industry.

App-generated Authenticator Codes There are many authenticator apps available through app stores from manufacturers like Authy, Google, Microsoft, and LastPass. Once installed, these apps are associated with your unique device, and can generate "one-time" codes that work with a wide variety of sites and devices that implement authentication via 2-factor authentication.

Because this type of 2FA code can only be used one time and they expire quickly, they are not easily stolen or abused. It is common for services with 2FA to allow users some choice in which type they prefer to use from a few different options. When deciding which 2FA apps to use, keep in mind that like any software applications that you use for authentication should come from a trusted source, like an official app store, and from a trusted manufacturer.

Some people trust large, well-known software companies like Google or Microsoft. Some people prefer to trust well-known open-source software projects, because that code is fully transparent and can be analyzed by anyone. Either of those strategies is defensible; however, do not rely on a small, unknown company, or use ad-laden 2FA apps, given the wide availability of high-quality solutions provided by well-known suppliers.

Hardware-generated Authenticator Codes There is a friendly "gorilla" in the market landscape of hardware devices that generate 2FA codes and authentication tokens: Yubikey, made by Yubico. The number of interfaces and protocols supported by Yubikey is impressive, and they will soon release a fingerprint-based Yubikey-Bio biometric device.

Other manufacturers of hardware-based authenticator codes are Google Titan Security Keys , Thetis , and SoloKeys based on open source software. These also come in various form factors. Industry alliances offer standards that developers can use in implementing products. Examples of 2FA standards that are accepted by various crypto exchanges and devices are shown below.

These can change at any time, but a quick review of the list will give you an idea of the variety that you will see accepted: Coinbase : Google Authenticator, Duo apps but not Authy , hardware keys, SMS. Gemini: Authy , hardware keys , SMS. Don't forget to back up your 2FA recovery codes! You may have noticed a theme in all of this advice about safely setting up your crypto wallets and accounts: "What if something goes wrong?

If you planned carefully, your phone may have a warranty If you paid close attention when you set up 2FA for a device or online service, you may have noticed that during the setup process, you were advised to save a short list of "recovery codes. You should save these recovery codes in a safe place that's not on the same device - you should not use a single smartphone both to run an authenticator app and as a place to store its recovery codes!

Receiving is even easier—the sender enters your address and goes through the same routine. You accept the payment, and the transaction is done. Cryptocurrency Wallet Types The are two main types of wallets, custodial and noncustodial. Custodial wallets are hosted by a third party that stores your keys for you. This could be a company that provides enterprise-level data security systems businesses use to preserve and secure data. Some cryptocurrency exchanges offer custodial wallets for their customers.

Noncustodial wallets are wallets in which you take responsibility for securing your keys. This is the type that most cryptocurrency wallets on devices are. There are two subcategories of wallets, hot and cold. A hot wallet has a connection to the internet or to a device that has a connection, and a cold wallet has no connection.

Lastly, there are three subcategories of wallets—software, hardware, and paper. Each of these types is considered either a hot or cold wallet. So, you can have a noncustodial software hot wallet, a noncustodial hardware cold or hot wallet, or a custodial hardware cold wallet. These are the most common types, but you may also encounter other combinations. Software Wallets Software wallets include applications for desktops and mobile devices.

These wallets are installed on a desktop or laptop computer and can access your cryptocurrency, make transactions, display your balance, and much more. Some software wallets also include additional functionality, such as exchange integration if you're using a wallet designed by a cryptocurrency exchange. Many mobile wallets can facilitate quick payments in physical stores through near-field communication NFC or by scanning a QR code. Mobile wallets tend to be compatible with iOS or Android devices.

Trezor, Electrum, and Mycelium are examples of wallets that you can use. Software wallets are generally hot wallets. You use private keys to access your cryptocurrency. Anyone who has your private key can access your coins. Hardware Wallets Hardware wallets are the most popular type of wallet because you can store your private keys and remove them from your device.

These devices resemble a USB drive, and modern hardware wallets have several features. You can make a cryptocurrency transaction on your computer or device by plugging in the hardware wallet. Most of them can sign cryptocurrency transactions automatically without requiring you to enter the key, circumventing a hacker's ability to log your keypresses or record your screen. Ledger and Trezor are both well-known hardware wallets.

Hardware wallets are generally considered cold wallets because they don't have an active connection until they are plugged in. Some new hardware wallets come with the ability to connect to your device through Bluetooth. Use these with caution because Bluetooth is a wireless signal that can be accessed by unwanted parties when it is turned on. Paper Wallets Early crypto users would write or type their keys on paper, which they called paper wallets.

These evolved to include the keys and QR codes so wallets on mobile devices could scan them. However, paper wallets are easily damaged or lost, so many crypto owners do not use them anymore. However, there is nothing wrong with using a paper wallet if you take measures to store it properly in a safe or deposit box and check on it once in a while to ensure it hasn't deteriorated.

Crypto Wallet Security Wallet safety is essential, as cryptocurrencies are high-value targets for hackers. Some safeguards include encrypting the wallet with a strong password, using two-factor authentication for exchanges, and storing any large amounts you have offline. There have been many cases of malware disguised as wallets, so it is advisable to research carefully before deciding which one to use. Seed Words Most modern wallets generate a twelve-word mnemonic seed phrase. An example phrase could be "airport bedroom impression sample reception protection road shirt You can use the phrase to restore the wallet if the device is lost or damaged.

These words should be carefully stored in a safe place because anyone who finds them will be able to access your cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency Exchanges Cryptocurrency exchanges have started offering custodial key storage for their users. However, you should use this service cautiously. Cryptocurrency exchanges are highly-prized targets for cybercriminals. Additionally, if the cryptocurrency exchange goes out of business, there may be no guarantees that you'll get your cryptocurrency back.

For example, Coinbase, a popular exchange, announced in its quarterly report to the Securities and Exchange Commission in May that General unsecured creditors are lower in priority on the list of creditors in a bankruptcy proceeding.

Therefore, if there are not enough assets to liquidate and meet financial requirements for higher priority creditors, it is possible to lose your crypto assets if your custodial wallet company declares bankruptcy. The best cryptocurrency key security measures involve removing your keys from your wallet, placing them in a form of cold storage, and securing them in a vault, safe, or deposit box.

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Simple Guide to Securing Your Account With Two-Step Verification The guide below will walk you through setting up two-step verification using Google Authenticator on multiple devices what we recommend as a setup. Download the Google Authenticator app on at least two devices.

Putting the app on two devices will ensure you have a backup if you lose your primary device for example if you lose or break your phone. Make sure each device you use is secured with a password, as if someone gets into the device, they will have access to your codes. Using a third device ideally your desktop or laptop , create a gmail account or log into a gmail account that you want to use to set up two-step authentication.

I suggest creating a new gmail account with a unique email and password. The point here is you need a Google account to set up Google Authenticator, and thus you need a gmail account. If you want to be extra safe, take a screenshot of this QR code and keep it safe. The QR code is your private key in QR form and can be used to add other devices later on.

If you do grab it, keep it very secure. Additionally grab the backup codes. Make sure to store your backups and screenshots somewhere safe and ideally offline. With the QR code on the screen, bring the Authenticator app on both of your other devices.

On each device, hit the plus button at the top of the screen and scan that QR code. Doing this will produce an authentication token for your google account on each device. The token will be a string of 6 numbers that changes every 15 seconds.

Both devices will show the same token, because that token is derived from your private key from the QR you scanned … and that QR will always produce the same tokens. Now turn two-factor on in each account you want to use it on. Basically you are doing what you just did with Google over and over for each account you want to secure.

Each process might be slightly different, but the gist is the same. You go to the security settings of the account for example Coinbase , you enable two-factor, you scan the QR with both devices and take a screenshot and save the backup codes if you wish , you input the token to confirm, and then you log back in to double check everything is right. And that is all there is to it. There is no way to get these codes again if you lose them, so this is why we set up a backup device!

What is Two-Factor Authentication? In simple terms, two-factor authentication is a second layer of security that involves a unique code being generated on an app on your phone or other electronic device. In short, two-factor authentication means adding another layer of security to your account which is super important in the world of cryptocurrency.

Why is Two-Factor Secure? The reason 2FA adds security, beyond just being another password-like item to enter, is because the code is account-specific so every account has its own code , constantly randomly generated, and in most cases only stored on the device you put the two-factor app on. Thus, to get into a given account the most current version of the code for that specific account is needed. The pair can also be used to sign data, proving the sender holds the private keys without revealing the private key.

This arrangement is the result of ingenious mathematics first publicly devised by Diffie-Hellman using one-way functions. The outcome is that private keys allow for accessing confidential information while public keys allow for creating it. A public key is something like a magic envelope. When a letter is put in it, only the holder of the specific private key can open and read it. In the case of blockchains, the magic envelope exists on a publicly available datastore.

Anyone can send data to a public location, but only the holder of the private keys for that location can access it. Blockchain addresses are also cryptographic entities. They are created in association with a public key. These addresses hold the cryptocurrency or other sensitive information. It can only be accessed with the private key that created the address. The upshot of this arrangement is that users need a convenient and secure way to hold their private and public keys for given blockchains.

Wallets do this by making it easy to interact with the chain based on the private keys it holds. The wallet itself is secured with a password. The wallet also manages the public keys, giving users access to it when an address is needed for accepting transactions. Bridging applications and wallets Crypto wallets represent a user-friendly and familiar means of dealing with asymmetric key pairs. This is interesting to us in the context of authentication because a wallet can therefore be seen as a holder of identity.

That identity can be used to authenticate users. Already companies like Auth0 are using technology like SIWE as an alternative authentication mechanism. This low bar to adoption means the path to widespread usage is easy to foresee. The advantages to this kind of wallet-based authentication are two-fold. First, the cryptographic nature of the identity makes it very secure compared to something like plaintext passwords. Second, federated SSO-like functionality is achievable without all the extra complexity and vulnerability that it implies.

Put another way, the wallet can act as a single source of identity truth, usable across any number of applications. Even if you are not interested in cryptocurrency, your users may well be using wallets as a central authentication mechanism soon. This helps give a concrete sense of the user experience. One of the most popular wallets is the Metamask browser extension, which recently surpassed 30 million active monthly users. It is easy to use and supports several blockchains, most prominently Ethereum and its universe of tokens.

Wallets generally come in two flavors: hardware and software. To get Metamask, go to metamask. Once installed, open the metamask extension and click past the welcome screens. Matthew Tyson Screenshot 1. A seed phrase is a set of words usually 12 or 24 words that act as a recovery mechanism for a wallet. The seed phrase is something like a more human-usable alternative to the private key.

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Uphold Crypto Wallet: How To Set Up Google Authenticator For 2 Factor Authentication In 2021 cryptocurrency wallet factor authentication

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