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How do I stay safe?

Perhaps one of the biggest barriers of entering the Bitcoin market is fear of safety and security.  There are a number of ways in which you can protect yourself to help prevent malicious attacks on your identity, finances, and computer.  Many of these tips sound obvious, but the reality is that many people expose themselves regularly and knowingly while underestimating the risks.  If you begin investing in Bitcoin, you no longer have the privilege of living precariously and irresponsibly with your identity, data, and money.

Be Vigilant:  Avoid phishing scams by making sure you are only ever visiting the sites that you intend on visiting.  You can do this by hovering over links to make sure they are taking you where they say they are taking you.  Also, you should always check the address bar for the lock symbol beside "secure" and https://  (The "s" at the end stands for secure).  If any of this information is missing do not put in your credentials or any personal information, as it is possible that you have been sent to a malicious site or the site has been compromised. 

Be Paranoid:  When using websites that require personal information or access to your finances, it is better to be paranoid than a victim.  If you go to a site that you are familiar with and it begins acting strangely, do not continue using it.  Most Bitcoin sites have official Telegram or Twitter accounts where you can find out more information. When in doubt, avoid using the site for at least 24 hours.  

Be Private:  Avoid oversharing both in your personal encounters and your online presence.  Ensure that you are not sharing personal information on social media, such as your birth date, any real names, your location, and any sensitive information that can be used to compromise your identity.  You also want to be vague about your investments in Bitcoin, as that will open you up to unwanted attention and focus by cyber hackers and real life criminals.      

Be Protected:  If you decide to invest, make sure your computer and phone is protected from threats by utilizing all the tools possible.  This includes password protecting your computer, having antivirus software, enabling your firewall, adjusting your privacy settings, and removing all the sharing of information options in your computer, browser, and phone.  Ideally, the more secure you are, the better. Taking precautions like reformatting your computer or even buying one specifically for Bitcoin, is a great idea.  These may sound like daunting tasks, but much of it can be done in less than an hour, with a little guidance from YouTube tutorials or articles online.  If you wish to be even more secure, you can look into using a VPN and encrypted web browsers, email, messaging services, and phone services.  There is no such thing as being too secure.

Be Password Smart:  Make complex and different passwords for every site you access, using a variety of numbers, letters and symbols.  Develop a system to properly manage these credentials offline.  Do not save these passwords in your computer's memory or in a document that can be accessed online or in your computer.  You are going to also want to have multiple copies of these passwords saved in other locations and in different forms (i.e. weatherproof steel plate).

Be Anonymous:  Do not use you personal email account, common user name or personal information for accessing your accounts.  You should set up a separate email account specifically dedicated to your Bitcoin accounts which does not use your real name or any personally identifying information such as your date of birth or initials.

Be Constantly Learning:  Continue to grow, learn and evolve.  Do not think that you once you have done all these things that you will never have to think about safety again.  Stay on top of the curve and continually improve your security measures.  If you learn about something, make sure to implement it.  For example, everyone knows that you should not replicate your passwords and that they should be complicated but the vast majority of people still do not implement this and are vulnerable to attacks, all the in the name of convenience.  Be smarter, act smarter, and protect yourself.

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