Although the principle of blockchain operation creates great conditions for the cybersecurity of your bitcoin assets, modern cybercriminals and scams still find ways to access user’s crypto wallets. Therefore, it’s never too early to learn more about strategies for protecting against scam for securing your bitcoin assets. One of the approaches available today is to create a virtual machine, store your crypto-wallet on it, and perform all the related actions through your VM. That’s what we are going to explore in today’s article.
Recognizing Signs of Crypto Wallet Compromise
Before we begin, let’s go through some general recommendations on securing your crypto wallet usage.
First of all, it’s worth checking whether your crypto wallet is currently safe. This suggests a series of procedures that can allow you to detect the current weak spots in your crypto wallet.
1. Conduct a Malware Detection Scan
The first step in detecting whether your crypto wallet is compromised is to conduct a malware detection scan. Based on the results of the scan you can proceed to further measures or focus on solving current malware issues if they are present.
2. Be Careful When Initiating Fund Transfer Procedures
Don’t initiate the fund transfer procedure while you’re having doubts regarding the cybersecurity of your crypto wallet. Otherwise, there is a high risk of your losing your funds.
3. Alert Your Wallet or Exchange Provider Alongside Law Enforcement
If you suspect any kind of unauthorized access or other activity on your crypto wallet, make sure to contact your crypto wallet provider as soon as possible. If the situation is grave, you may consider involving law enforcement.
4. Revise Your Login Credentials and Enhance Security Measures
The reliability of login credentials is the basic cybersecurity measure on most occasions. Make sure to create adequate reliable passwords according to common rules. In case of suspicion of possible authorized access to your crypto wallet, make sure to edit your login credentials. Also, apply two-factor authentication to further improve the protection of your wallet.
Ensuring Maximum Security for Your Crypto Wallet
Further steps in enhancing cybersecurity involve the use of virtual machines. Using a virtual machine can isolate your crypto wallet from your main operating system, considerably reducing the risk of compromise.
1. Select a Reliable Virtualization Software:
The first step is to select the virtualization software you’re going to use for creating a virtualized environment. This can be such software solutions as VirtualBox or VMware Player. To exemplify the procedure, in the following, we are going to use VirtualBox which you can download from the official website.
2. Install a Secure Operating System:
Install an operating system that would suit well for the deployment of a virtualized environment. A good choice is a lightweight Linux distribution with a focus on cybersecurity – for instance Ubuntu or Qubes OS. Don’t forget about regularly updating the OS and the critical software.
To install Ubuntu, you first need to download the file with the .ISO extension.
3. Create the new VM
After you’ve installed Virtual Box and prepared the Ubuntu image, you can proceed to creating a new virtual machine.
- Click on “New” and choose the name for the VM. After all the procedures below are done, it’s recommended to copy the VM, so if anything goes wrong with the VM we use, you don’t have to perform the procedures over and over again.
- Save it in any folder you like.
- Choose, how much RAM the VM will get. The more RAM, the better performance, so try to make sure your VM gets at least 2-4 GBs of it (while not forgetting that the rest of your PC will need memory to operate well as well).
- Create a virtual hard disk. Among other things, a good thing about it (If you choose VirtualBox Image) is that will easen the migration of your VM if needed.
- Choose the type of the size of your disk (dynamic or fixed). Fixed gives you more control while not allowing the thing to take up more space than required, while dynamic one is obviously more flexible.
- Finally, select “Create”.
- Add the Ubuntu .ISO with the following steps: Settings > Storage > Empty disk > Select Disk File > Select the Ubuntu image.
- Next, you’ll be able to fine-tune certain settings if you want a better performance. After you finish, you’ll be able to use your VM with Ubuntu installed.
4. Guest Additions Installation
Although you have already installed Ubuntu on your VM, you’ll soon notice that some features don’t work or are not displayed properly. To fix the whole thing, you’ll need to additionally install guest additions.
- Open the terminal and type to update and upgrade the system:
sudo apt update
- Open the terminal and type to update and upgrade the system:
sudo apt upgrade
- Type reboot.
- After the reboot, type:
sudo apt install build-essential dkms linux-headers-$(uname -r)
- After the procedure is completed, go to “Devices” and select “Insert Guest Additions CD image”. Click “Run”.
- Now the VM is fully functional and you can copy it. Go to the VirtualBox Manager, right-click on the current VM, and choose “Clone”. Type the name for it and then “Full clone”.
5. Download Brave
Brave is a popular Chromium-based browser featuring a bunch of features that can be especially beneficial for achieving a better and more secure trading experience.
To install Brave, use the following lines:
sudo apt install apt-transport-https curl
sudo curl -fsSLo /usr/share/keyrings/brave-browser-archive-keyring.gpg https://brave-browser-apt-release.s3.brave.com/brave-browser-archive-keyring.gpg
echo “deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/brave-browser-archive-keyring.gpg arch=amd64] https://brave-browser-apt-release.s3.brave.com/ stable main”|sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/brave-browser-release.list
sudo apt update
sudo apt install brave-browser
After the browser is installed and your VM rebooted, you can launch it with the command:
6. Download a Cryptocurrency Wallet and Further Extensions:
Download and install your preferred cryptocurrency wallet on the VM. Make sure to use official resources so as not to accidentally download any malware.
A good option is Coinbase which can be added to Brave via the Chrome Web Store.
You can install some further extensions to better protect your browsing experience. Some good ones are:
- uMatrix: Set up the content you want to be blocked when visiting websites.
- EtherAddressLookup: Blocks phishing links based on a regularly updated list.
7. Install a VPN
Choose a suitable VPN option and set it up to provide private and secure browsing experience
Further general advice
To secure your crypto wallet while using it on your VM even more, use these general recommendations:
- Disconnect from the Internet:
While setting up your crypto wallet, make sure to terminate your internet connection. This way you can reduce your susceptibility to online threats.
- Back-Up Your VM:
To achieve to longevity of your VM and its resistance to major force situations, make sure to perform regular backups of your VM and store them in safe locations, accessible only to you.
- Use Encrypted Storage:
When storing the information of your VM, use encryption solutions to make any potential unauthorized access attempts futile.
- Secure VM Access:
Use all available additional security features to provide maximum cybersecurity to your VM access.
- Limit VM Usage:
Don’t use your VM for other purposes than storing your crypto wallet to exclude any external vulnerabilities.
- Regularly Update and Monitor:
Make sure to update your VM as frequently as possible and keep an eye on whether everything is alright with its operation.
- Practice Safe Computing Habits:
Be as careful as possible when accessing the internet through your VM. Don’t download files from suspicious resources, click on suspicious links, or leave sensitive information on websites you don’t trust.
Cybersecurity is vital whenever you access the internet, especially in the case of using your crypto wallet, as in this case, cybercriminals can get direct access to your bitcoin assets. An efficient strategy that can make your crypto wallet experience noticeably more secure is to keep it on a virtual machine, that provides an isolated environment protecting it from a bunch of external threats. We hope that thig guide was helpful, thank you for attention!