Basic Security for Crypto

LastPass Password Manager

Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies empower you because you have full control of your money.  You are your own bank.  However that also means you are responsible for their safekeeping.  That may discourage many people who prefer to use a bank and don’t trust themselves.  However being secure doesn’t have to be that intimidating and it’s good to balance convenience with security.  Security is incredibly important, but some people end up worse off when they are overly focused on security.  Most people lose more money forgetting their passwords and private keys than being hacked.   Therefore, in the beginning it’s better to find a more convenient and sufficiently secure solution until you start storing greater amounts of cryptocurrency value.   A password manager like LastPass is a great solution to enable you to balance security and convenience.   LastPass allows you to store all your online passwords in one place with one single master password.  Hence you only need to focus on remembering one difficult password to keep all your other passwords secure. 

Step 1

1) Go ahead and go to lastpass.com and click Get LastPass Free on the upper right.

Step 2

Enter your email and a very strong password.  Make sure it’s over 20 characters with symbols, upper and lower cases and numbers.  Make the password unique and based on a variety of seemingly random words that you would remember and no one, even your close friends, would guess.

Step 3

Click the ‘Install LastPass’ button and add the extension to your browser.

Step 4

From now on LastPass will automatically prompt you with a pop up window on the side for each website you log into with after entering a username and password.  Just click ‘Add’ at the prompt.

Step 5

5) If you want to add passwords manually beforehand you can click on ‘Passwords’ and click the red dot with the ‘+’ sign at the bottom.

Add the website URL, name, your username and password and then click ‘Save’.

Step 6

You can also add private notes in LastPass instead of keeping notes on your computer that aren’t password protected. You can add private passwords, keys for your low and medium value crypto accounts and other notes in the LastPass program by going to ‘Notes’ section and clicking the red dot with ‘+’ sign at the bottom right.

Add your private notes in the box, create a name for it and click ‘Save’.

Step 7

Next go back to the LastPass and click on ‘Account Settings’ on the bottom left. (It has a gear icon)

Select ‘Multifactor Options’

Click the pencil icon for ‘Google Authenticator’

Enter your master password

You should see a square barcode on the screen.  Just leave it there for a moment.

Follow the next steps to get the Google Authenticator app on your phone to scan the LastPass barcode that is showing up on your screen.

Step 8

Google Authenticator​ (2FA)

The Google Authenticator phone app allows you to generate unique, but continually updating, six-digit codes that only you will receive to log in to websites.  You will be required to input these codes each time to provide additional security against unauthorized access from hackers.  This process is called two-factor (or multi-factor) authentication and it is important to enable this feature for websites that require extra security. 

First download the Google Authenticator app on your iPhone or Android.

Search for Google Authenticator and click download. (Note:  It’s a very good practice to also download this app on a second phone as well.)

Click ‘Begin Setup’ at bottom and then click ‘Scan barcode’

Now go back and scan the LastPass barcode you left up on the computer screen.  To do this hold your phone camera on the computer screen as if to take a picture of the barcode and get the barcode within the green square until your phone recognizes the code.  (It’s also a great idea to scan the same barcode using Google Authenticator with a second backup phone as well.)

Your six digit codes that you need to enter into LastPass will continually update on your Google Authenticator app.  You will need to enter your six-digit code whenever you’re asked.

You can add other websites like Google that enable 2FA/multi-factor authentication for extra security.  When you need to add a website just click the ‘+’ on the upper right and then scan the barcode when requested.

Conclusion

Now that you have LastPass to store all your passwords and other private keys to your cryptocurrency or Bitcoin accounts, you should be confident that you have a good level of security and convenience to be comfortable securing more value.  Just one thing.  Please remember your master password!

So now let’s buy some Bitcoin!