Keeping your funds secure is an important yet often overlooked part of the crypto experience. Compared to banks, crypto platforms have more security threats to be prepared for. Here are three steps you can take to maximize the security of your crypto on Abra.
Write Down Your Recovery Phrase
As with most crypto wallets, each Abra account has an associated recovery phrase. When you first download the Abra app on your device, you will notice a list of 13 random words. This is a unique recovery phrase that corresponds with your account specifically – and no one else’s.
Writing down your recovery phrase with a pen or pencil on a sheet of paper is the best way to be sure that you can access your funds at any point in time. Don’t take screenshots of your recovery phrase or store them as a digital text file anywhere. Store the sheet of paper with your recovery phrase in a secure location.
A recovery phrase is often referred to as “offline storage” or “cold storage” for crypto because it isn’t saved anywhere that can be accessed via an internet connection. Let’s say you lose your phone or you accidentally delete the Abra app. In either scenario, you will want to regain access to your Abra account if it has funds associated with it. If you lose your recovery phrase ready, it’s possible that your funds may be lost forever if something happens to your device.
If you haven’t written down your recovery phrase yet, you can do that now by following the steps below.
Open the Abra app and enter your PIN.
Tap on the hamburger menu in the top left corner of the screen.
Tap on “Wallet Security”.
Tap on “View recovery phrase”.
On the next screen, you will see your 13-word recovery phrase. For maximum security, write down these words on paper. Then store the sheet of paper in a secure location.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
Abra supports two-factor authentication. Read our two-factor authentication blog post if you need instructions for setting up 2FA on your Abra account. Whether or not you are familiar with how 2FA works in general, it’s very important to understand how it relates to your Abra account security.
By default, Abra requires no password to log in from your device. 4-digit PIN codes, while somewhat helpful for security, are easy to guess if someone is given an unlimited number of attempts. Enabling 2FA makes it extremely difficult for someone else other than you to move funds from your account to another crypto wallet, crypto platform, or bank. It’s crucial that you enable 2FA on a second device that doesn’t have Abra installed on it.
Here’s how 2FA is beneficial. Let’s say that you have two phones. Phone 1 has your Abra app. Phone 2 has your 2FA app (i.e. Google Authenticator). If Phone 1 is lost or stolen, another person wouldn’t be able to steal your funds on Abra since they do not have the second phone needed to access 2FA credentials. While you also wouldn’t be able to immediately access Abra, your funds aren’t lost forever if you have written down your recovery phrase as outlined above. When you input the recovery phrase again on your new device, you are able to bypass 2FA to regain access to your Abra account. It’s then recommended that you re-enable 2FA on your new device.
Highly effective security includes 1) writing down your recovery phrase and storing it offline AND 2) Enabling 2FA on a second device.
Don’t Fall For Phishing Attempts and Scams
Unfortunately, scams like phishing attempts are very common nowadays. This is especially true in the world of crypto since transactions can’t be reversed once they occur on public blockchains. If you lose your funds due to a scam, you should assume they are lost forever.
For people who are new to crypto, security threats like this may seem extremely scary. Scams are sometimes easy to spot, while other times may be difficult to spot. The best practice for keeping your Abra account secure really boils down to one rule. Never trust strangers on the internet who ask for your personal information!
Fake apps that pretend to be the official Abra app are a big issue to be cautious of when getting started. Make sure you are downloading the real app from the app store.
After you have downloaded Abra and funded your account, it’s critical to know that phishing is a real threat.
One of the most common scams in crypto is related to “User Support” or “Customer Support”. Scammers usually claim that your wallet or account needs updating, and they will assist you.
Be aware that this type of scam involves clear red flags. 1) The scammer sends you an unsolicited direct message. 2) The scammer will ask for your recovery phrase. 3) The scammer might also ask you to send funds from your Abra account or ask for other personal information such as 2FA credentials.
The real Abra Customer Service will NEVER do any of these three things. If you see any suspicious Abra impersonators out there, please let us know at [email protected].
Securing your Abra account is easy if you follow the steps outlined above. Keeping your funds secure requires you to take responsibility. Security is a topic that might feel mundane or trivial at times. Rest assured, however, security isn’t something you should ever take lightly. Those that strictly follow these best practices will be much better prepared to prevent loss of funds from happening.