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Keys of the (Crypto) Kingdom

Posted April 29, 2024

Matt Insley

By Matt Insley

Keys of the (Crypto) Kingdom

Since we hosted our live event on Thursday with Paradigm’s crypto investor James Altucher, we thought we’d give the floor to James’ colleague and team member, Chris Campbell. 

“It happened a few days ago,” Chris begins. “I was at the grocery store when I got the text… 

“COINBASE: We detected a login from Salt Lake City, Utah. If this is not you, please reply with ‘N’ to lock your assets.

“Uh-oh.

“NOBODY wants to see that. 

“Years ago, I might’ve freaked out,” Chris says. 

“But then something came over me.

“I shrugged, stuck my phone back in my pocket and continued rifling through the produce section, hunting for gems.

“I found the freshest mint I’ve ever smelled in my life. I might’ve even smiled… 

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Your Rundown for Monday, April 29, 2024...

Safety First 

“With the increasing number of data breaches and cyber attacks, the only solution is to take proactive measures to protect all of your online accounts,” Chris continues. 

“One of the most effective ways is by using a YubiKey, a physical security key that provides strong two-factor authentication (2FA).

“I can’t stress it enough:

“YubiKeys are CRUCIAL tools for safeguarding your online accounts from potential threats.

“These small, durable, and easy-to-use devices provide an additional layer of security beyond your username and password.” 

Yubi Key Courtesy: Yubico

“By requiring a physical key to be present during the login process,” says Chris, “YubiKeys significantly reduce the risk of unauthorized access to your accounts, even if your password is compromised.

“Hacking you remotely becomes very difficult. A hacker or thief would need to have physical access to both your device AND your keys.

“In essence, your threat surface area shrinks from the whole world to your local radius.

“Whether you're securing important financial accounts, work-related platforms or just locking down your social media profiles, YubiKeys should be considered a baseline security standard.

“One of the best things about YubiKeys is they are ready to use right out of the box, with no complicated setup required.

“To use a YubiKey, simply plug it into your device's port (which port will depend on which keys you purchased) and tap the button or squeeze the sides, depending on the model.

“This action sends a one-time code to the online service you're trying to access, authenticating you after you've entered your password.

“Some newer YubiKey models also support NFC (Near Field Communication), allowing you to tap the key on your phone or tablet to authenticate wirelessly.

“In most cases, you'll only need to use your YubiKey when accessing an account from a new device, rather than every single time you log in. 

“When choosing your keys, consider the ports available on your devices,” Chris adds. “For example, if your laptop only has USB-C ports, make sure to get a YubiKey with a USB-C connector.

“Keep in mind that YubiKeys cost between $30 and $80 each, so budget accordingly, especially if you plan on getting backup keys.

“I recommend keys from the YubiKey 5 Series.

“These keys offer a range of connectivity options, including USB-A, USB-C, and NFC, ensuring compatibility with a wide variety of devices.

“At a minimum, you should get two YubiKeys – one primary key and one backup. This ensures that you have a failsafe in case you lose or damage your primary key.

“However, for optimal security, consider getting a total of two to four keys.

“This allows you to have a primary and backup key for yourself, as well as a pair of keys for your spouse or partner as an extra backup.

“When setting up your keys, program your spouse or partner's keys for your accounts and vice versa. This way, you can help each other regain access to accounts if needed,” Chris says. 

“Setting up and using your YubiKeys is a straightforward process.

“Start by getting your keys, then follow these steps:

  1. “In the security settings of your online accounts, look for the 2FA or Two-Step Verification options
  2. Choose to add a Security Key and follow the prompts to name your key
  3. Repeat the process for your backup keys and your partner's keys
  4. For specific accounts, Yubico has a series of super helpful instructional videos.” 

(Simply search online for Yubico’s instructions for Coinbase, Windows, Chrome and Apple iCloud accounts.)

“For accounts that don't support security keys directly,” Chris says, “you can use the YubiKey Authenticator app. This app stores 2FA codes on the YubiKey itself, allowing you to use it with any account that supports 2FA.

“Once your keys are set up, keep your primary key with you and store your backups in a safe place.

“Whenever you're prompted to authenticate on a new device, simply plug in your key and tap the button to verify your identity.

[“As an advanced use case,” Chris says, “you can also use your YubiKey to lock your computer itself for ultra-secure machines.

“This is particularly useful for computers that store highly sensitive data or are used for critical tasks like managing cryptocurrency.

“BUT be cautious when setting this up, as you risk locking yourself out of your own computer if not done properly.]

Chris’ takeaway: “YubiKeys are a powerful tool for enhancing your online security and protecting your accounts from unauthorized access.

“By following the best practices outlined here and making YubiKeys a central part of your online security strategy, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to hackers, cyber attacks and data breaches.” 

Hope you find this advice valuable! And — if you already use a YubiKey — write in with your experience and best practices. 

Market Rundown for Monday, Apr. 29, 2024

The S&P 500 is up 0.25% to 5,145. 

Oil is down 0.70% to $83.27 for a barrel of WTI. 

Gold is down 0.15% to $2,333.90 per ounce. 

And Bitcoin is down 1.85% to $62,500. 

Send your comments and questions to, feedback@newsyoucanacton.com

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