Last week, Japanese exchange Coincheck announced that 58 billion yen, or $531.8 million, had been directed to another account. The company said it had kept its cryptocurrencies on so-called hot storage, which means it was online at all times.
If you have a significant amount of cryptocurrencies, experts say you shouldn't store them on an exchange like Coinbase.
"We've seen a lot of sad stories of people having their cryptocurrencies on their PCs, and their daughter downloaded a game including a virus which sent their assets to a hacker," Larcheveque said. "They lost everything."
Instead, transfer your coins and private keys to a so-called hardware wallet. Popular ones include the Ledger Nano S and Trezor (prices range from $100 to $200). The USB-looking device will keep your bitcoins or ripples off the internet, where they are more vulnerable to hackers.
"If you buy physical gold, the first thing you will do is buy a safe," Larcheveque said. "If you buy cryptocurrencies, very quickly you'll understand that you need to buy a digital safe."
A hardware wallet just requires you set up an eight-digit PIN. Plus, the little computer provides you with a set of 24 words which you can use if you forget that PIN. But if you're depending on an online exchange and you lose your 64-character private key, you will have no other way to access your coins.