Is Kraken cryptocurrency exchange Safe? What You Should Know As A Beginner

Kraken

Here we will go through the specifics of the Kraken cryptocurrency exchange and determine the safety of the platform when trading crypto coins. We’ll learn about ‘Kraken’s security measures’, put in place for the protection of its users and the platform itself from malicious attacks (hackers).

In addition, you’ll also get to know the company’s key features, customer service, reliability, regulatory license, and security report. 

What Is The Definition of Kraken Exchnage?

Kraken is an ‘exchange’ launched in the year 2011, based in the US. Minus exchanging digital currencies for traditional money, it  also supplies information to Bloomberg Terminal.

Besides, Kraken makes provision for all the necessary tools required to buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrencies, plus developing a simpler Bitcoin exchange for novices and professionals alike. It’s easier for customers to make quick deposits and withdrawals, measure their portfolios, and keep track of their cryptocurrencies all in one location.

This centralized exchange is overseen/ controlled by its parent firm Payward, Inc. The company takes security seriously, this can be seen with the two-day mandatory security training new employees undergo before spending three days configuring office PCs and passwords. 

Plus a 70-item checklist of suggested personal security measures, like setting up hardware token login authentication for personal devices and installing home alarms.

Kraken core products and features

Besides buying and selling of cryptocurrencies, users are allowed to trade across lots of different digital assets.

Kraken’s supported cryptocurrencies 

For instance, the Kraken supports more than 50 cryptocurrency coins and tokens, as well as 7 traditional currencies for deposits and withdrawals to and from any bank.

Trading platform

Spot trading 

Spot trading has to do with; buying, selling, and trading of assets on ‘spot market’. In the ‘spot market’, the trades are instantly settled, and the assets are delivered on the spot, furthermore, users can decide to either complete market orders or limit orders to be completed at a later Price.

Margin trading

Margin trading enables you to take advantage of market fluctuations by increasing your profits and losses. Kraken’s trading engines empowers you to buy [go long] or sell [go short] on a range of crypto-currencies with up to 5x[5 times] leverage.

Over the counter (OTC) trading

OTC is the settlement of orders between buyers and sellers, not recorded on the order book because it’s too big. Traders are able to communicate directly with the platform, which acts as a medium to ensure secure transactions. One hundred thousand US Dollars is set as the minimum amount for OTC trade on Kraken.

Futures trading 

Actually futures trading is a complex kind of trading where buyers and sellers enter into futures agreements or contracts to conclude the trade at a later date for a particular amount.

Cryptocurrency staking 

To earn extra, you can stake coins and fiat that would have been in your Kraken account and not produce a dim. Customers can gain staking rewards on top of their assets, which can then be added to increase the value of their holdings.

API Integration

Just like other Exchanges, Kraken allows its users to access their accounts through an API. One may have access to publicly available market data as well as user-specific data by making use of Kraken’s API. 

These trading bots are available in different formats, like mobile programs or standalone desktop and even web-based solutions for automated trading.

kraken

Android iOS and Web

Android and iOS customers can both download Kraken’s mobile applications to be able to access the exchange. A good solution for users who want to access their accounts at any given time.

Kraken’s mobile application comes in three different variations each having its own unique feature; Pro trading, Investing and Futures trading.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT KRAKEN SIGN UP PAGE

Key security measures

Kraken has an international team of top specialists who specialize in security; they adopt a risk-based approach to ensure that its users’ assets are safeguarded to the highest standards at the same time maintaining excellent performance and an unrivaled client experience.

Besides creating security programs for the world’s leading companies, Kraken’s team has also spent time investigating some of the largest consumer data breaches and continues to develop security technologies trusted by a number of organizations.

Trustworthiness

Kraken has “industry-leading security” and “safeguarding your funds and privacy” is its primary aim. Point to note; notwithstanding the fact that Kraken is one of the oldest crypto exchanges, the platform has done a great job of keeping its clients’ funds secure without ever reporting a breach of security.

What’s more, to avoid the theft of money or information, their team of specialists has implemented different kinds of advanced security measures by making provision of a holistic approach safeguarding your assets and investments.

Kraken is licensed and it ensures it’s users; financial stability, strong banking connections, full reserves, and abided by the highest levels of legal compliance. Adding to the fact that, through Kraken Security Labs, the exchange is able to analyze third-party services and products to find, disclose, and resolve flaws before criminals take advantage of them.

Kraken has grown to become one of the largest and most reputable cryptocurrency exchanges since its inception because it adheres strictly to financial rules.. 

Bug Bounty

The company runs a Bug Bounty program to tap into the large knowledge and experience of the security researchers’ community as an extra security measure. 

Bug bounties are basically security programs that encourage researchers to disclose any system flaws they discover, a specialized team of experts tests every possible attack outline.

Kraken believes that security experts and developers have a great rule to play when it comes to user security. Because of this, through the Bug Bounty Program, Kraken has made and promoted (CVD) coordinated vulnerability disclosure. Currently, Kraken very much prepared in safeguarding its clients in the cryptocurrency market as a result of the efforts and preparations made.

Platform Protection 

Video monitors and security guards constantly keep an eye on Kraken´s servers housed cages, ( under 24-hour surveillance). For precaution, there is strict control over physical access and code deployments; for example, an extensive search is conducted before something moves in or out.

Information security

Using encryption at both the system and data level is to secure all important account information in transit and at rest. This means that at all times, access to the system is strictly controlled and monitored.

Safe coin storage 

More than 50 percent of Kraken’s deposits are securely stored in a non human habitable environment (an offline air-gapped geographically dispersed cold storage). If you urgently need to withdraw funds, the exchange has a supply of reserves on hand.

Data Protection

Kraken safeguards the personal information of all it’s customers and those who visit the website, because the company values the privacy of all its visitors and aims on taking all reasonable precautions to protect current and potential clients and internet visitors.

For this reason, Kraken has made provision for all the necessary and suitable technological and organizational safeguards and processes to secure your data at all times. 

For instance, the company instructs and educates all of its workers on the significance of regularly preserving, respecting and protecting users’ personal information. 

For this reason, Kraken sees the violations of people’s privacy as a serious offense and will take appropriate disciplinary measures, which may also lead to firing.

Besides, Kraken also has a specially placed Group Data Protection Officer to make extra sure that the company processes and maintains private or sensitive information as per the applicable privacy and data protection laws and regulations, plus the company’s own policies.

Kraken user security features

Device approval code

Kraken generates and send to your email a 6 digit code to approve a new device signing in to your account for the first time. Your Sign in 2FA (Two-Factor Authentication) code is different from this one. Many account takeovers occur during phishing attacks when an attacker intercepts a client’s login codes and uses them to sign in from the hacker’s device.

The hacker could access your account before this function was put in place by going to the sign in page and quickly inputting the code you inadvertently supplied along with the 2FA code. Thereby putting an extra layer of security to protect you from phishing scams.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT KRAKEN SIGN UP PAGE

Phishing scams

As a means of prevention, if you suspect or think that you have fallen victim of phishing, here are steps to protect your account:

  1. To freeze your account, reach out to the Kraken Live Chat professionals by clicking on the chat button at the bottom of the page, letting them know about the suspicious behavior that has occurred;
  2. Krakens allows you to submit a support ticket by clicking on the “Report Suspicious Activity” option from the menu;
  3. If you have an account with kraken and an email linked with that account, change the passwords. Make sure to use the proper web address; https://www.kraken.com/sign-in to login your account.

Kraken’s security team will respond through an email and help you to protect your Kraken’s account, your email and devices immediately they receive your support request. 

Kraken will make provision for all the tools you need and to give your Kraken account real time updates on the latest security measures.

You will get a notification through your email as long as any of the following actions are attempted on your account;

  1. Two-factor authentication changes; 
  2. Password resets;
  3. Device approval;
  4. Global Settings Lock changes or deactivation;
  5. Withdrawal requests;
  6. Adding or updating withdrawal addresses.

Security Shield

The Security Shield is a tool that simplifies the configuration of Kraken’s security measures. A quick glance at your account’s security status might make you want to enable extra security features to get the highest degree of protection provided by Kraken.

To see your signed-in devices, take these steps: 

  1. Sign in to your account,
  2.  At the top, at the right corner, click on your name; 
  3. Click on Security Overview;
  4. Go to Device Management.

Before a new device will be able to access Kraken, it must be authorized by an email code delivered to your inbox. In addition to that, if you find anything suspicious, you should quickly disable any device you want under the Device Management area. There are four levels in the Security Shield, when all four are activated, the Shield is set at Maximum and turns green:

  1. High (Turn on Global Settings Lock),
  2. Medium (Setup Masterkey),
  3. Low (Enable Funding 2FA);
  4. Critically Low (Enable Login 2FA).

The Shield will glow green after you’ve enabled all security measures, which indicates that you’ve reached the highest form of protection currently possible. 

Those using Security Shield will be notified of new security features as soon as they become available. Besides, it will help you go through the process of implementing them quickly at the same time increasing your awareness about how secure your account is. 

Connected devices

The Security area of your account offers session and device management tools that helps in preventing phishing attempts and provides you a greater insight and management over your account security.

Here, you will see all active devices on your account, when they were approved, and their corresponding location/IP address besides deleting any of the devices. 

For you to disable a device, click on “Remove all devices” next to the ‘X’ on the right of the device you wish to delete.

Securing your account

Kraken places great importance on the security of your account and digital life. It is necessary for users to use the account security tools and guidance that it provides and never to share account access with anyone else.

Securing your Kraken Sign-In

  • If possible, make use of a username that is hard to guess and has never been used on any other site. Do not give your username to anybody.
  • A long passcode (15 characters at least) that has not been used on any other website.
  • It’s more advisable to use a YubiKey for Sign In 2FA.
  • To provide extra security against passcode  resets make a Master Key (in case your email gets hacked) and as a backup plan for your Sign-In 2FA.

WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW TO KNOW WHAT YUBIKEY IS

Securing your Kraken settings

After verifying and setting up  your Kraken account, there are a few extra security measures you should take;

1. Generate a two-factor authentication (2FA) for trading, withdrawals and API access. The 2FAs are worth almost nothing and will only work if the Global Settings Lock is activated. 

2. Activate the Global Settings Lock (GSL) to hinder unauthorized alterations to your account settings and withdrawal addresses, even when an attacker has successfully gained access to your account.

 The same preventive measures should be taken to safeguard your devices, email account, and internet connection as well.

Two-factor authentication (2FA) 

The 2FA code is an extra degree of protection for your Kraken account and it ensures: 

  1. That you are the only person who is able to access your account;
  2. When you’ve logged in, you are the only one able to carry out certain operations, like depositing, withdrawing funds or trading.
  3. To be able to; login in, make deposits, withdraw money or trade, you’ll need a 2FA code if it’s activated on your account. This extra code can either be kept in an app on your phone (where it changes every 30 seconds) or in a  USB device like the YubiKey (where the password changes after every use).

For this reason, attackers aiming to hack your account would require not just your username and password, but also be in possession of your 2FA device in order to access (phone or YubiKey).

WATCH THE BELOW VIDEO ON SECURING YOUR ACCOUNT WITH TWO FACTOR AUTHENTICATION

Master key

A Master Key is an additional passcode if enabled to;

  • It enables you to prevent a password reset even when your email has been hacked. The Master key is needed to reset your Kraken sign in password.
  • Your 2FA and Master Key should be kept separately should in case you happen to lose access to your sign-in two-factor authentication, you easily bypass it. Disable the Global Settings Lock if enabled on your account.

Means available for use as your Master Key

  • YubiKey device (highly secured); a USB gadget that generates a unique password anytime you press it;
  • Authenticator application (moderately secured); mostly installed on a smartphone. This app generates a 6 to 8-digit password every 30 seconds, depending on the model;
  • Static password (least secured); Since it’s not so secure compared to the others the password should at least be very long and complicated enough to prevent guessing.

How to set up a Master Key

  • You need to log into your account;
  • At the top on the right side of the page, click on your name;
  • Select Security;
  • Choose “2FA Settings”;
  • In the “Master Key” section, click on the “On/Off” dial and select the option you want.

Global Settings Lock (GSL)

GSL as a security measure, prevents your Kraken account from being altered by others and also protects the user’s account information.

  • The GSL places restrictions on account.
  •  Adjustments should be made once you are done setting up, confirming, and customizing your account. 
  • Without the GSL enabled, some who gain access to your account can alter or disable the Two-factor Authentication (2FA) on your account, that includes the Master Key. 
  • An attacker can be able to steal your account, and if the GSL isn’t enabled, they can just switch off the trading 2FA, and then start trading with your account.

How can you set up the Global Settings Lock (GSL) on your account?

  • To start, log in to your account;
  • At the top on the right corner of the page, click on your name;
  • Select Security > Global Settings Lock;
  • Indicate the amount of time it takes to unlock the GSL without a Master Key;
  • Click on the blue “Activate Global Settings Lock” button to activate the Global Settings Lock and complete the configuration.

PGP/GPG Encryption

This security feature is optional; it uses email encryption with Pretty Good Privacy (PGP)/ Gnu Privacy Guard (GPG) as a solid method to keep your data private at the same time adding an extra layer of protection to your account.

PGP is a public-key encryption software that is the most widely used email encryption standard. Furthermore, PGP is used to sign communications so that the receiver may authenticate the sender’s identity as well as the integrity of the message.

Simply put, PGP uses a private key that must be kept secret, and a public key that must be exchanged between the sender and recipient.  Meanwhile, GPG is an implementation of the OpenPGP standards.

Setting up PGP/GPG will enable you to do the following: 

  • Verify Kraken automatic communications to make sure that they came from Kraken and changes were not made with en transit.
  • Receive encrypted automated emails from Kraken minding the fact that some of these emails may include sensitive information, like account recovery instructions, encryption serves as an added layer of protection to the email chain.

WATCH HOW PGP ENCRYPTION HAPPENS BELOW

If your email gets hacked, protect your Kraken account.

Know-Your-Client (KYC) 

You must verify your identity in order to use your Kraken account. This rule is basically known as KYC (know-your-client). The reason is to prevent terrorist funding, money laundering and an unauthorized access.

Documents 

To authenticate a Kraken account, you’ll need these documents:

  1. A valid government issued identification document: This may be your passport, national identification card, or driver’s license. To open an account with Kraken, you must be at 18 years and over;
  2. A document that serves as Proof of your Address: there are several papers you can use to verify your address. Residency certificates, bank statements, utility bills or tax paperwork, these are but a few examples. Any document used to authenticate your proof of address must have been issued within the last three months;
  3. A Social Security Number (SSN): For the residents of the United States, a SSN or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is needed;
  4. A passport photo: A passport photo is needed for the residents of the United States and South Africa. 

Levels of account verification 

Kraken has four tiers of account verification, each tier grants different features. They each require slightly different types of documentation for verification.

  1. Starter: This is the first level of verification. Here there is no need for identification or evidence of residency. You just need to enter your phone number, email address, date of birth, and physical address. There are restrictions on this level like minimal crypto withdrawal amounts, does not support fiat deposits and withdrawals, limited access to margin trading, and no access whatsoever to; Futures, the OTC desk, or business account.
  2. Express: This level is available only to the citizens of the United States, besides Washington, Texas, New York, and US territories. Your SSN is needed for verification. This level denies you access to the Kraken Investment app, does not support crypto deposits and withdrawals and fiat deposits are limited to a lifetime $ 9,000 limits. In addition, this level does not grant access to the OTC desk,  staking, futures,, or the business account.
  3. Intermediate: For residents of the United States and South Africa, their verification papers include a valid ID, evidence of residency, and a passport photo. Other criteria for US citizens include a SSN and information about your occupation. This level places high restrictions on traditional currency deposits and withdrawals and limitless constraints on crypto deposits. But, this verification tier does not give access to the dark pool, OTC desk, or business account services.
  4. Pro: This is the highest tier of verification, and it gives you access to all of Kraken’s products and services. The verification criteria for this level are almost the same as those of the Intermediate level, just that you need to complete a KYC questionnaire to provide your financial information to the Pro level.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT KRAKEN SIGN UP PAGE

Kraken Proof-of-Reserves Audit Process

Exchanges uses cryptographically verified independent  audit to verify  external parties, which includes its clients, users’ funds are stored correctly  Transparency and independently verifiable audits are necessary for ensuring that firms maintain complete reserves of client funds.

Kraken aims to frequently undertake audits continuously. Different auditors will be used as there is no extremely trustworthy auditor, therefore stopping any doubts about a specific auditor’s qualifications.

Kraken Customer Support

Kraken gives global assistance through live chat 24/7, with tens of full-time, committed client oriented professionals knowledgeable about crypto and financial services and Kraken’s products and services.

Staff is strategically placed in all important markets, responding at once with the best solutions to your doubts in various languages, working even on holidays just to provide the best possible customer service.

As a matter of fact, over four million issues have been addressed, showing how high the standard of Kraken’s customer service staff are, with a history of providing timely, high-quality service.

Furthermore, users have easy access to Kraken’s extensive collection of helpful support articles. There is lots of helpful literal materials in Kraken’s Support Center that will help you with troubleshooting issues or learning more on your own.

Finally,

Kraken goes a long way to provide security solutions for its users, thereby enabling them to better manage their accounts and ensure the safety of their funds. They are;

  1. To secure your account, use 2FA (Google Authenticator and YubiKey);
  2. You’ll get email confirmations for withdrawals, with self-serve account lock.
  3. Your account remains under your control, nothing like account recu through phone or SMS.
  4. Global settings lock provides extra security;
  5. Secure communication through PGP-signed and encrypted email;
  6. SSL encryption is used to protect you when using kraken.
  7. Activities are constantly monitored in real time.
  8. Sensitive data is securely encrypted both at all times.

Final Opinion

With all said, we could rightly say that Kraken Exchange is a safe and secure cryptocurrency. This platform has not suffered any security breaches since it started operating. 

With tools like Global Settings Lock, Master Key, 2FA and information on how to secure externalities like emails, internet connection and phishing, the platform has provided several security features in place to keep the exchange safe and has also provided a reasonable amount of information on what they can do to fully secure their accounts. There are also options for dealing with an account that has been hacked, there is customer service on standby 24  hours in the case of illegal access.

Kraken is registered as a Money Services Business (MSB)  in the US with FinCEN and FINTRAC in Canada, which means that it adheres to the laws and regulations set in place by the financial authorities. Moreover, it is trusted by thousands of traders, institutions, and regulators, that includes Germany’s BaFin regulated Fidor Bank.

Lastly, Kraken is the first exchange to successfully pass an independent audit and to showcase its market data on the Bloomberg Terminal.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT KRAKEN SIGN UP PAGE

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