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All you need to know about API Keys: Security and Usage

The crypto industry is forever expanding, and there’s a need to create more secure software services to protect the data and funds of users from cybercriminals. API keys are also an important tool created by exchanges to help users get more out of their trades and increase their productivity while trading. 

The API key frequently serves as both a username and a password, serving as a secure link between two platforms. Some traders often use third-party services such as portfolio trackers or market analysis providers. This is mostly made possible when there’s an API key available . 

We will discuss API keys in this article, why they are important in the crypto industry, and how they connect two platforms. 

What Are API Keys?

Source: Educative.io

In simple terms, API keys are a username or password that helps a crypto trader connect third-party applications, such as coin trackers, with an exchange account. To fully understand how API keys operate, one must know APIs. 

API is an abbreviation for application programming interface , and it is used to allow two or more platforms or software to interact. So the API key, in this case, is the username or password that grants certain applications permission to interact. 

For instance, assuming a crypto portfolio tracker wants to connect with exchange A, the function of the API key is to authenticate and verify the crypto portfolio tracker before granting permissions. 

From another perspective, application programming interface keys track who is using an API and how they are trying to use it. API keys come in different forms depending on the crypto ecosystem or exchange that issued them; some come as a single code, while others are multi-coded. 

Each API key is unique, which means one user’s application programming interface key is never the same as any other user’s. In other crypto scenarios, API keys are often known as private keys or secret keys. 

API Keys: How Safe Are They? 

Beginners often ask how secure API keys are. The answer to this question is simple: the API key’s security lies in the hands of the person who has it. 

As mentioned above, API keys have similar functions as a password and should be treated as such if you want to secure your API keys. You know the detriment of revealing your password to the public; that’s the same way API keys function. 

Due to the importance of API keys, they are often the targets of cyber attacks, so one should be careful of any website asking for sensitive information such as API keys. 

If a cybercriminal successfully gains access to a private key, its effect can be damaging. Once an API key is stolen, it doesn’t expire, so it can be used by the cybercriminal for as long as possible until the providers entirely revoke it. 

Source: Towards Data Science

How to Protect Your API Keys Against Cyber ​​Attacks

Below are some of the best practices that will ensure that your API keys are protected from any form of cyberattack:

IP Whitelisting 

IP whitelisting is one of the most secure and productive methods of protecting your API keys. This happens when a user creates a list of APIs that can access and use their API keys anytime they want. However, any IP address other than those on the whitelist will be rejected. 

Don’t Share Your API Keys 

The first thing to understand when trying to secure your API keys from the hands of cybercriminals is to avoid sharing them. Sharing them with anyone means you have just opened another gateway that cybercriminals could exploit to obtain them. your password to a bank account containing your funds; it will lead to the loss of funds and sensitive data. 

Apart from losing data and funds, API keys transfer all the privileges and rights given to you by an exchange to another person who has access to it. Your API keys should only be known to or shared between you and the exchange or ecosystem that provided them . 

Don’t Store Your API Keys Publicly 

Don’t make the mistake of keeping or storing your API keys where other people can access them; it is very dangerous. Some people make the mistake of storing their API keys in public places, such as publicly issued computers in a library; end up being stolen. 

Even if it is the general computer used by everyone in your home, you should not store or keep it there. Your API keys should be stored on your private devices, which are equally protected with passwords and other forms of security. 

Source: Hubspot

Recreate API keys 

Cybercriminals are always working overtime to ensure they get access to people’s API keys, so you have to take extra steps to secure them. Another method of securing your API keys is by creating new ones from time to time. You can decide the intervals at which You will destroy your present private keys and replace them with new ones. 

When you do this, a hacker won’t still have access to your data or privileges even if they get access to your old API keys. have

Read More: How to Enhance Account Security

Your Security is Truly Paramount 

API keys are very important as they allow two applications and platforms to interact and share data. However, they have to be secured, as cybercriminals can use them to get access to privileges, data, and funds. 

Some methods to secure an API key are not sharing them, using IP whitelisting, recreating your API keys, and storing them privately.  BingX Crypto Exchange ensures your safety when using the platform. BingX is the world’s leading social crypto exchange that offers experiential trading , including spot trading, futures trading, copy trading, and subsidy vouchers.


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