How to Secure Your Bitcoins and Prevent Irrecoverable Wallet Loss

How to Secure Your Bitcoins and Prevent Irrecoverable Wallet Loss

The introduction of a Bitcoin online currency has made life easier for many people, since it’s like a private Swiss bank account that fits any one of your pockets, and it can be as anonymous as using the regular cash. The trouble is that you’re the only one responsible for it, and there’s nobody else to protect it but you.

There are many things that could happen and damage your wallet. For example, you might lose access to it, and there’s no way to regain it. Also, in case you get hacked and your coins get stolen from you, Bitcoin developers will not be considered responsible, which leaves you with nothing but your own anger and a sense of injustice.

When you think about it, Bitcoin is even supposed to be a trustless and decentralized money. There aren’t even any legal precedents set, and probably won’t be for quite some time. That’s why it’s up to you to think about things like security, accessibility, and redundancy when and if you decide to get yourself a Bitcoin wallet.

Bitcoin Wallets Recommended By VPNs

Many VPNs, like TorGuard for example, support Bitcoin and can even be paid for by using this method. Bitcoin wallets can be accessed from pretty much any device, including iOS, Windows, Android, Mac OS X and even Linux, and the favorite wallets for many of the VPNs are all hierarchical deterministic (HD) wallets. This means that the first time you start the application, it simultaneously creates all of your Bitcoin addresses. This will require a seed, however.

Seed is a sort of a passphrase that consists of 12 or 13 random words in the English language. These words will help you access your bitcoins from different devices, like some sort of a backup way for accessing your funds, in case your regular way of accessing them is unavailable. Basically, all you need to do is type in your choice words and you’ll get back everything that you lost.

Keep in mind that this also means that pretty much everyone who knows about the words that you chose can access your funds and do with them whatever they want, so be careful when it comes to sharing them. Remember that the responsibility to keep this information secure is on you and that there’s no one to blame if you lose the funds.

How To Keep The Seed Words Private

Write them down

If you’re worried about getting hacked, the easiest thing to do is write the words down on a piece of paper. It’ll be pretty hard for hackers to discover things that don’t exist, so not posting things online is a great way of keeping them private. And no one can hack a piece of paper. Just make sure not to print the document with the words, but instead use the actual pen again. This piece of paper can then be put anywhere you want, including a safe, a secret compartment or even a safety deposit box at your bank.

Put them in a password manager

Password managers are probably one of the best options for you if you’re worried about someone breaking in and stealing your stuff, including a certain piece of paper. They can keep your passwords safe, create new ones and even fill out online forms when you’re creating a new account somewhere.

And, no one can access it, while your deposit box can be accessed by the police if there’s a suspicion that you’re hiding something illegal.

Break them into parts

If you’re worried about hacking AND breaking and entering, you can even divide your passphrase and hide it in different locations. Let’s say that your passphrase has 12 words. Break it into three groups, each consisting of four words.

Write down each of three group of words on two different pieces of paper, so you’ll end up with six pieces of paper. Once you’ve done this, hide the pieces of paper in three different locations, so that you can get your full passphrase even if one of the locations was discovered. That way, the attacker will only have 2/3 of your passphrase if one of the locations was discovered.

Memorize them

You can always try and memorize the words, you just need to think of them as a part of the story and try to make sense of the sentence. No one can hack or rob your mind, right?

Keep in mind that every method of protection has its pros and its cons as well and that nothing is ever completely safe, only safer of less safe than something else. Now, VPNs whole point revolves around safety, and it’s probably a good idea to listen when they have an advice.

With that in mind, TorGuard and other VPNs strongly recommend the use of the password managers, since it’s safe and pretty hard to access for anyone who doesn’t have your master password. And the best thing is that with password manager, you won’t have to remember more than one password ever again. The choice is yours, but this is definitely one of the best methods of easily finding your way around the Internet with all of the security issues that we have to constantly deal with.

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Ali is a freelance journalist with 5 years of experience in web journalism and marketing. He contributes to various online publications. With a master degree, now he combines his passions for writing about internet security and technology. When he is not working, he loves traveling and playing games.

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