You do not walk around with your regular wallet hanging out of your pocket. When it comes to your bitcoin wallet, you need to keep it safe and secure, too. This article will give you tips on what you can do to keep your bitcoin wallet safe.
How to Keen A Mobile Bitcoin Wallet Safe
A mobile bitcoin wallet can be very convenient because you can use it on your mobile device, be it a tablet or a smartphone, an Android device, an Apple product or a Windows phone.
It is also very convenient because you don’t even need Wi-Fi and can send payments using a Bluetooth Low Energy connection.
However, a mobile wallet is also the riskiest form of a bitcoin wallet because if you lose your device, somebody may gain access to your wallet and use your funds.
In terms of security, a mobile wallet works in the same way as a wallet on your desktop computer does. It uses a private key to allow you to send out your bitcoins. The problem with mobile wallets is that a mobile wallet stores your private key on the device and it is much easier to lose or have a small device stolen compared to a desktop computer in your home or office.
Depending on what mobile wallet you are using, the wallet may have a built-in backup feature. It is possible that you can back up your mobile wallet to Dropbox, Google Drive or even send the backup to yourself via email.
If your mobile wallet does have a backup feature, make sure to create a backup as soon as possible. This way you will be able to restore your wallet and get access to your coins even if you lose your mobile device.
Most mobile wallets have a PIN code system to protect the wallet on your smartphone or tablet from unauthorized access. Typically, you will need to enter a four-digit code or a six-digit code before you can access the wallet itself. If you fail to enter the correct PIN code, the wallet may lock itself. It will then send a text message or an email to the address of the wallet owner with the instructions about what the owner needs to do to unlock the wallet.
Overall, a mobile wallet can provide great convenience, but it also comes with a number of risks. If you know that you lose your tablet or smartphone on a regular basis or forget it in different places and then have to go and look for it at work or at home, installing a mobile bitcoin wallet on such a device may not be the best idea because if you are careless with your device and you lose the device without creating a backup of your private key, you will lose access to your bitcoins. The bitcoin network gives users a lot of freedom and privacy when using their money, but freedom and privacy come with risks and responsibility. If you lose your device or forget to back it up, your money will be gone.
How to Keep An Online Bitcoin Wallet Service Safe
An online bitcoin wallet service is similar to your online account with a regular financial institution such as a bank. When you access your regular bank account online, you can see the balance of your account, pay bills and receive funds. That’s what you can do with a bitcoin online wallet service, too.
The difference is that with a financial institution, you are trusting a specific institution and with bitcoin you place trust in a system that allows people to pay each other directly without a need for a third-party system.
Using an online bitcoin wallet service comes with a lot of risks. While being able to access your bitcoins via the Internet at any time from anywhere is very convenient, it is also very risky because it means that you are trusting a third-party to manage and store your bitcoins. However, even this is not the biggest risk. The biggest risk is that in many cases you don’t have an access to a private key of your bitcoin wallet and should something happen to the service that you are using, you will lose your funds and have no way to recover them.
Most online wallet services do come with a two-factor authentication that does create an additional layer of security, but this layer will not help if attackers hack the wallet service itself.
If you want to control your money yourself, you should consider staying away from online wallet services. While they are convenient, they are also very risky and when you store your money with such a service, it is the service and not you who is in control of your money. Online bitcoin wallet services were not part of the vision that the founders of the bitcoin network had when they created bitcoin.
How to Keep Paper Bitcoin Wallets Safe
A paper bitcoin wallet is an actual piece of physical paper that contains your public key and your private key. To create a paper bitcoin wallet, you should never generate the keys online. Instead, you should use a secure machine with local software. You can print a paper wallet multiple times and store it in multiple locations such as fireproof safes.
A paper bitcoin wallet is an extremely safe way to store your bitcoins because the paper wallet is not accessible to hackers, viruses, and malware. You can enhance the security of your paper wallet even further by encrypting your private key or keys with a password combination on paper. If a thief stores your paper wallet, you need to make sure that you use another copy of the wallet and access and move the coins faster than the thief does.