Keeping your crypto coins safe from prying eyes, hackers, and other thieves, is not easy. Everyone wants a piece of crypto nowadays and they are happy to try and steal your coins.
If people know you have invested in crypto coins in the early days, and you still have your investment with you, then they know you are literally sitting on top of a fortune. I do not want to sound negative, but it is a fact that some people will do anything for money or in this case, crypto coins.
There are many ways you can keep your crypto coins safe. Wallets are not actually used to store your coins, instead you store your private keys that give you access to the coins which are on the blockchain. For ultimate safety, you can store private keys in different type of wallets. Some wallets are called “Hot” this is because they are connected to the Internet. Others are called ‘Cold’ these are more secure because they are not connected to the Internet.
Within your wallet, your coins would have an associated address, and each coin address is composed of a ‘public key’ and a ‘private key.’
The public key is the coin address itself, and it can be shared with anybody. The public key can be compared to an email address. Everybody who knows your email address can send you emails.
The private key is similar to your email password. Without a password, no one can read your email. In the same way, without a private key, you cannot make a transaction to send coins to another user. Therefore, keeping the private key safe is of utmost importance.
If hackers get hold of your private keys, they can steal your crypto coins.
Because of the way Crypto Coins are designed, there is no way for you to know where your coins would be sent and there is absolutely zero chance of retrieving any of the coins.
Crypto Coins most attractive features such as near instant transfers, anonymous and irreversible transactions are also your biggest concerns if your private keys get stolen.
Once your coins are stolen and transferred to another user, you really have no other choice but to accept the fact and move on. There is nothing else you can do.
So, let us move on to how you can keep your private keys, and your coins, safe from hackers and thieves.
The easiest way to get started with crypto coins is by getting an online wallet. You do not even need to have coins yet to get your own wallet. You can simply go to exchange platforms to create your first wallet.
Online wallets are great for those starting out with crypto and those who do not have a sizeable inventory of coins yet.
They are easy to setup, they are convenient, and you can access them from anywhere with an Internet connection. Online wallets are ‘hot wallets’ for this very reason, anyone can access your wallet, too if they have your credentials!
In fact, what is even worse is that most online wallets store your private keys on their servers so if the platform is hacked, then your coins are as good as gone.
Likewise, if a serious technical glitch happens on the website, your private keys could be compromised or totally gone. There is also the very real threat of having your account limited or suspended by the platform.
You may unknowingly go against the site’s terms of service or something similar, and they can shut your account down, and your private keys, forever.
If you have a significant coin stash, then it is best if you move it to a more secure ‘cold’ wallet that is not connected to the Internet. Not having control over your coins is a scary thought and one that you should not take a chance on.
While there are inherent risks to online wallets, it is not all bad especially if you make transactions frequently. It is best to store a small percentage of your coins in an online wallet and keep the rest in offline wallets where they are much more secure.
This way you will still get to experience the convenience of an online wallet while having peace of mind that a significant percentage of your coins are out of harm’s way.
Some web wallets for you to look at:
Smart Phone Wallets
Just like online wallets, mobile app wallets are also ‘hot’ wallets because you can easily access your cryptocurrency from anywhere you have a connection. Out of all the wallets on this guide, smart phone wallets are the most convenient. They may not be the safest, but no one can deny its convenience.
You can send coin payments to most merchants online or offline. Some online wallets have an associated smart phone app that are synced to your online wallets which is very convenient as both wallets sync automatically so you can see your balance when you log in or access either wallet.
This convenience is precisely why more local businesses should accept crypto coin payments. The Ravencoin community is growing at an exponential rate, and these savvy users would be installing mobile wallets on their smartphones.
There is probably no easier way for them to pay than just scanning your coin address’ QR code and hitting the Send button to pay for your products or services!
However, not everything is good with smart phone wallets. For instance, hackers can still access your private keys whether it is saved on a third-party server or your phone.
If you lose your phone or it gets damaged, you could also potentially lose all your coins and other cryptocurrency if you did not make backup copies of your private keys and stored them somewhere safe.
The best way to take advantage of a smart phone wallet is by only transferring what you need from a more secure wallet (like a hardware wallet) to your smart phone wallet. This way even if you lose your phone, and you cannot recover your private keys on there, then you will not be losing all your coins.
Smart phone wallets for you to investigate:
The third type of wallet you can use to store your coins safely is a desktop wallet. It is basically a desktop application where you store your private keys in. The most popular desktop wallet for Ravencoin is: https://ravencoin.org/wallet/
Desktop wallets are easy to use, and it is safer than an online or smart phone wallet because you can just disconnect your computer from the Internet to avoid hackers from getting in your system and stealing your private keys.
A desktop application is not as convenient as an online or smart phone wallet, but at least you have full control over your private keys. You can keep a backup copy of the keys just in case your computer gets stolen, infected with a virus or permanently damaged.
It might seem strange to store your cryptocurrency private keys on paper. You are probably going to ask why anyone would do that when coins don’t exist physically.
Crypto coins and paper may not seem like a match made in heaven, but when you think about it, they do. Well, on some level at least.
Paper wallets are a form of ‘cold storage’ because Internet hackers will not ever get to hack into your little piece of paper. There are plenty of skilled hackers who can find a way to access most computers and servers, but I am sure paper is not one of them.
Your coins may be safe from hackers but not from offline thieves. If you do not take care of your paper wallet, if you leave it lying around in unsecured places, then you are literally giving someone the keys to your fortune!
Water is also something you should consider when using paper wallets. Storing your wallets in zip locks and other water-resistant containers should help overcome this problem.
Paper wallets are not as convenient as mobile or online wallets, but they are more secure. You can print both your public and private keys and hide it somewhere safe like a safety deposit box.
Paper wallets are the best type of wallet for storing your private keys for lengthy periods of time.
If you do not intend to touch your coins for months or years, then you can create paper wallets. Of course, just like I have recommended in previous sections, it is best to keep a few coins (only what you can afford to lose) in more convenient wallets so you can continue sending and receiving coins. The rest of your private keys can go in the paper wallet.
There is a consensus in the crypto coin community that hardware wallets are the safest and something every serious coin investor and enthusiast should consider buying. Unlike the other wallet I have covered so far, hardware wallets are relatively expensive.
Of course, if you have a considerable number of coins to protect, then it is really a small price to pay for keeping them safe. Most hardware wallets support a host of cryptocurrencies.
Hardware wallets are USB sticks which you plug into your computer when making a cryptocurrency transaction. When you are done, simply remove the USB and store it somewhere safe.
A unique security feature on hardware wallets is the ability to generate private keys offline which means that it is less vulnerable to hacker attacks. These sturdy little devices allow you to bring your private keys anywhere with you without fear of having it exposed to the outside world.
Setup is also quick and easy with hardware wallets. Depending on the wallet, you can assign a PIN code, password, or recovery seed words which you can use to authenticate your access as well as recover your coins in case your wallet is lost or destroyed.
Just in case you forget your recovery details, you should write down your secret details and hide them somewhere only you know. Remember, if someone gets hold of your private keys, then you will probably lose all your coins.
Hardware wallets are excellent for storing all your cryptocurrencies safely. Whether you have a sizeable collection of digital currency or not, you never have to worry if your wallet will be hacked, and your money stolen.
Your private keys are safe. You just need to make sure your memory never fails you, and you will always remember where you have hidden your wallet backups!
Here are some hardware wallets for you to consider:
To sum up, the best wallet for your coins and cryptocurrencies are a combination of different wallets. Use hard wallets or paper wallets for long-term storage, desktop wallets for medium-term storage, and online and smart phone wallets for short-term storage and frequent transactions.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this page does not constitute investment advice, financial advice, trading advice, or any other sort of advice and it should not be treated as such. This content is the opinion of a third party, and this site does not recommend that any specific cryptocurrency should be bought, sold, or held, or that any crypto investment should be made. The Crypto market is high-risk, with high-risk and unproven projects.
Readers should do their own research and consult a professional financial advisor before making any investment decisions.