When Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin, it was with security and safety in mind, and the wallets they are stored in today have certainly followed the same path. However, while most wallets are entirely secure in and of themselves, you can never be too safe when it comes to storing and spending your coins. Creating a back-up can be the difference between recovering lost coins and losing them forever, and you can find out more about just how to do this below.
Why Make A Backup?
Bitcoin is well known for its security, with the encrypted blockchain technology on which it is based, but you’ll still want to back up your Bitcoin wallet, regardless. After all, a hard drive crash, a loss of private keys and passwords or even a breakage could mean that you have lost all access to the Bitcoin you own. Due to the nature of the blockchain’s encryption, you will not be able to access your Bitcoin if you have lost your public and/or private key without a back-up, and these cannot be recovered. By having a backup, human error will no longer be an issue. Just like important documents or computer software, creating a backup is simply common sense, and can mean that all of your valuable coins are kept safe from harm or loss if the unspeakable does happen.
Types Of Wallet Backups
Different wallets will provide you with alternate ways to back up your wallet; however, there are three main methods that most will offer, or you can do for yourself. Find out more here:
- USB or Hard Drive
All wallets will give you the option to download, and with a click or two, this is usually a fairly simple process. From here, you can move your download onto a USB or Hard Drive. In this case, you’ll want to encrypt the file or device before moving it or storing it on your computer. A password protected file can be moved onto a USB or Drive, and this can then be encrypted to protect your backup from prying eyes. In this case, you’ll want to take good care of it and ensure its kept safe from physical harm or loss.
Some online wallets will allow you to send it to yourself via email. Similar to downloading, this just means that the file will be sent to your email account rather than directly downloaded onto your computer, which is ideal for mobile wallets or unsecured computers. Email accounts that are used in these instances should have two-factor authentication, an extremely secure password and any other security options that your email provider may offer.
A paper wallet is essentially a document that includes paper keys, redeemable QR codes or any other way of accessing your Bitcoin from a piece of paper. In the case of downloading and printing out a paper wallet, you should ensure that your file is fully deleted from your computer after printing, and the printed file is kept safely away from prying eyes.
Other Security Practices You Should Follow
While backing up your Bitcoin wallet is a must for ensuring security and access should things go wrong, ideally you need to be preventing things from going wrong from the very start. If you can, opt for having two or more wallets, with a good chunk of your coins being set in the most secure that isn’t likely to be used. Only have enough for everyday use on your computer, mobile or server if you make regular payments, as any hacking or fault will only damage a small amount of coins this way.
Similarly, making sure that everything is up to date with the latest security is a must. If you have antivirus software on the device on which your coins are stored, you should ensure that it is regularly updated. This will ensure that any bugs and fixes are likely to be worked out long before they can become an issue for your device and the Bitcoin on it. Keeping the actual wallet software up-to-date is also a must for the same reason.
The security of your Bitcoin shouldn’t just rest in the coin itself. Your wallet is the storage for all of the coins you’ve invested time and money into, and a few simple security additions will take no time at all but give you peace of mind knowing that your funds are safe. Whether digital or physical, back-ups can ensure that you have access to coins even when things go wrong.
Now that you know just how to secure your coins, why not try your hand at a few of our games today?