Because I know how confusing it can be for those new to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to understand how to store their new coins, I put together these tips to let new adopters know some of the things they should be doing, as well as some they should not. There are definitely some pitfalls to avoid when working with cryptocurrencies and hopefully these tips will help you avoid some of the more basic security concerns. As you’ll see from the ten tips below, most of these basic security concerns are nothing more than common sense, and in no time you’ll be doing these things automatically.
10 Bitcoin/Altcoin Storage Safety Tips for New Users
- Never hand-type your wallet address, always use copy/paste.
- If there’s a version of your address with uppercase letters always use the version of your address that has the uppercase letters.
- Never hand type your private key or keystore file for any wallet. If you do have to hand type the key always triple-check the words for mnemonic keys (there are still mistakes you can make).
- When sending to another wallet always send a small amount of Bitcoin or whichever coin you might be sending, ensure it arrives at the destination you wanted it to, and then send the full amount of Bitcoin or other alt-coin.
- When you create a new wallet, especially if it’s a cold storage wallet, first send small amount in, and then send small amount out from new wallet, to ensure everything is working properly. Once you’re sure it works properly you can send the full amount into the new wallet.
- Save/back up your private key in a separate location BEFORE sending any coins to your wallet.
- Never email your private key for any reason.
- Never post your private key on Reddit, Twitter, Slack or any other online social media or messaging service.
- Never store your private key on Dropbox or any other cloud storage service.
- Double & triple check all your work. Look at the amount you are sending. Look at what address you are sending to. Always be careful and mindful before making a transaction. Remember there is no way to reverse a transaction once its made, so make it correctly every time.
About Hardware Wallets
One of the easiest and safest ways to store your Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin and many other coins is in a hardware wallet. There are several varieties to choose from. I use and recommend the Ledger Nano S for ease of use and affordability. The Ledger Nano S will hold all your private keys and sign transactions for you, ensuring that your private keys are never on any device connected to the internet. This means phishers can’t get your private keys. It means malware won’t ever have access to your private keys. And keyloggers can’t discover your private keys. It gives you security and peace of mind. And the best part is that it only costs €58 or less than $70 (roughly 0.012 BTC as of Oct 14, 2017). You can pay with your credit card, Paypal, or with Bitcoin.
The device itself holds the keys and signs transactions for you. This ensures your keys aren’t ever on any internet-connected device. Phishers can’t get them. Malware can’t get them. Keyloggers can’t get them.
Why not order (or pre-order) one today and ensure the safety of your digital currencies.
Seriously, even if it’s sold out, pre-order it now, it’s worth waiting for.