Throughout the years I have been teaching people about all aspects of cryptocurrency, I have always put an emphasis on security as I’ve seen so many lose most if not all of their investments through poor security practices.
I have always thought for the most part that I have been very thorough in my security practices...that is, until I was preparing for a massive hurricane, Hurricane Ida that was headed straight for us. That is when I realized a part of vulnerability when it came to my backup and seed phrases, which are used to restore wallets if anything happens to your devices or software wallets on the devices.
A bad flood or severe damage, like we incurred on our home, could have been even more devastating if I didn’t take steps to secure my crypto assets even further. You may wonder why I’m writing about this if most of the world does not have to deal with hurricanes.
It is because, no matter where you live in the world, you are vulnerable to some form of natural disaster, earthquakes, tornados, wildfires, tsunamis, etc. Plus, we are all vulnerable to man-made disasters as well, for example, the apartment building that recently collapsed in Miami, Florida due to poor construction and maintenance. Even those forced to flee their homeland with nothing, such as what is happening in Afghanistan right now, would be able to take their wealth in cryptocurrency with them if they take the proper precautions.
Now, let’s look at those steps you can take to ensure you are protected.
Whenever you store your cryptocurrency in a wallet where you control the private keys, you are the only one responsible for your security. Security is not just for being able to protect your assets from hackers, but also from being lost if a device fails or software on a device fails and you need to restore access to your wallet or wallets. In all of the educational content I make, I encourage people not to store these on the notepad on your phone or computer. In 2017, I talked to someone who stored their wallet backup phrases in their email, and their email was hacked, resulting in a loss of 10 Bitcoin.
Your cryptocurrency wallets can be the most secure way to store your cryptocurrency but only if you take proper precautions. The first thing you want to do is make sure you write down your seed phrases. If it is a hardware device, you usually will receive a card with the device to write it down on. If it is a software wallet, I recommend keeping a notepad specifically for this. If you have a mobile or web-based wallet that you set up and haven’t gone through the settings to backup the seed phrases, I recommend you do this as soon as possible. Keep in mind, this is just the first step.
There are other steps to take as well to ensure you are protected for all scenarios. At a minimum, make sure you have a small fireproof safe to store this notepad in. This will at least protect you from small house fires. If your area is prone to flooding, it is also recommended to keep this notebook and safe in a higher location. Water and fire can be devastating to all paper documents and notebooks.
Some companies make metal cards to either punch out the seed phrases with a stamp or metal letter blocks. This could protect your seed phrases and in turn, access to cryptocurrency from being destroyed by water or fire. Not all metal cards are created equal so be sure to look at reviews of each type of metal card.
Now that we looked at how to protect your seed phrases from water or fire, we need to look at the need for backups of your backup. In essence, multiple locations to store your seed phrases and other sensitive data. Earthquakes and other destructive forces can force you out of your home or office and you may not be able to get back in to recover your belongings, including your backups of your seed phrases for your cryptocurrency wallets. Storing multiple copies that are located at different locations can help you if you are not able to return to one of the locations.
This can be a friend or family member’s house, office building, or even a safe deposit box or storage locker. While these steps may seem like overkill, as your assets values increase, you are the only one responsible for the security of your assets. There is no customer service line you can call to restore access to your wallets. One great characteristic of cryptocurrency is sovereign control over your cryptocurrency assets, but with that control, comes great responsibility.
Over the years, I’ve seen it time and time again, where someone forgets to save their seed phrases, or for one reason or another loses access to them, and it can be devastating. In some cases, it may only be worth a few hundred dollars at the time the wallet is set up. But if you are playing the long game and some of those assets can be worth a substantial amount in the future, it is best to take the steps now as if that value is already realized. The discomfort around the discipline to protect your assets now is much better than the pain of regret down the road when a preventable catastrophe happens.
Laziness and procrastination will cause many to lose their cryptocurrency assets. Do not let that be you. Regardless of how you have handled it up until now, you can start today by taking some of the steps mentioned to backup your seed phrases and protect the future value of your cryptocurrency assets, and in turn, your financial future for you and your family. We have all heard the saying, better safe than sorry.
I am choosing safe and taking necessary steps to protect my family’s wealth. I hope you do as well.
Content written by Blockchain Wayne