Losing your bitcoin investment is horrible, no matter how many you have. These feelings get even worse when they are stolen, scammed, or lost because of some silly, goofy mistake. If you don’t want to lose your coins, then this guide is perfect for you.
It should be understood that it is not recommended to store large amounts of bitcoins on any exchange, as the risk of loss or hacking is always present. So, instead of keeping your bitcoins on an exchange, consider setting up a safe wallet which you own the private keys to. We recommend you ether setup an offline paper wallet or make the small investment in a hardware wallet such as a Trezor or Ledger.
Anytime a wallet is set up, users are provided with a unique recovery seed composed of anywhere from 12–24 randomized words. You are urged to write this recovery seed down somewhere safe and to never post it online.
Recovery seeds are considered the most important aspect of maintaining the safety of your cryptocurrencies. A recovery seed is your best friend when you lose your paper, hardware, or mobile wallet, as it’s the only way you can recover your funds and wallet. Many individuals skip writing down their recovery seed code when setting up a wallet because they are too hasty. However, to prevent total bitcoin and cryptocurrency loss, it’s crucial to record your recovery seed somewhere safe. It is highly recommended you back up your crypto wallets recovery phrase if you have not done so already.
Store Your Recovery Seed Offline
The best method of storing your recovery seed is by actually writing it down on a piece of paper and storing it away somewhere safe, like a deposit box. It is completely ill advised to store your recovery seed on a note taking app, computer, cloud storage, Google Drive, or Dropbox due to the risk of your computer getting hacked and your seed stolen.
Purchasing a new USB for the sole purpose of storing your recovery seed is a good idea, but only if you don’t intend to utilize the USB for anything else. Even so, only store your recovery seed on a USB device after you have written it down on a piece of paper. USB drives can be lost or even fail occasionally. It’s never a great idea to rely solely on technology for storing crucial and extremely sensitive data.
If you have a larger investment in Bitcoin or other Cryptocurrency, we highly recommend you take a look at what is called a “Hardware wallet“. These are special devices designed to hold the keys to your wallets without exposing them to your local computer. That way if your machine has been compromised, ether by a hacker, virus or malware then your keys will remain safe. These devices come with special cards on which you can write down your seed for safe storage.
More Tips on How to Store Your Bitcoin Seed Securely
Don’t wait too long to record your recovery seed. Instead, when you are presented with it, write it down and store it away somewhere safe immediately. Paper is one of the most secure ways to handle and store critical data. As a matter of fact, archeologists are constantly discovering rolls of paper that are who knows how many hundreds of years old but that still contain vital historical information. Quite impressive, as a computer would definitely not be able to store data for that long, especially a recovery seed.
You might want to write down or make more than one copy of your recovery seed. What if your home is sabotaged by a natural disaster, like a fire? Well, you would most likely lose your recovery seed. Just imagine the emotional turmoil you would experience if you ended up losing access to all your digital assets for good. That’s why it is critical to have more than one copy of your recovery phrase tucked safely away somewhere, so that in case of a fire or flood, your seed will remain safe! If you are in possession of a significantly large number of bitcoins, then consider laminating the sheet of paper carrying your recovery seed and storing it in a secure vault.
Image Credit: Goldcore Safety Deposit Boxes
It is ill advised to take pictures of your recovery seed or even make digital copies. Never store your seed on your email, cloud storage service, or hand-held device’s photo library, as you run the risk of getting hacked and losing your recovery phrase.
However, you may consider adding an advanced recovery phrase to your seed, if you are provided with that feature when you generate it. An advanced recovery phrase allows you to add a custom passphrase to your seed. This means that if your recovery seed is compromised by some ill-willed individual, he or she will essentially not be able to steal your funds due to the custom passphrase protecting your precious assets. Some users even go the extra mile and memorize their whole recovery seed!
Engraving Your Private Key or Seed Words
For extra security, some users have had great luck with storing their recovery seed phrases through cold storage methods that companies like BillFodl provide. The Billfodl creates custom and secure steel plates with engraved recovery seed phrases.
With the Billfodl, you can assemble any kind of private key you need – seed phrase (up to 24 words), alphanumeric, hexadecimal, etc! Just use the provided tiles organized inside the package, and slide them in one by one, then close and lock.
Billfodl is waterproof. Composed of the highest quality marine grade 316 stainless steel, Billfodl protects against all water related threats, including corrosive salt water. It’s so good, your data would be safe at the bottom of the ocean floor.
You can read our complete review of the Billfodl here.
There have also been situations in which individuals in possession of wallets holding substantial amounts of bitcoins have passed away, leaving their families in the unknown regarding how they can retrieve their inherited cryptocurrencies. In certain situations, it makes sense to record your recovery seed and key in a will for your family members, including instructions for those unfamiliar with crypto assets.
Keep Your Bitcoins Safe for Good
It’s impossible to stress how important it is to keep your recovery seed as safe and secure as possible. You need to be very cautious regarding your wallet, bitcoins, and recovery seed. With the above advice, you should better understand how you can keep your recovery seed as safe as possible. Being smart and taking the necessary precautions can really help put you and your assets out of harm’s way!
It’s important for you to understand that you are responsible for your possessions and assets. There are many techniques and tricks out there that can be used to keep your assets and recovery seeds safe. However, it’s important to pick a method or two that you like and feel confident in. You can even use the same methods to store your recovery seed as you would other paper assets and documents, such as your will, birth certificate, or home mortgage. With the right precautions, you can keep your recovery seed as secure as possible and protect your digital currencies from thieves!