Self-custody of cryptocurrencies is a big responsibility. Rather than rely on a financial institution to protect your funds, it’s up to you and you alone. After all, operating a mobile crypto wallet — or even the desktop computer variety — means acting as your own bank.
Now, there are some pros and cons to being Bank of Me’s Chief Financial Officer. On one side of the coin, there are no account maintenance or overdraft fees. On the other, there’s usually nobody to turn to if you get locked out of your account.
But by treating your account’s login credentials like you would any other private information, you’ve nothing to fear. Because you’re not in the habit of leaving sensitive info just lying about for anyone to view, you already possess the proper mindset. And today, we’ll share a few tips for keeping your crypto where it belongs — safe with you.
Planting the Seeds of Protection
The RedFOX Labs mobile crypto wallet is coming soon to the app store in your pocket. No, there’s little difference between our software and the billfold in your jeans or purse over your shoulder. In other words, we make the wallet, but you retain 100% ownership of everything placed inside.
Unlike physical wallets, however, digital versions are fully recoverable. Drop your wallet off the side of a cruise ship, and you can kiss its cash goodbye. But if it’s your phone gently zig-zagging towards the ocean floor, digital funds are fully recoverable.
How’s that? Simple: those 12 magic words, also known as a seed phrase. Without a seed phrase, nobody can access your funds — not even you! During the process of creating a new digital wallet, just like ours, the software will generate a random set of words acting as your account’s gatekeeper.
Here’s a sample seed phrase:
remember that account protection rests squarely with those holding their own funds
Seed phrases rarely form a coherent sentence, but you get the idea. And no, there isn’t a computer in existence that can rifle through combinations of words until it guesses your phrase.
Now, you may have heard the term, “not your keys, not your crypto.” Meaning, unless you hold your wallet’s private keys — unlike on centralized exchanges — then the account isn’t 100% yours. Seed phrases are representations of private keys. But the key difference is that they’re far easier to manage.
So what are the best methods for maintaining phrase safety? Glad you asked — we have answers for you down below!
Back to Basics
In our digital age, paper and ink seem destined for extinction. But in the case of your unique 12-word phrase, both are highly recommended. Before you even reach the screen displaying your seed, have pen and paper handy.
The entire point of putting your phrase on paper is to store it offline. Old-fashioned handwriting keeps your sensitive info away from the Internet’s growing consortium of bad actors.
And now that you’re familiar with the purpose and importance of seed phrases, let’s go over some techniques for protecting their privacy.
Okay, so you know that non-digital, offline storage is best. But let’s not stop there.
- Write them down in the correct order
The order of your writing is just as important as the words themselves. Use numbers to ensure every word is in its place.
- Hide your paperwork
Remember, these 12 words are just as useful to you as anyone else. It’s best they remain out of sight, tucked away somewhere secret and safe.
- Create multiple copies
Ink fades and paper tears. You can get creative and etch them into wood or metal or plastic. Point is, it’s best to not rely on a single point of failure.
- Triple-check everything
Seed phrases always use lowercase words. But if your handwriting gets sloppy, it’s fine to go with uppercase for storage purposes. Ensure that you spelled all words correctly and put them in the proper sequence.
Don’t Do That
You know where we’re going with this. We shared what to do, and now we’re imparting wisdom on what not to do.
- Use a shared printer
Have you ever found co-workers’ paperwork in the tray of the office printer? Most printers have memory, and you don’t want a communal printer remembering your seed phrase.
- Store them on your phone
Same goes for your computer as well as cloud storage. Anything with the ability to access the Internet is a no-no. Hackers often find their way into connected devices. And if there’s a breach, it’s best if your seed is nowhere inside.
Here’s an easy one that works well as another layer of backup. After writing your words down at least twice, find a pair of trusted confidants.
Write the first six words down on one piece of paper and the last six on another. Give each piece of paper to someone to hold on your behalf. These people should know each other, but not reside in the same household.
Let’s say an unfortunate house fire burns all of your backups to ashes. You think, maybe, you remember your seed. That’s not a comfortable feeling! Prepare for the worst in advance, and there’s no need to lament a potential loss of funds.
A Note on Screenshots
While it’s tempting to use an image for seed phrase backup, pay close attention to your phone’s cloud storage. If you utilize services like Amazon or Google Photos, backups of every picture you snap live on a corporate database. And history has shown us that centralized servers are unfit for guardianship of private info.
Now, when it comes to backing up codes generated by your 2FA app, as outlined in our guide to trading $RFOX coin, screenshots are recommended. But only if they remain offline.
Tasking yourself with the responsibility of being your own bank means also becoming a watchdog. The adage, “better safe than sorry” is very applicable here. No matter what fate befalls a digital wallet, proper safety measures ensure you can quickly restore account access.
Whether your smartphone is lost, stolen, or made entirely flat by a city bus, smart backup removes the worry of losing digital assets. So long as you’ve taken crypto security as seriously as we do, account reentry is as simple as inputting your seed phrase.
We sincerely hope you never have to go through the scare and hassle of relying on backups to get back into a digital account. But as creators of digital assets, it’s our duty to provide you with the info you need to keep your funds locked down.
As you know, our mobile crypto wallet is coming soon. That said, while we’re making navigation, installation, and set-up as seamless as possible, asset security is in your hands.
Please stay safe out there, our friends!