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cryptogalaxy
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July 18, 2017, 02:57:39 AM
 #1

Hi,

This is my first post here. I'm not sure if this is the right forum to ask. If not, please feel free to move it.

I don't have a hardware wallet. I use Electrum and other similiar wallets on my desktop computer which never leaves my house. I make sure to always save the individual wallet files on a usb stick offline so there are no copies of the wallet files on the computer. The wallet files are also encrypted which I decrypt each time I need to access it. I don't use the usb stick for any other purpose other than storing and accessing cryptos and it stays offline when not in use.

1. Is this a pretty safe way of storing cryptos?

2. Does accessing wallet files via usb stick leave some sort of a trail or a temporary copy of the wallet files on the hard drive somehow that a hacker can later access? I don't move the files to the hard drive, I just open the files directly from the usb drive.

3. I have a paid antivirus software and a firewall on my computer. I checked for every way I know but did not find any indication of malware or hacking so hopefully, my computer is currently safe. However, if it were hacked unknown to me, the only way the hacker could steal my coins would be to catch me at the exact moment that I access my coins from the usb and watch my keystrokes for decryption passwords of my wallet files and also make a copy of my wallet files during the short duration of time that I'm accessing my wallet before unplugging the usb. Is this correct? Can a hacker possibly do all this such as copying a file from my usb drive while it's plugged in and send it to his personal machine? If so, would this be about the only case where a hardware wallet is safer than my method? My understanding is that the decryption part happens on the airgapped hardware device itself so even if the computer is hacked, the hacker would not have access to the wallet file nor the decryption password. Is this correct?

Thanks.
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July 18, 2017, 03:44:11 AM
 #2

The method you use is not safe. At some point your bitcoin private keys will be exposed to malware. If you want to use Electrum securely you should follow the instructions to use Electrum cold storage using two computers, one with the private keys always kept offline, radio disabled. For most just using a hardware wallet like Nano S or Trezor is much more convenient. I doubt you will take the advice but I tried. Most people asking just want affirmation that what they are using is "good enough".

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July 18, 2017, 04:03:55 AM
 #3

an Antivirus and a Firewall and 100 other things can not protect you 100%. all these things will only protect you to some extent. if you want to be safe you need to use COLD STORAGE, use the link the other comment gave you to read more about how to do it.

in your method it doesn't matter if your wallet is constantly on your computer or only goes there for a moment via your USB, if you have a malware designed to steal bitcoins it will steal them.

hardware wallet is the easy way for those who want to spend money. if not, just install a Linux on the same USB disk and make it so it stays always offline and by installing Electrum you will have it as your real cold storage. a fully functioning, portable, offline and encrypted (if you encrypt home folder and electrum wallet) OS containing your wallet. and this can be 100% safe.

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July 18, 2017, 04:27:19 AM
 #4

Hi,

This is my first post here. I'm not sure if this is the right forum to ask. If not, please feel free to move it.

I don't have a hardware wallet. I use Electrum and other similiar wallets on my desktop computer which never leaves my house. I make sure to always save the individual wallet files on a usb stick offline so there are no copies of the wallet files on the computer. The wallet files are also encrypted which I decrypt each time I need to access it. I don't use the usb stick for any other purpose other than storing and accessing cryptos and it stays offline when not in use.

1. Is this a pretty safe way of storing cryptos?

2. Does accessing wallet files via usb stick leave some sort of a trail or a temporary copy of the wallet files on the hard drive somehow that a hacker can later access? I don't move the files to the hard drive, I just open the files directly from the usb drive.

3. I have a paid antivirus software and a firewall on my computer. I checked for every way I know but did not find any indication of malware or hacking so hopefully, my computer is currently safe. However, if it were hacked unknown to me, the only way the hacker could steal my coins would be to catch me at the exact moment that I access my coins from the usb and watch my keystrokes for decryption passwords of my wallet files and also make a copy of my wallet files during the short duration of time that I'm accessing my wallet before unplugging the usb. Is this correct? Can a hacker possibly do all this such as copying a file from my usb drive while it's plugged in and send it to his personal machine? If so, would this be about the only case where a hardware wallet is safer than my method? My understanding is that the decryption part happens on the airgapped hardware device itself so even if the computer is hacked, the hacker would not have access to the wallet file nor the decryption password. Is this correct?

Thanks.

This method is fairly safe, and the method I use to store a bit of my bitcoin, the bitcoin that I use regularly since electrum is super convenient and lightweight. It really doesn't matter how many antiviruses you have and how long your password is. I would totally recommend you using cold storage if you have a lot of Bitcoin. You could use a paper wallet (a document that holds your private keys) or a hardware wallet (Would recommend using ledger wallet or a trezor). They are probably the most popular versions of cold storage.


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cryptogalaxy
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July 18, 2017, 04:31:23 AM
 #5

Thanks for your advice. I do take them very seriously. I have been thinking of getting the ledger wallet for a while now but wasnt sure if it was absolutely necessary. I also liked the idea of creating my own cold storage wallet (usb stick) but wasnt sure how safe that was. It sounds like i really should get a hardware wallet. Rigt now ledger nano s seems to be in backorder till september but there is the more expensive and more convenient looking ledger blue. Is this one just as safe as ledger nano s? Are these devices 100% safe?

I am a very cautious person by nature and i even worry about things like somebody possibly guessing my seed word correctly. Is this a far remote possibility given such enormous number of possible permutations? Is this essentially as impossible as guessing someones private keys or breaking an aes 256 encryption? I have heard stories like some wallets like Jaxx getting hacked just by hackers cracking the seed words correctly and stealing coins without even having any contact with the owners computer. As i understand, ledgers have seed words too. How are they different from Jaxxs and are they 100% safe?

Thanks in advance.
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July 18, 2017, 04:39:16 AM
 #6

Hi,

This is my first post here. I'm not sure if this is the right forum to ask. If not, please feel free to move it.

I don't have a hardware wallet. I use Electrum and other similiar wallets on my desktop computer which never leaves my house. I make sure to always save the individual wallet files on a usb stick offline so there are no copies of the wallet files on the computer. The wallet files are also encrypted which I decrypt each time I need to access it. I don't use the usb stick for any other purpose other than storing and accessing cryptos and it stays offline when not in use.

1. Is this a pretty safe way of storing cryptos?

2. Does accessing wallet files via usb stick leave some sort of a trail or a temporary copy of the wallet files on the hard drive somehow that a hacker can later access? I don't move the files to the hard drive, I just open the files directly from the usb drive.

3. I have a paid antivirus software and a firewall on my computer. I checked for every way I know but did not find any indication of malware or hacking so hopefully, my computer is currently safe. However, if it were hacked unknown to me, the only way the hacker could steal my coins would be to catch me at the exact moment that I access my coins from the usb and watch my keystrokes for decryption passwords of my wallet files and also make a copy of my wallet files during the short duration of time that I'm accessing my wallet before unplugging the usb. Is this correct? Can a hacker possibly do all this such as copying a file from my usb drive while it's plugged in and send it to his personal machine? If so, would this be about the only case where a hardware wallet is safer than my method? My understanding is that the decryption part happens on the airgapped hardware device itself so even if the computer is hacked, the hacker would not have access to the wallet file nor the decryption password. Is this correct?

Thanks.

This method is fairly safe, and the method I use to store a bit of my bitcoin, the bitcoin that I use regularly since electrum is super convenient and lightweight. It really doesn't matter how many antiviruses you have and how long your password is. I would totally recommend you using cold storage if you have a lot of Bitcoin. You could use a paper wallet (a document that holds your private keys) or a hardware wallet (Would recommend using ledger wallet or a trezor). They are probably the most popular versions of cold storage.

Thanks. My understanding of the paper wallet is that they are safe when storing but inconvenient and vulnerable when trying to use. For example, i heard one way to use btc paper wallet is by typing in the private keys into a blockchain.info wallet. If your computer is hacked, wouldnt this be a huge risk? This makes me think a hardware wallet is the safest method of storage and usage but still not sure that is foolproof.
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July 18, 2017, 04:58:26 AM
 #7

I am a very cautious person by nature and i even worry about things like somebody possibly guessing my seed word correctly. Is this a far remote possibility given such enormous number of possible permutations? Is this essentially as impossible as guessing someones private keys or breaking an aes 256 encryption? I have heard stories like some wallets like Jaxx getting hacked just by hackers cracking the seed words correctly and stealing coins without even having any contact with the owners computer. As i understand, ledgers have seed words too. How are they different from Jaxxs and are they 100% safe?

I'm not sure what the Jaxx problem was (have not read anything about it) but when these old wallets that are tested for many years like electrum or ledger in case it uses seed, are using seeds you can consider them safe because in case there were any bugs they are already found so you can be pretty confident about using them. Jaxx is somewhat new...

Thanks. My understanding of the paper wallet is that they are safe when storing but inconvenient and vulnerable when trying to use. For example, i heard one way to use btc paper wallet is by typing in the private keys into a blockchain.info wallet. If your computer is hacked, wouldnt this be a huge risk? This makes me think a hardware wallet is the safest method of storage and usage but still not sure that is foolproof.

paper wallet is for cold storage that you don't want to access every day! for example if you want to become a long term hodler to keep bitcoin for more than a year.
also in risks are always in how you use the private key. blockchain.info is one way which is not even good. you can still use an offline setup to do this. here are the steps:
1. choose a method to create an unsigned raw transaction (use core, electrum or even coinb.in website). you only need your bitcoin address for this.
2. download Linux, and burn the ISO on a DVD/DC/USB and then disconnect network and boot into Linux
3. install a wallet that allows you to import keys (nearly all of them). now import your paper wallet key there and sign that unsigned tx.
4. go back online on your main OS and broadcast this.

there is a step 0 too which you have to create a new paper wallet in case there is any change (leftover after spending) to send to that new paper wallet address.

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July 18, 2017, 05:31:29 AM
 #8

Hi,

This is my first post here. I'm not sure if this is the right forum to ask. If not, please feel free to move it.

I don't have a hardware wallet. I use Electrum and other similiar wallets on my desktop computer which never leaves my house. I make sure to always save the individual wallet files on a usb stick offline so there are no copies of the wallet files on the computer. The wallet files are also encrypted which I decrypt each time I need to access it. I don't use the usb stick for any other purpose other than storing and accessing cryptos and it stays offline when not in use.

1. Is this a pretty safe way of storing cryptos?

2. Does accessing wallet files via usb stick leave some sort of a trail or a temporary copy of the wallet files on the hard drive somehow that a hacker can later access? I don't move the files to the hard drive, I just open the files directly from the usb drive.

3. I have a paid antivirus software and a firewall on my computer. I checked for every way I know but did not find any indication of malware or hacking so hopefully, my computer is currently safe. However, if it were hacked unknown to me, the only way the hacker could steal my coins would be to catch me at the exact moment that I access my coins from the usb and watch my keystrokes for decryption passwords of my wallet files and also make a copy of my wallet files during the short duration of time that I'm accessing my wallet before unplugging the usb. Is this correct? Can a hacker possibly do all this such as copying a file from my usb drive while it's plugged in and send it to his personal machine? If so, would this be about the only case where a hardware wallet is safer than my method? My understanding is that the decryption part happens on the airgapped hardware device itself so even if the computer is hacked, the hacker would not have access to the wallet file nor the decryption password. Is this correct?

Thanks.

This method is fairly safe, and the method I use to store a bit of my bitcoin, the bitcoin that I use regularly since electrum is super convenient and lightweight. It really doesn't matter how many antiviruses you have and how long your password is. I would totally recommend you using cold storage if you have a lot of Bitcoin. You could use a paper wallet (a document that holds your private keys) or a hardware wallet (Would recommend using ledger wallet or a trezor). They are probably the most popular versions of cold storage.

Thanks. My understanding of the paper wallet is that they are safe when storing but inconvenient and vulnerable when trying to use. For example, i heard one way to use btc paper wallet is by typing in the private keys into a blockchain.info wallet. If your computer is hacked, wouldnt this be a huge risk? This makes me think a hardware wallet is the safest method of storage and usage but still not sure that is foolproof.

True, paper wallets are used for long-term storage and not for daily use. I will also suggest that you invest in a hardware wallet for your use case. The USB storage / memory stick can still contain malware and viruses that you do not even know of. Do a Google search on "BadUSB" for more information on exploits in USB firmware.

Good luck, you are already more safety conscience than most average users. ^smile^


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July 18, 2017, 05:33:34 AM
 #9

As an additional thought, it is just as important to keep track of your seed and your password as it is to "keep your bitcoins safe".  Safety does no good if you can't access your own stash one day.  I suggest putting a similar level of thought into ensuring you can access as into ensuring others can't.
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July 18, 2017, 05:42:01 AM
 #10

it's safe as long as your desktop is also not infected, if you are really concerned about this use a dedicated machine where you don't install nothing more than the bitcoin client, so you can plug your usb safely there

or just leave few btc(under one) for daily use on your desktop, so you corld storage is not exposed

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July 18, 2017, 05:54:32 AM
 #11

I'm using Electrum wallet and I find this method quite safe. Keep your seed, password, private key, and master public keys in one place that only you can know. If possible, use a hardware wallet to store Bitcoin as it is a very secure method that avoids the risk of being stolen and suitable for storing multiple Bitcoins

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CraigWrightBTC
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July 18, 2017, 06:06:29 AM
 #12

I think there are no 100% method of storing crytos safe, between online wallet and offline wallet there are risk lost the bitcoins,
the risk on offline wallet is forget the private key, lost hardware and any other accident. The risk put the bitcoins on online wallet,
it can be hacked, so never put the bitcoins on one of wallet and always do back up the data.
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July 18, 2017, 06:21:02 AM
 #13

It is like "ok" for small amounts abd everyday payments,but if you want a cheap but safe solutions for saving, you should create a tailOS live boot usb stick, a persistant part on the usb can store the wallet files (acrivation for this is integrated). Of course it is fully encrypted and the wallet is electrum so you still can use your electrum seed.

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July 18, 2017, 10:42:15 AM
 #14

This is a fairly safe way to store your cryptocurrencies, but I would, and so would many others, recommend you use a cold wallet, such as a paper wallet or hardware wallet. But that is only if you have a lot of bitcoin or ethereum to store.

As stated by many others, any number of antivirus software won't help you save your private key from viruses or hackers. It all depends on how you store it and where you store it. But all in all hardware wallets are the best method and also provides some protection against the upcoming August 1 fork.
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July 18, 2017, 10:58:21 AM
 #15

Hi,

This is my first post here. I'm not sure if this is the right forum to ask. If not, please feel free to move it.

I don't have a hardware wallet. I use Electrum and other similiar wallets on my desktop computer which never leaves my house. I make sure to always save the individual wallet files on a usb stick offline so there are no copies of the wallet files on the computer. The wallet files are also encrypted which I decrypt each time I need to access it. I don't use the usb stick for any other purpose other than storing and accessing cryptos and it stays offline when not in use.

1. Is this a pretty safe way of storing cryptos?

2. Does accessing wallet files via usb stick leave some sort of a trail or a temporary copy of the wallet files on the hard drive somehow that a hacker can later access? I don't move the files to the hard drive, I just open the files directly from the usb drive.

3. I have a paid antivirus software and a firewall on my computer. I checked for every way I know but did not find any indication of malware or hacking so hopefully, my computer is currently safe. However, if it were hacked unknown to me, the only way the hacker could steal my coins would be to catch me at the exact moment that I access my coins from the usb and watch my keystrokes for decryption passwords of my wallet files and also make a copy of my wallet files during the short duration of time that I'm accessing my wallet before unplugging the usb. Is this correct? Can a hacker possibly do all this such as copying a file from my usb drive while it's plugged in and send it to his personal machine? If so, would this be about the only case where a hardware wallet is safer than my method? My understanding is that the decryption part happens on the airgapped hardware device itself so even if the computer is hacked, the hacker would not have access to the wallet file nor the decryption password. Is this correct?

Thanks.

I'd say that this is alright for everyday transactions, however your private keys will be susceptible to viruses at some point or the other becayse no antivirus can save them.
I would suggest you go for cold storage or try a paper wallet since storing your private keys offline is the safest way, as long as you keep a backup and store your wallet in a safe and secure environment.
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