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Author Topic: key safety strategies?  (Read 501 times)
PointHope (OP)
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August 22, 2020, 02:34:11 PM
 #1

What are the best private key safety tips.

I just learned about the CASA app. But it has a monthly fee.

I recently had a scare with the ledger hardware wallet update and a windows 7 computer.
 Got it sorted but made me plenty nervous.
I will go for months without checking, and generally uninstall the ledger app from my devices.

What other srategies can I consider?
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August 22, 2020, 02:38:37 PM
 #2

Make a multisig wallat, 2/2
Print out each keys, two copies each.
Key A X 2
Key B X 2

Give the copy of Key A to a group of people, family A
Give the copy of Key B to a group of people, family B

Make sure these two group, family do not know each others, but they are common known to you and close to you of course.

You can have more than 2 copies of each key but it's safer when you have lesser copies. The reason for two copies each is just in case anything happen to one copy then you always have another copy as backup.

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August 22, 2020, 02:42:11 PM
Merited by Charles-Tim (1)
 #3

What's wrong with Ledger? Hardware wallets are generally the safest that you can get if you're not a very tech-savvy person and it's practically idiot proof if you don't type your seeds into random places.

Hardware wallets are designed to store the keys only within the device itself and you can connect it to compromised computers without much problem (ideally not).

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August 22, 2020, 02:56:52 PM
 #4

I have just downloaded the Casa App, no private key given, no seed phrase. And being custodial, no 2fa authenticator. It is nothing to be compared with hardware wallet, if I have no enough funds to buy hardware wallet, I will go for airgapped device. For convenience, and having no money to buy hardware wallet, I will go for bitcoin electrum wallet or bitcointalk recommended reputed noncustodial wallets, I will be able to have access to my keys, control my bitcoin by myself and also will be able to recover my bitcoin using my private key which unlock the funds from bitcoin blockchain or through seed phrase that can have access to my private key.

Also that said, Casa also makes use of google cloud for encryption and storage of wallet backup, this is wrong to me, anything that goes to google cloud is not safe for me again because google is a thirdparty. I prefer to have my wallet backup written on laminated paper or on metallic sheet for safety purpose. The backup will be with me, and I trust my self than google cloud.


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August 22, 2020, 07:40:58 PM
Merited by vapourminer (1)
 #5

What are the best private key safety tips.
I just learned about the CASA app. But it has a monthly fee.
What other srategies can I consider?

It really depends on your circumstances and on what you are trying to accomplish. You have not given enough information in order for anyone to give you good relevant advice.

In general,
  • It is important to store backups of your seeds and private keys offline with strong physical protection.
  • Never store cold wallet seeds anywhere that is accessible to the internet.
  • Hot wallet seeds and private keys must remain private and encrypted always.

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August 22, 2020, 09:10:23 PM
 #6

Quote

What are the best private key safety tips.
I just learned about the CASA app. But it has a monthly fee
What other srategies can I consider?
One of the best private key safety tip:
1) Bitcoin electrum wallet, or bitcointalk,is one of the private key that will enable you have access to your key control.
2) wallet back up, it's important to store back up seed with private key with strong  physical protection.
Casa APP, no private key given, no seed phrase any.you cannot compared hardware wallet with black up wallet.
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August 22, 2020, 09:16:31 PM
 #7

I can tell you what I used to do and it kept me safe for years.

I had a full node wallet downloaded on a clean computer that I never used to download and install anything but verified software. Then I created an address and did not even open the app ever again. I used the address to store coins but only a blockchain explorer to check the balance. The plan was to never use it until I'm ready to sell my coins.

If you're a holder you won't need anything fancy like a hardware wallet. Nobody is going to steal your coins if your computer and network are free of malware and accessed only by you.
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August 22, 2020, 11:17:55 PM
Merited by o_e_l_e_o (2)
 #8

What's wrong with Ledger? Hardware wallets are generally the safest that you can get if you're not a very tech-savvy person and it's practically idiot proof if you don't type your seeds into random places.

Hardware wallets are designed to store the keys only within the device itself and you can connect it to compromised computers without much problem (ideally not).
Can relate to the "scare" part: had my Ledger update go wrong once, which resulted in a stressful search on how to fix that and had to fully reset of the device. The scariest part is having to re-introduce the seed and wondering if you have even written down the correct seed upon initialization.



A good strategy is to first of all keep using that Ledger but leaving Windows for good. I have more bootable disks and drives for various purposes, one of which is a Tails USB which comes with Electrum preinstalled. I use that for either anonymous browsing or crypto. Using Bitcoin with a HW on an amnesic OS through Tor sounds safe enough imo.

For the private key, most if not all strategies have their own flaws. However, there are so many ways you can store it safely including a crypto seed metal vault. If you purchase a quality non-corrosive one, you can just bury it in your garden and unless you forget where you placed it, it should be fine even if you had a $5 wrench attack and the intruder has plenty of time to steal it.

Regarding CASA, why the hell pay a monthly fee when you have so many fully free, open source and reliable options? Electrum and Wasabi are two options you can easily trust, as long as you don't download them off some fake website. I don't see any advantage paying for something that's supposed to be free. Just makes no sense.
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August 23, 2020, 12:05:18 AM
 #9

Never handle private keys only handle seed words written on paper with your own hands. No electronic devices near it ever. No pics, no copy, paste, no printing, no cameras, no scanners etc.

The seed words internally recreate the key, but they are NOT the same. You should never handle private keys directly.

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August 23, 2020, 12:44:08 AM
 #10

What are the best private key safety tips.

I just learned about the CASA app. But it has a monthly fee.

I recently had a scare with the ledger hardware wallet update and a windows 7 computer.
 Got it sorted but made me plenty nervous.
I will go for months without checking, and generally uninstall the ledger app from my devices.

What other srategies can I consider?


We are working according to your topic, what are the strategies? Because everyone wants to learn and hear from you.
Before creating a topic research for the work and understand the paragraph stanza by stanza, because this community is made up lesson's and learning.


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August 23, 2020, 01:35:24 AM
 #11

Make a multisig wallat, 2/2
Print out each keys, two copies each.
Key A X 2
Key B X 2

Give the copy of Key A to a group of people, family A
Give the copy of Key B to a group of people, family B

Dont like this solutions, because it base on people and trust in a way. Bitcoin was made in a way that no trust is needed.
I would use different methods but to secure keys is almost impossible, almost always prone to human errors.
I hope in future there will be more reliable methods including hardware wallets that cant be fooled easily.
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August 23, 2020, 01:48:29 AM
 #12

You should consider the paper wallets as a secure way to save your private keys, Once you generate the private keys on vanity gen there are multiple ways to save them. You can print them and put it on a safe box, or you can save it on a text file inside a zip with with password.

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August 23, 2020, 01:59:59 AM
 #13

You should consider the paper wallets as a secure way to save your private keys, Once you generate the private keys on vanity gen there are multiple ways to save them. You can print them and put it on a safe box, or you can save it on a text file inside a zip with with password.
I am ok with printing the keys (or writing it manually) but I do not recommend saving it in your laptop nor in a usb device, because it simply may be hacked and cracking the password of zip/rar archive shouldn't be a big problem for the hackers.. About the usb device, it is risky since it can be infected or broken easily and you will lose everything.
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August 23, 2020, 02:40:42 AM
Last edit: August 23, 2020, 04:38:08 PM by hatshepsut93
 #14

If you are not afraid to tinker with software a little bit, I'd suggest trying to make your own cold storage setup. You will need an old PC or laptop that will be used to access your wallet, and this device must be kept offline forever. You'll need to just get a USB stick, install Tails on it and run an offline Electrum wallet to create your wallet and then sign transactions when needed. Detailed guide here. Also make sure to verify the signatures on each software in this setup - the OS, the wallet, etc.
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August 23, 2020, 03:37:19 AM
 #15

Can relate to the "scare" part: had my Ledger update go wrong once, which resulted in a stressful search on how to fix that and had to fully reset of the device. The scariest part is having to re-introduce the seed and wondering if you have even written down the correct seed upon initialization.
Hmm. You're supposed to check the seed a few times after writing down, to be fair. Doesn't Ledger prompt you to read the seeds again to verify if you've written it down correctly? It shouldn't be that big of a problem if you're supposed to verify it again in the first place.

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oleg8791
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August 23, 2020, 04:14:38 AM
 #16

Make a multisig wallat, 2/2
Print out each keys, two copies each.
Key A X 2
Key B X 2

Give the copy of Key A to a group of people, family A
Give the copy of Key B to a group of people, family B

Make sure these two group, family do not know each others, but they are common known to you and close to you of course.

You can have more than 2 copies of each key but it's safer when you have lesser copies. The reason for two copies each is just in case anything happen to one copy then you always have another copy as backup.
Wow, it sounds so interesting and sophisticated. IMO the easiest way: try to learn your key by heart and keep the printed  out copy in a wall safe.
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August 23, 2020, 04:32:44 AM
Merited by o_e_l_e_o (2)
 #17

If you are not afraid to tinker with software a little bit, I'd suggest trying to make your own cold storage setup. You will need an old PC or laptop that will be used to access your wallet, and this device must be kept offline forever. You'll need to just get a USB stick, install Tails on it and run an offline Electrum wallet to create your wallet and then sign transactions when needed. Detailed guide [ur=https://electrum.readthedocs.io/en/latest/coldstorage.html?highlight=usbl]here[/url]. Also make sure to verify the signatures on each software in this setup - the OS, the wallet, etc.

but Tails comes with Electrum pre-installed on it so you can't verify Electrum's signature anymore as far as i know because it is already extracted.
besides isn't it harder to use persistence with Tails that is designed by default not to leave anything behind? and if you want to use it installed on a USB to be used as the cold storage then you need persistence.
i personally find it better to use a general purpose OS (like Ubuntu) for this purpose rather than a specialized one.

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joniboini
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August 23, 2020, 01:20:41 PM
 #18

try to learn your key by heart and keep the printed  out copy in a wall safe.
What do you mean by learn your key by heart? Memorizing the seed(s)? That's not a good choice. Even if you can remember the mnemonics with some tricks, nothing guarantee that you can remember it tomorrow. Printing the copy is better as you mentioned, as long as you store it securely. Buying a wall safe is probably a good idea but I won't put it open where people can see it as if you tell people "hey, there is something valuable here".

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August 23, 2020, 01:34:40 PM
Merited by vapourminer (1), pooya87 (1)
 #19

Doesn't Ledger prompt you to read the seeds again to verify if you've written it down correctly?
After you've written down your seed, the Ledger device will make you input each word in order from a multiple choice selection to ensure you have it correct.

but Tails comes with Electrum pre-installed on it so you can't verify Electrum's signature anymore as far as i know because it is already extracted.
Correct. The best you can do is to verify Tails and to trust that they verified the version of Electrum which is bundled with it, or to download and verify the Linux Appimage from https://electrum.org/#download and use that one instead.

besides isn't it harder to use persistence with Tails that is designed by default not to leave anything behind?
It's not too difficult. There are instructions on how to turn on Persistent Storage for Electrum here: https://tails.boum.org/doc/first_steps/persistence/configure/index.en.html#bitcoin
Bear in mind that although the persistent storage is encrypted, it will be only be as secure as your encryption phrase, so if your USB stick is lost or stolen then your coins may be at risk.

i personally find it better to use a general purpose OS (like Ubuntu) for this purpose rather than a specialized one.
I agree. Since my cold storage device will never connect to the internet, then I do not need most of the things that Tails provides. A general OS with full disk encryption provides better usability and better security.
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August 23, 2020, 01:44:02 PM
 #20

What are the best private key safety tips.

I just learned about the CASA app. But it has a monthly fee.

I recently had a scare with the ledger hardware wallet update and a windows 7 computer.
 Got it sorted but made me plenty nervous.
I will go for months without checking, and generally uninstall the ledger app from my devices.

What other srategies can I consider?
My strategies you might consider. I wrote it down in my small notebook, and keep it in a safe place. Even if somebody found this, it's safe here because in our place I'm the only one who knows how to use it. If you want extra safety, create many seeds, shuffle other seeds in your main seed and remember the pattern of your main wallet seed.
 
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