Now that you have chosen to store value in crypto you must learn to keep your money safe from those who would steal it and safe from accidental loss. Redundancies in both your systems of security and storage are absolutely critical towards assuring the longevity of your value.
Whether you are using Mycelium Bitcoin Wallet, Bread Wallet, a Ledger hardware wallet, a Trezor wallet or any other type of software/hardware wallet, what you need to secure is the 12 or 24 word seed you receive when you create the wallet (Or in the case of a paper wallet the long string of letters and numbers called your private key). You must consider the safety of the device you use to create that seed and you must store the words in at least one safe place. The storage methods range from low tech methods like pen and paper to higher tech strategies involving PGP encrypted files backed up and secured on multiple decentralized cloud storage networks. Spreading your wealth among a variety of these strategies is a good way to diversify the risks you incur by having all of your funds in any one given location secured by any one given method.
Probably the most secure method for storing your 12 or 24 word seed is pen and paper. You may wish to create more than one copy, laminate them, and store them at two locations or more so that your money would be safe in the event of a fire or flood. Disguising your seed or cutting it up and dividing it among multiple locations or people can be a balancing act between convenience, security, and risk of loss. If you fear a thorough home invasion or the possibility of government agents attempting to seize your assets, you may wish to have a decoy wallet seed or two, as well as hidden wallet seeds so that you have something to forfeit while the bulk of your assets remain undiscovered and also accessible from multiple locations.
Perhaps you want the accessibility and redundancy that comes with storing your data on the internet. Putting your data on the internet requires educating yourself on encryption techniques and getting familiar with new software, like Kleopatra, which provides military grade encryption for your information. You may wish to get a clean offline computer just to create an air gap between the internet and the device on which you do the encrypting. You would then store the encrypted data separately from the key you use to decrypt it. This might mean leaving the encrypted seed words on iCloud while leaving the decryption keys on Dropbox, there are of course tons of other cloud storage services to choose from and leaving your encrypted words and your decryption keys on multiple storage services each is currently the safest practice. Soon decentralized storage networks will replace many of the centralized cloud storage servers of today and redundancy and encryption will be much enhanced.
Now that you have some ideas about how to store your crypto beyond the reach of hackers, thieves, government agents and other bad actors you can sleep easy knowing your crypto is safe. Using a tool like Sentinel on your mobile phone will help you keep track of your diversified wallets and allow you to make deposits while simultaneously leaving your diversified portfolio of private keys safe and untouched. Now its time to begin thinking about estate planning, but that’s a topic for another article. Thanks for reading.