Basics of Crypto Security
Start here. Crypto Security
Learn about how the risks of holding cryptocurrency are different than those of traditional investments, and how to move ahead with confidence and safety.
May 04 2023
Excited to launch 🚀 a new universal resource - all about cryptocurrency security.
Welcome to the exciting journey of owning Cryptocurrency. Start here to learn the basics about risks in the crypto landscape, and where to turn to learn more about how to keep your cryptocurrency secure.
Crypto wallets are very easy to start using in an insecure fashion.
You need to understand what a seed phrase is.
You need to understand why your seed phrase backup is the most important part of keeping your crypto safe.
The right choices about crypto security are personal and unique to each individual.
Vault12 "Learn" articles offer you understanding and insights no matter your level of experience with crypto.
What can I expect to find in this set of "Secure My Crypto" articles?
We created this site for our friends and family who are new to cryptocurrency, and who want to learn more about how to secure their crypto funds. We hope that the next 500 million future crypto investors will also use the information presented here to make the right choices to protect their digital assets.
The world of crypto is very different from that of traditional finance - the risks of loss, theft, accidents, or even simply forgetting your access information can result in an irrecoverable loss of funds. We want to arm people with the knowledge to make the right decisions to protect themselves.
Crypto wallets are essential to have, and surprisingly easy to use - they allow you to start buying crypto quickly. BUT in order to get you to the buying stage, many "how-to" websites and wallet vendors gloss over options that you have for how to make secure choices along the way. Our guides offer the right security advice at the right time as you set up your wallet.
There are a couple of core concepts that you will need to understand about your crypto wallet along the way: What is a seed phrase? And what are the ways to back it up? (Paper is only one way, and not the most robust - yet it is often the default or the only option described).
If you are an experienced crypto enthusiast, and you want pointers on some advanced approaches to security, you may find that definitive guides simply don't exist on the internet - at least not in an accessible way. Technical tidbits from a mish-mash of timeframes and sources can be found buried deep inside forums, but it is challenging to string them together in a meaningful or reliable way. Our optional advanced articles point the way forward to explore complex topics like how to generate a seed phrase using a pair of 20-sided dice.
In publishing both introductory and advanced articles, we've brought the foundations of crypto security together as an easily-digestible collection so that you can be confident and ready to participate in this brave new world.
Can I responsibly manage my own crypto and digital assets?
If you lose your keys, you can call a locksmith to open your door or car. (There are about 26,000 locksmiths in the U.S., so clearly, there is a need for this type of service!) However, if you lose the private keys or seed phrase associated with your crypto wallet, you are out of luck. Bitcoin, as well as all other major cryptocurrencies that came after it, is built upon public-key cryptography, a cryptographic system that uses pairs of keys. Public keys are used to identify blockchain addresses, which are publicly viewable, and private keys are kept secret and used for authentication and encryption. This encryption is so effective that if you lose your private keys, you would not be able to authenticate that you are the owner of the funds stored at the blockchain address, and you wouldn't be able to move or sell your cryptocurrency - your funds would effectively be "gone."
The biggest difference between the traditional financial system and the world of cryptocurrency is that with crypto, you are responsible for controlling the security of your funds - not the bank, and not the government. Because of individual variation in assets, preferences, and risks, there is no single set of security options that is right for everyone. This means that you need to choose the right layers of security to use for your situation. This site will give you the practical knowledge about security essentials that you need and will explain some of the tradeoffs that exist so that you can make the best choices for yourself.
We discuss the risks associated with holding cryptocurrency in our article "Why should I care about Security?" These risks include:
What else do I need to understand about digital wallets?
There are a couple of basic concepts about wallets that you will need to know or learn, especially those related to seed phrases and how to back them up. Nine out of ten crypto wallets will tell you, or strongly imply, that you should write down your seed phrase on paper. As convenient as this is, it's not the most robust approach for protecting such critical information.
With seed phrase backups and other wallet setup choices, only you can decide the right approach for choosing and setting up your crypto wallet and other digital assets, but usually the right answer lies in using multiple layers of security. The right answer for you will come from understanding the options and making informed choices.
Next Up From Vault 12
Wasim is a serial entrepreneur with five exits, and an advisor in the fields of AI, blockchain, cryptocurrency, and encryption solutions. At Vault12, he led the private and public fundraising efforts, and focuses today on expanding the Vault12 ecosystem. His crypto experience began with AlphaPoint, where he worked with the founding team to launch the world's first crypto trading exchanges.
Previously he was a founding member of Voltage Security, a spinout from Stanford University, that launched Identity-Based Encryption (IBE), a breakthrough in Public Key Cryptography, and pioneered the use of sophisticated data encryption to protect sensitive data across the world's payment systems. Wasim serves on the board of non-profit, StartOut, and is a Seedcamp and WeWork Labs global mentor.
Wasim graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and French from the University of Sussex.
Vault12 Crypto Security
Social Recovery Vault for Digital Asset Security + Digital Inheritance for protecting the future of money.
Inheritance and backup for CryptocurrencyVault12 Guard Explainer
Vault12 Product Demo
Vault12 Digital Inheritance is the first solution to offer a simple, direct, and secure way to ensure cryptocurrency, NFTs, and other Web3 digital assets can be inherited by future generations.
Digital Inheritance enables investors to designate an individual or a mobile device as a guardian that will inherit their entire portfolio of digital assets (seed phrases,private keys, digital art and other secrets) inside a secure digital Vault once the time comes, eliminating undue risk and the need to continually update an inventory or issue updated instructions which result in privacy leakage.
Designed to be used alongside traditional hardware, software, and online wallets, Vault12 Guard helps cryptocurrency owners, professional crypto traders, and high-net-worth investors safeguard their digital assets without storing anything in the cloud or in fact, any one single location. This increases protection and decreases the risks of loss.
Note:The Vault12 Guard app is not a crypto wallet and does not hold cryptocurrency. Using a non-custodial approach, it is a Vault that safeguards your wallet seed phrase, private keys, associated files for NFTs, and digital art.
The Vault12 Guard app enables secure decentralized backups, and provides legacy inheritance for all your web3 digital assets, including NFTs, wallet seed phrases, secrets like keys, PIN codes, DAO project keys, and digital art.
Whether your digital art is suitable for a phone, or represents much higher resolution multimedia, make sure that you have backed up a copy in case the resource link is disrupted in the future. Digital art can easily be added to the Vault either via the mobile app or via the desktop utility. Once you have stored your artwork in your Vault, it will also benefit from inheritance once you activate that in your app.
As a creator, you can use Vault12 Guard to safeguard not just your NFT and crypto wallets but also your original digital artwork. Project creators will always have to deal with multiple wallets - inventory, treasury, as well as future royalty wallets.
Vault12 Guard safeguards your project assets, increasing protection and decreasing the risks of loss whilst ensuring that everything is ready to be passed onto future generations when the need arises. This is creative security.