AirWire BEST PRACTICES: Protecting your WIRE Tokens
As awareness of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology grows, the need for proper security best practices becomes more evident. Below are some basic steps you can take to ensure that your WIRE tokens are safe and secure.
Step 1: Encrypt your wallet with a strong password.
This seems like the most obvious first step, but you would be surprised how many people slack off with their password security. The most common passwords are—no joke—”123456” and “password.” Passwords like that are a crypto-hackers dream!
Viking VPN site has a great guide for creating super-secure passwords that would take years for anyone to crack with even the most advanced (commercially viable) technology.
It’s imperative you create a strong password to protect your WIRE Tokens. If you do nothing else in this guide, please be sure that your password is strong and secure. Then, remember to write down your password on a piece of paper and store it somewhere safe. It’s a classic issue that people forget their password and lose their tokens.
Step 2 (optional): Keep password in a password manager
This is a highly debated topic since it gives the benefit of highly secure passwords that you don’t have to memorize for the hundreds of different locations, but also the risk of having a single point of attack.
The best thing would be to remember a long complex password for your WIRE wallet, but that’s difficult; and if you forget just one number, number, or symbol you’re locked out of your wallet with no way to regain access.
With the password manager you just remember one difficult password and use a different complex password for everything in it.
This is a decision you need to make based on your own comfort at making sure you will not forget your master password, making sure it’s secure and strong, and making sure you do not accidentally give access of that password to anyone else.
If you decide to go with a password manager, we recommend using KeePass (keepass.info); an free, open source, light-weight, and easy-to-use password manager.
Step 3: Keep a backup of the wallet.dat file on a different location.
When you first install the wallet, it is kept on the device you put it on. If something happens to your device—stolen, crash, damaged, lost, etc.—there is no way you can regain access to it.
To prevent this from happening, it’s a good idea to have the wallet.dat file backed up in a separate location. You can put this in as many locations as you want; as long as there is no password associated with the file, nobody will be able to get into it. Period.
But, just to be safe, make sure you put the file in locations that only you (and perhaps loved ones, in case something happens to you) have access to. No point in enticing and encouraging attackers to want the file.
For Windows, the wallet.dat file is located in “This PC > Local Disk (C:) > Users > [Username] > AppData > Roaming > Wire” (See how here)
For Mac, the wallet.dat file location: Open Finder, Use path ~Home/USERNAME/Library/Apple Support/WIRE (See how here)
Step 4: Create a paper backup
Currently, the WIRE wallet application offers the BIP38 tool can be used as a sort of paper wallet. The tool is found in the wallet under “Settings” > “BIP38 tool.”
The tool creates an encrypted key based on the combination of the WIRE address and a passphrase. An encrypted key is generated by the tool, which you can put on paper. When you put the passphrase in a different location, the paper backup is even safe for theft (without the passphrase it’s useless). The tool, in fact, creates a backup of the private key that corresponds to the WIRE address. So when you use the tool to decrypt the key with the passphrase, you import the private key of the address and therefore its contents.
Note: This method encrypts single addresses at a time; not the entire wallet app.
Daniel Wagner is a father of four, writer, creator, political/philosophical commentator, blockchain enthusiast, and crypto-communicator. He is the Director of Marketing for AirWire, educating noobs about the blockchain industry since 2015. You can contact him at [email protected]