Estimated reading time: 6 minutes, 25 seconds
Backing up your wallet can save you a lot of turmoil and strife. Accidents happen – whether it’s a broken phone, lost computer, or a potential scare. Backing up your cryptocurrency wallets private keys can make a potential crypto-catastrophe or major issue into a minor problem that can be more easily fixed, and without the loss of your cryptocurrency.
Jeremy, from our ICO or NO series, ran into this issue earlier this week. But his Jaxx Wallet was backed up. This saved his wallet’s funds and gave him some peace of mind.
In this video, he goes over how to back up your private key from your cryptocurrency wallet, so that way you don’t have the same issue. (He goes through Jaxx Wallet, Ark Wallet, and MyEtherWallet.) Check out the video, or read our walk through below!
Jaxx makes it really really easy to back up your wallet and to restore it in case something happens to your device that the wallet is on. So if you recall when you installed Jaxx, you were asked to write down a 12 word seed phrase and then enter that in again. Now here’s the key part. A lot of people will just confirm that 12 word phrase and discard it, which is the worst thing that you can do! It’s a vital mistake that can end up losing you all of your crypto on that wallet.
So what Jaxx advises — and what we advise as well — is write down that 12 words seed phrase. Because if the device that your wallet is on is damaged, then all you have to do is write in that seed phrase on a restore option when you reinstall the Jaxx wallet and all your funds are right there. So that’s why I wasn’t panicking I knew I had my seed phrase. I knew that by reinstalling Jaxx and entering that seed phrase in, I could restore my wallet.
So if you did discard your seed phrase, all you have to do — if you still have access to that wallet — is go to the option menu ->tools -> backup wallet. Easy enough! And then view your backup phrase. I’m not going to do that because that would allow somebody to potentially steal my funds by restoring my wallet. However, just click on that option, and you’ll be able to see your 12 word backup phrase. Write that down keep it in a safe place where you know it’s not gonna be tampered with and nobody can find it!
I’ve told people safety deposit boxes, if you are willing to trust the institution that is a bank. Another option is to bury it 12 feet deep in your yard… Just keep it in a very, very safe place that only you know where it is! It could be the difference between losing all your crypto and recovering it!
Secondly I’m going to show you how to backup your Ark wallet. Ark actually kind of works the same as Jaxx’s. They have a seed phrase; however they also have alternate ways to backup the account.
You can see a export account option that basically is going to download file that has all the information of your Ark wallet, and allow you to keep it. Make a backup of it, and let’s say you need to restore it on the original page. There’s an option to import a wallet. So you simply import that file, and boom! All of your Ark is there, no problem!
A second line of defense that you have the option of using for Ark is selecting a second passphrase. You get that second seed phrase, and it’s another great way to restore your wallet. So again, the same thing goes for the Ark seed phrase: write this down and keep it in a very, very safe place!
The last wallet I’m going to talk about and teach you how to backup is (MEW). For purposes of this video, I’m going to create a new wallet that’ll be for one-time-use.
The first thing it prompts you to do — and this is actually how I access MyEtherWallet every time — is download a keystore file, which is a UTC or JSON file. That is just a file that essentially has a key or password that will unlock your wallet. So let’s say I want to go to view wallet info. I would select this option, and in my browser I would open up wherever my UTC file is. Just like that I have access to my wallet!
This is also great using an online wallet, so you’re never going to be in a situation where it gets destroyed hopefully. So as long as you have any of these options you can access your wallet.
Another way that I actually really like to use is writing down your private key and keeping that in a safe place. It’s probably the most secure way to make sure your wallet can be backed up in the event of something bad happening. So even if you lose your keystore JSON, you can go into your wallet and get your private key. All you have to do is hit the eye to show it to you.
Another cool feature about MEW is that nobody has control of your private key but you. You control your private keys, and MEW doesn’t have it. So if you did want to backup your wallet, you would just click on the eye, and whatever alphanumeric string of characters comes up, write that down! Make sure that you have written it down correctly, and then all you have to do is take that piece of paper and keep it in a really, really safe place offline where no one else knows about it. Using that, you’ll be able to restore your crypto in case it’s ever lost.
To sum it up & make sure you are safe…
Backing up your keys is essential to your crypto-safety, so make sure you are taking the right steps for your security. Read more about cryptocurrency wallets here! To watch a demo of how to get a Jaxx wallet, check out this link. And here is one for MyEtherWallet!
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