Storing cryptocurrencies is one of the most important elements you as a beginner in this space need to understand and master. Because your keys aren't connected to your social security number or name, you need to keep it safe. If you lose your VISA card you can call your bank and get a new one. In cryptocurrencies, this is abit more complex.
public key / addresse
This is the equivelant of an account number, in your bank. Wallet address is your address that you use to send and recieve funds from different exchanges like Coinbase / Binance or wallets like MyEtherWaller and Nano Ledger S. - If you send your public key to someone, they can send you coins and tokens.
The private key allows you to verify that you have ownership over the public key and the coins connected to it. For instance, when someone wants to send you some cryptocurrency to your wallet they are sending it to the address or public key of your wallet that corresponds with the private key that you hold. This allows verification that you are the owner over this private key, and the crypto attached to it. This “trustless transfer” of cryptocurrency allows for two parties to make a transaction without a 3rd party and also without having to reveal your private key to the other person. Never give anyone your private key! - If you send your private key to someone, they now have full control over your account!
hardware wallets and other wallets
Large amounts of cryptocurrencies should never be stored on an exchange, as you don't hold the private keys to your assets on an exchange. If the exchange gets compromised, your investments are at risk. You should consider using a Bitcoin hardware wallet, which keeps your private keys offline.
Bitcoin hardware wallets are a tamper-proof electronic device designed to store private keys of your coins in an offline setting. The private keys and digital signatures needed to spend bitcoins are generated via these wallets. Like the way you set up any wallet, you need to write down the seed word (recovery phrase) on a piece of paper and store it in a safe place. Prefer making 2-3 copies & distribute it. And as your keys are offline, there is no possibility of getting hacked.
You should also create a wallet through My Ether Wallet. Myetherwallet is used as an interface to manage your funds on the Ethereum blockchain, while remaining in full control of your keys and your funds. You should connect your hardware wallet device (Nano Ledger S or Trezor) with your My Ether Wallet. Learn how to use MyEtherWallet with Nano Ledger S here or watch the videos below.
Every ERC-20 token is supported by MyEtherWallet. You can add them manually, follow this guide.
# Always use 2-Factor Authentication when possible on exchanges and project websites. Add as many security layers as you can, too keep your assets safe. Remember to write down the backup keys, so if you lose your mobile, you can still retrieve it.
# Never store your login / secret information on your computer. Keep a hard copy offline. I've bought a USB stick with a password protection, and storing everything I need on here as well as having written everything down by hand, locked away in a safe place. Remember to never be connected to the internet when accessing your sensitive passwords. I would recommend buying this one:
- Hardware encryption, keeps your data safe
- Password protection, user's can set a password to prevent unauthorised access
- Durable metal casing with built-in key loop
- The drive works interchangeably between Mac OS X and Windows systems