There are major perks to using a noncustodial wallet, all of which revolve around you, the user, being in total control of your funds. If you’re new to bitcoin, we’ll admit this can be slightly daunting (at best). Thankfully, we’ve got a few tips and tricks of the trade to make securing your bitcoin wallet and online presence easy and painless.
Choosing a secure password
A secure password is your first line of defense to protect your wallet. Here are some basic guidelines to help you make sure your passwords are living up to their potential.
Your secure password should:
- Be at least 16 characters.
- Be unique. Never use the same password twice. And whatever you do, never use these.
- Be diverse. Passwords are case-sensitive, so choose a healthy variety of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and don’t forget to throw in some %,#,!,*, or &.
Unless you’ve got a very enthusiastic superhuman mind, we don’t expect you to know your passwords by heart. Luckily, with the help of certain applications known as password management tools, you won’t have to.
What’s a password management tool?
As evidenced by their name, password managers are applications that literally manage your passwords and online credentials for you. They keep your passwords safe by encrypting them with a master password of your choice (the one password you’ll need to remember from now on).
While we recommend each user does their own research to figure out which password manager best suits their needs, we suggest whatever they choose meets the following criteria:
- Encryption and decryption happens locally, on your device. This means the application won’t store your passwords in plain text and they can only be revealed locally.
- Two-Factor authentication is available. A strong master password can provide a high degree of security, but adding an option like Google Authenticator also amplifies this further.
- Cross-platform compatibility. A password manager won’t be as effective if it’s not well integrated into your browser, or not available for your mobile device. Choose an option that has a plugin for your preferred browser and a mobile counterpart available.
- It includes extras like form-filling and password generation. Password managers are moving towards a seamless online experience. They not only autofill your login details but make it easy to fill out forms, and generate unique, random passwords quickly and easily.
The teams behind password management tools deserve some serious credit for changing the way users keep sensitive information safe, and for designing applications that make it a simple process for anyone. Do you use a password manager? Let us know your favourites by reaching out on Twitter, or Facebook.