If you have been researching or experimenting with Bitcoin and have looked around the Internet, you have likely seen several crypto trading services that allow you to store your Bitcoin with them. This type of storage on the Internet is known as “hot storage.” However, there is an alternative where you download private crypto keys and store them on a USB drive.
It is easy to store your cryptocurrency wallets on USB flash drives. This article will discuss what a cold wallet is and how crypto holders back up cold wallets with USB flash drives.
What is a Cold Wallet, and why should you have one?
Only private crypto keys can prove ownership. If you store your crypto keys in a “hot” internet-connected wallet, you could be making them vulnerable to cybercriminals. The thieves of cryptocurrency make off with trillions every year, and it can often be difficult to recover stolen crypto.
Many crypto experts recommend that people who have a lot of cryptos only keep a few crypto keys in a hot pocket. A hot wallet is similar to a real wallet. You wouldn’t store all your savings in cash there. The rest should go in a cold wallet (also known as a hardware wallet), where your private crypto keys and other information are kept offline.
Hackers cannot access crypto stored in a cold wallet because it is not connected to the Internet. Only the person who has physical access to the cold account can access the crypto keys. A good cold wallet should have additional security layers such as encryption and two-factor authentication.
Using a flash drive as a cold storage device
A USB flash drive can act as a cheap and flexible cryptocurrency storage option. However, keep in mind that it only works when it is cold, which means you should disconnect your computer’s internet connection before using it as a wallet. You should also keep your USB drive as a cold storage device by ensuring that the applications and OS are up-to-date.
USB drives are inexpensive and widely available, making them an affordable way to protect your cryptocurrency. Moreover, they have a minimal footprint, which is ideal for portable cold storage. A USB wallet will be safe from cyber-attacks and will keep your private keys safe from prying eyes. You can also create a cold storage device that can store your private keys and protect your digital assets.
Before making a cold storage device, it’s important to note that not all crypto wallets offer this feature. Some are only intended to be used as hot wallets, but you should search for a cold storage device that is easy to use and secure. Once you have made a cold storage device, you can send bitcoins to it through it by using an OS that includes persistence. One of the best options for this purpose is TailsOS, which uses the Tor network to protect your cryptography keys and other personal data.
Once you have chosen a suitable program to use, the next step is to download it to the USB flash drive. Electrum is the most popular option and was explicitly designed to store bitcoins. Make sure that you download the program from the official website. Once you have downloaded it, disconnect the USB from your computer. And make sure that you’ve disconnected the cable before you install it.
While web wallets and cryptocurrency exchanges are cheap and widely available, they are not considered secure storage devices. Even if you’re using them, your money is only as safe as the third parties holding it. The same holds true for cold storage USB devices. In the digital world, cold storage USB devices are considered the safest way to store cryptocurrency. With this technology, you don’t even need to keep your private key on the flash drive.
Keep Your Crypto Secure with a USB Flash Drive
When creating backup crypto wallets for USB drives, it is important to remember the basics of cryptocurrency security. Here are some key ideas to make a point of:
- A cold wallet will only be useful as long as it is kept cold. To move cryptocurrency in and out of your USB wallet, disconnect your internet connection before connecting it to your computer.
- You should not use the USB drive containing your wallet for any other purpose than it’s intended.
- Make sure you keep your OS and crypto wallet up-to-date with the most recent security patches.
- Multiple backups should be kept of your wallets and crypto keys. These backups should be kept in separate locations. This is another reason to use USB drives. It’s very affordable to create multiple backups.
- Do not reuse passwords in your wallet or elsewhere. Instead, use a secure encrypted password manager to ensure that all your passwords are protected and well-organized.
- You should never plug your USB wallet into a public computer or any other device you aren’t completely trustful of, especially if it is connected to the Internet.
Five Easy Steps to Add Crypto to a USB Drive
Although it is not difficult to put a crypto cold wallet onto a USB drive, it will require some preparation. Here are the steps:
- Make a USB flash drive that can be booted.
Installing a portable operating system is the first step in preparing your USB drive to store crypto data. This will allow you to add encryption and security, which will provide you with the protection you need against cybercriminals.
This guide will assist you to create a bootable USB. After creating the bootable USB drive, remove it from the computer.
- Install your crypto wallet on your computer.
Run the installer to install a cold storage crypto wallet on your computer. This computer will be used to create and sign transactions that will transfer funds into and out of your cold cryptocurrency wallet.
- Disconnect your computer and Internet.
Before you plug in the USB drive, unplug it from your Ethernet cable and/or switch off your WiFi.
Never plug your cold wallet USB stick into computers that are not connected to the Internet.
- Install the wallet software onto the USB drive.
Reconnect the USB drive you will use for your cold wallet while the Internet is down. You’ll now run the cold wallet installer from the USB drive. You should ensure that your password manager is secure and that you set up any additional security features such as seed phrases or two-factor authentication.
- Transfer your private keys from the hot wallet to the cold wallet.
You can use your hot wallet to create and sign transactions that transfer the cryptocurrency to your cold wallet. To receive the currency in your cold account, you won’t need to connect the USB drive after your wallet generates the transaction.