Software-based crypto wallets are constantly exposed to issues such as system malfunction, malicious hacks, and hardware failures, so it is important to back up the funds as prevention. Electrum is one of the most popular Bitcoin wallet software in the market. It allows users to send, receive, and store Bitcoins easily.
For those unaware, the Bitcoins are not kept in the user’s wallet itself. The value is stored directly in the Bitcoin blockchain via P2P technology. A software wallet allows the user to access his Bitcoin address on the blockchain, using private key technology.
The Electrum wallet can maintain multiple wallet addresses, with one specific private key for each wallet address. If a user loses a private key, then he loses access to the Bitcoins associated with the correspondent address.
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Anyone who has access to a private key has access to the Bitcoins held at that correspondent address, so it is primarily important to protect the password as secure as possible.
But what if a user forgets the password of his Electrum wallet? And how to ensure the highest level of security for an Electrum wallet? The answer is to do a backup.
A Quick Guide
We have three different ways to back up an Electrum wallet:
1. Backup by writing down the seed word.
2. Saving the wallet data file.
3. Backup using private keys.
You can download Electrum Wallet over here!
How To Backup Using The Wallet Mnemonic Seed
When creating a new wallet in Electrum, you will be provided with 12 random words that will generate the private keys for your wallet. These 12 words are called Mnemonic seed.
The Mnemonic seed is generated by a computer, containing all the information about your wallet as a master key. When you set a password, it is used to encrypt this Mnemonic seed word, which blocks anyone without it to access your wallet and use your coins.
Remember that using the Mnemonic seed can completely restore the wallet, so make sure to save a copy in a secure location. If you have not written down your seed word in the initial setup, you also can back it up instantly.
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You just need to open the wallet and navigate to the “seed” option. After writing the password down, you will have access to the backup seed. Remember to write it down and store it in a safe location.
Notice that if a user forgets both his password and the Mnemonic seed, there is no way to recover the crypto coins within the wallet, so paying extra attention to this aspect won’t hurt.
How To Backup By Saving The Wallet Data File
The seed word can help to recover all your coins; however, it can recover some type of data such as transaction history, address labels, saved contacts, and descriptions. It can only be secured via saving the wallet data file.
First, remember to set a strong password for your wallet file before trying to back it up. You just need to select the option Wallet, then click on Password to set it. Once the wallet file is encrypted, you can proceed to back up the data file.
Restoring the backup is quite simple. You will just need to start the wallet, go to File, then select Open and choose the wallet file. Then it will require the password you had set before, so you will be able to access the wallet file. Never forget to periodically backup your wallet file to ensure the highest level of security for your funds.
How To Backup By Exporting Private Keys
This approach is more an optional way, as the two first solutions will do the job perfectly. But security is never too much, so give it a chance as well.
The private key is essential for any crypto wallet, whether based on software or not. Anyone who holds it has enough to spend the coins associated with that specific address.
Although, we have to notice that the Electrum wallet features multiple address management, so each address has a unique private key. If a user wants to do a backup using this method, he needs to make sure to export the private keys for all the addresses, leaving not a single piece of data behind.
Exporting private keys is easy. You just need to select “Wallet”, then “Private keys” and export it as you wish. Now, you will be required to enter your wallet password to continue the procedure. Just input the password and it will generate all the private keys.
It is possible to export both in CSV and JSON format, so the choice is yours. Remember that private keys must be kept secret, as they are a foundational aspect of privacy and security over your so precious BTC/LTC funds. Be sure to only save it in a location of your exclusive knowledge and never share it with anyone for whatever reason.