Old but gold stoics believed that to be prepared for any kind of disaster, you’d better have a mental rehearsal of them. That sounds like a challenging but quite helpful tip, as the world of crypto is still young and unpredictable, and we, people, still keep forgetting and losing essential and expensive things.
Here’s a guide for you to be fully prepared for an annoying and frightening situation of not being able to find your BTC funds.
How to Prevent Bitcoin Loss?
But let’s start with an ABC thing. That’s also important to be on the alert, so don’t neglect following some essential security rules such as:
Never share your user password, private key, and seed phrase to anyone.
Use password software so that you don’t reuse passwords. Don’t reuse the same Bitcoin addresses for repeat Bitcoin transactions.
Do not drop your email address, or phone number on social networks.
Always renew the antivirus on your computer to avoid “catching” malicious software. Check the best antivirus out and make your choice.
Back up your wallet at least once a week. Set up two-factor authentication (2FA).
What’s next? It’s crucial to back your wallet up. Why? To restore your wallet, as nobody has access except for you. Those who didn’t back up their wallet, lose it forever and ever.
- NB! 12-word secret recovery phrase
Your secret recovery phrase is your wallet’s key that controls access to all your funds. Write it down and keep it in an extremely safe place.
In case your device is stolen or lost, the only way to recover your funds is with your 12-word secret recovery phrase.
It is a feature that gives you an extra security level. An encrypted backup is created for your iCloud/Google Drive account that does not provide access to your wallet to either your cloud provider.
Once you keep your private wallet information and cloud account secure, only you can access your wallet and funds.
Cloud backups make wallet recovery easier when you switch mobile devices, delete the wallet app, or lose your wallet password and/or 12-word Secret Private Key Recovery Phrase.
Wallet.dat is a typical method used by Bitcoin core and others to back up your wallet. The file on Wallet.dat has keys to spend outputs, addresses, transaction info, and other metadata. Find the Wallet.dat file in Bitcoin’s data directory.
When backing up your wallet, simply copy the file into an external media device such as a USB drive. Go under tools and click “export private keys.”
If you want to restore your backup, you need to copy your backed-up wallet.dat in the bitcoin data section.
BIP 32 is a supplementary method for backing up your Bitcoin wallet as it verifies critical pairs from a single seed. The seed creates a master private key that can be used with any BIP 32 wallet.
To back up the wallet, you need to create a QR-code or copy the master key to a text file to encrypt and store it on an external media device.
Vietnam Flashback Technique
Some information from the past could be really helpful. Recall the type of Bitcoin wallet you’ve used, email addresses, and other contact details tied to your BTC account, such as answers to security questions, a list of potential passwords, and PINs you think you’ve created.
As crypto wallets are different, the way of retrieving your lost coins or private keys will differ.
Web wallets: Check your browsing history and search for shreds of evidence of your web wallet provider’s website.
Mobile wallets: If you’ve deleted it from your phone, you can find the wallet on the App Store or Play Store and download it again.
Desktop wallets: Go over all the folders on your computer and check hidden folders or the folders you rarely visit.
Paper wallets: The trickiest one. You may have written down your private keys in a notebook or hidden away your paper wallet in a book or somewhere on the desk.
What Tools Will Help You?
Let’s imagine your nightmare is here – you lost your wallet. What are you going to do? Don’t panic! Here are some essential steps to go through denial, anger, depression, bargaining, and acceptance. Okay, just joking. There are several ways to restore access to your funds. Once you have a hardware wallet, like a Trezor or Ledger, you can quickly recover your funds by following the instructions on their official website. Things get more complicated if it’s a software wallet, but it’s still possible to recover your crypto.
Firstly, you need to recover your wallet file — the choice depends on how it was lost. Do you have your wallet file? Then you may recover your funds without a fuss.
The file is kept in a particular folder, the path to which depends on the Bitcoin storage installed on the PC. To export private keys for further Bitcoin wallet recovery, do the following:
Go to the Tools section and choose the appropriate item.
In the appearing window, define where to locate the files.
Activate the protection of exported keys with a password.
Enter the tools menu and go to the private key import section.
Show the path to the corresponding files, type your password, and confirm the operation.
After doing this, the vault number changes, but access to the money is open.
There is also an expensive yet not 100% working option with the Bitcoin recovery service. Such services require you to provide partial information about your lost wallet — your public key or a seed phrase. Once they have this information, they can help you recover your missing Bitcoins. But bear in mind that there are plenty of fake services that pretend to be those who can help you.
What if your data completely vanishes away from your computer? The best solution should be using a restoring tool. There are many options, but let’s have a quick look at the best ones.
Recuva is definitely one of the best free data recovery software tools. It's easy to use but yet has many advanced optional features.
It can restore files from anywhere — hard drives, external drives, BD/DVD/CD discs, and memory cards, and even from your iPod!
2. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard
This software gives an opportunity to back up the scan results to retrive files later without having to rescan the whole drive. You can also sort files by file type, date it was removed, and name.
3. Puran File Recovery
This one identifies more files than most other tools. Make sure to give this one a try if Recuva didn't find what you were looking for.
4. GlarySoft File Recovery
It's a user-friendly file undelete program. Select a drive, scan it for deleted files, and pick out the ones you want to restore.
5. Disk Drill
Its design's very simple, so you won't be confused. Disk Drill recovers data (up to 500 MB) from "virtually any storage device," such as internal and external hard drives, USB devices, memory cards, and iPods.
Do You Still Have Any BTC?
Here it goes, you’ve found your data and restored the wallet, but do you still have your BTC in its right place?
Chris and Charlie Brooks, father-and-son founders of CryptoAssetRecovery.com, claim — “About half the wallets we crack are empty.” So, blockchain.com comes to your service here. Follow these easy steps and find the truth:
Go to Blockchain.com.
Type your wallet address in the search box and click “Enter.”
Get all the wallet information:
the number of transactions;
the number of BTC sent and received;
your current balance.
The Bottom Line
It's as difficult to stay novel in this field as restore lost data. But we do strongly believe that the above mentioned easy steps in securing your sensitive data is a must. Find out more about ways to stay safe and sound in a brave new world of crypto — Tips to Stay Safe in Crypto.