Physical security at a home


#1

I did a quick search. Didn’t find exactly what I was looking for.

Luckily I am an American living in a fairly decent area. Crime is not a huge problem, and we are in the early days of Bitcoin still. Most people would not know a what a hardware wallet was if they were looking at it. They have no clue what private keys are. Most Americans wouldn’t know what they are or what to do with them.
With the price being down, most people are not motivated to learn.
We are clearly not in that category.

If the price goes up to some astronomical amount. This will motivate people and maybe governments to act maliciously, to gain control of your keys. North Korea has been doing this already.
If one was to keep private keys and hardware wallets in their home, what physical security steps would you take. I am listing the steps I have or will take. I only have small amount, so gains from a thief are not worth the risk and time to steal from me. Other members here, may want lock there Sh*t down. I am looking at you @peter, @kryptokenzie, and @john. What steps have you taken?

I am creating a list of thing I think are prudent. Please add ideas, or tell me I am stupid. I would like feed back.

  1. Don’t keep private keys and hardware wallets in the same location. Have them in to separate locations. Ideally in a different city or state. Or memorize one word or two private key words, and lock the other words up in a safety deposit box, in different city or state.

  2. Have multiple hardware wallets and cross load them. So if one is lost, you don’t lose everything. You set you own level of crossload, what are you willing to lose if private keys or wallet are lost.

If you choose to hold your keys and wallet in the same place, like your home see list below. If your worth hundreds of thousands or more in crypto, and control your keys see list below.

  1. You should get a dog, not a cute furball. A smart large dog like a German Shepard, Pittbull, Gold Retriever sized dog. Don’t let it sleep in your bed or the feet of you bed. It should be outside your room, if in the house.

  2. Monitored Alarm system, get one. The whole idea is to limit time bad guys will have to rob. Cops will show up if they take too long. Heck just a few signs in the front and back yard lower the odd a normal burglary.

  3. Hardening doors, so that they can’t be kicked in. Or least they will have work at it for a while before they get in, buying you and loved ones time to defend yourselves. This can be done cheaply, with longer door hing screws that travel further into the door frame. There more costly and effective ways of doing this though.

  4. A safe or a hardcore gun safe (not true safe). Once again, this is to cost bad guys more time in acquiring your keys or hardware wallet. If they spend 20 mins breaking into the safe. Cops will probably be waiting when they come out.
    A good gun safe or a real safe will protect the contents from fire and flood as well.

  5. Get some exercise. Be fit and smart to hopefully avoid confrontation, and win if forced to engage.

  6. Learn some martial art, be able to defend yourself and family. This well also give you confidence.
    Most humans can sense fear and weakness, we are wired this way. Predators/thieves pick up on this.

  7. Get a knife. These are just plain useful in many emergencies.

  8. Guns. Preferably an AR pistol or Sbr (short barreled rifle) chambered 300 Blackout or 5.56 high expansion rounds. Shorter barrels are better in urban conditions/homes.
    They needs to have a light, and some way to accurately target in low to no light situations. IE. In a dark home. Look at a good red dot sight.
    Make the risk not work the reward.

8a. Get some training, and go to the range at least 3-4 times a year.

8b. Handguns. Not as lethal as rifle rounds, but enough make confrontations fatal for thieves.

  1. Don’t post the amount of crypto you own ANYWHERE. NO ONE KNOWS THE FUTURE. You could be painting a target on your back later.

  2. Copied form HAC’s post below
    Multiple wallets. Paper wallets that you create your own codes to hide keys scattered in notebooks or written on the underside of a desk or something.
    You can literally bury copies of paper wallets in a mason jar in your back yard.

If you are super paranoid, create some sort of algorithim for your paper private key so you can scramble the actual code. IE: 3 Letters/Numbers to the right
Be aware, ink on paper eventually evaporates.
You can always memorize a private key…but the mind is less immutable than the blockchain.

Sorry for any grammatical errors, I am rushing to get ready for work. Plus, I have the writing skills of a concussioned 12 year old. Years of the Army, and motorcycles didn’t help.


#2

change category to #beginners-help:security … this is great btw!


#3

If we continue to see high value into the future with cryptos I have always thought that having multiple hardware wallets and distribute your coins across them will help minimize risk/loss. I mean even today if you have a lot of :btc: it would make sense to store only a few coins per hardware wallet. Keeping track of them all might become a challenge too, but I’d rather risk losing track of 1/20 hardware wallets than losing everything on only 1 wallet. I have seen people engrave their private keys into steel which definitely helps gaurd against weather / fire damage, but where to store them privately still becomes a challenge.


#4

This is a good idea. Multiple wallets was always part of my thoughts. Cross loading them seemed like a natural progression.
I should include that in the list. I will edit it in.


#5

Multiple wallets. Paper wallets that you create your own codes to hide keys scattered in notebooks or written on the underside of a desk or something.

You can literally bury copies of paper wallets in a mason jar in your back yard.

If you are super paranoid, create some sort of algorithim for your paper private key so you can scramble the actual code. IE: 3 Letters/Numbers to the right

Be aware, ink on paper eventually evaporates.

You can always memorize a private key…but the mind is less immutable than the blockchain.


#6

This is probably the most astute advice. I do the same - especially memorizing a few of the key words and not writing them down on my recovery sheet. A few others in my family have memorized them as well.

And for the record (for would be criminals reading this) I don’t keep my wallets at home, and I also live in a gated community with 24 hour guard service…and I own guns…lots of guns.


#7

Many guns here as well. Plus a police officer that literally patrols our neighborhood.


#8

Added to the list.

The more I think about it. The private key is EVERYTHING.
Most hardware good wallets can be replaced with no loss of funds if stolen or misplaced. Especially if the thieves don’t know what they have, or are unable to brute force the hardware wallet open, before you move funds to another set of keys and wallet.

Most of the steps in intail post are layers of progressive of security, that can be done with minimal cost over the long run. Some steps are more costly depending on your personal preference. Most can be cheap and easy, but involve the use of time to train or get trained.
The whole point is to present the hardest target possible, and to make the risk far exceed the reward.
If I die or get critically injured attacking a family for private keys, there no point in it. Especially, when cops show up later and carry me off to jail, if I survive.
I was in the Army for 6 years and deployed to Iraq for 15 months, Baghdad for 12 and two other cities in follow on action afterwards. Physical security mindset was forced on me. It was not an option. I just wanted to share in the hopes of helping someone in the future.


#9

Great info. Especially good advice to keep your private keys and hardware wallets in different locations. The only thing I’d like to add is to be mindful of your two-factor authentication device. I bought an extra phone for my 2FA and keep stashed away in a safe with my Trezor & Ledger. You don’t even need to have cell service or internet access on the phone for the 2FA to work. In my opinion, it’s worth every dime to have a second 2FA device as a backup. Also, DO NOT use SMS text messaging for your two-factor authentication. I can’t emphasize this enough. Without going into details, if your cell phone number gets hi-jacked, which is not that hard, you are truly fucked. Use an app for 2FA that works without cell phone service or internet access.

Personally, I don’t trust cell phones. I think you put yourself at far less risk if your 2FA device does NOT have cell service or internet access. I’d like to see exchanges support devices like RSA hardware tokens. https://www.rsa.com/content/dam/en/data-sheet/rsa-securid-hardware-tokens.pdf

Cryptopia offers a device like this for use on their exchange. (see "Security & Support) https://www.cryptopia.co.nz/ I’d like to see all exchanges support a standardized device which offers a non-cellphone 2FA method.


#10

This is one of the most useful tips that I’ve seen on the Pub in a long time. Huge thanks for pointing this out! :heart:


#11

Or just get a blockchain bank to store and control your funds for you


#12

Leave the hardware wallets at home, make sure you have a strong PIN, not 1234.
Write down the recovery seed by hand and put it in a local bank’s safety box.

Done, sleep well.
In case if the hardware wallet is gone, no worries, you have the backups.


#13

The problem with local bank is natural disaster. Let’s say a tornado, earthquake, or hurricane comes. If stored in the same town you could lose your keys and your wallet at once.
We recently had a thousand year flood in my town. That flooded most of the city. I have a copy of my keys out of state for this exact reason.