Over the past seven years, hackers have stolen $ 2.8 billion in cryptocurrencies and now the problem of safe storage of crypto-savings is more relevant than ever. But even if you are not a crypto billionaire, to keep your funds safe you can always turn your smartphone into a cold wallet. After all, one of the main conditions is the isolation of the device from the Internet and with this, hackers in most cases cannot gain access to money.
Here is a simple step-by-step guide on how to turn your smartphone into reliable cryptographic storage:
Step 1. Prepare the device
To do this, remove the card, reset the settings and remove all unnecessary applications. It’s generally recommended that you leave only Google Play, Google Play Services, and Google Keyboard. After that, you need to create a new Google account that will be tied to the device. At the same time, you should disable different updates, and you do not need to link your personal information, geolocation or payment data to your accounts. Then it is recommended that you turn off mobile communications. Also, use a six-digit PIN as a security password.
The next important step is to encrypt the phone. This option is available in the “Settings” in the “Security” section. Since several applications are installed on the device, this does not take much time. If this function is not supported by your phone, then it is better not to use this smartphone.
Step 2. Install the appropriate software
To do this, you need to create a VPN client and install the encrypted cloud service LastPass, which allows you to manage passwords and notes. Upon completion of registration, you need to write down the password in a safe place, because in case of loss, the user will automatically lose all access.
The next step is to choose a mobile wallet. It can be anything, the main thing is that it should be without hosting like Coinbase. It should also be possible to set a seed phrase. For example, Anarcrypt uses the Coinomi wallet for this purpose.
Step 3. Back up the data
To do this, you need to create a new Secure Note in LastPass, select the Generic template and check the “Require Password Reprompt” box. In the “Notes” section, you should add the information for the new Google account – username, email address, password, and personal information, as well as a screen lock PIN.
Also, in LastPass, you need to add information about the wallet – a private, public key and seed phrase for recovery.
Saving the addresses of all cryptocurrencies in LastPass makes it possible to manage crypto-wallets through this application without the need to enable them. It is also worth noting that there are wallets that generate new keys for each new transaction. In this case, each time they are changed, they must be written to LastPass, although this function can be disabled. But since this is cold storage and is rarely used to send money, you may not have to do this very often.
Step 4. Step 4. Make a backup of LastPass
This can be done by going to the service through a plug-in in the browser and after logging in to the system, click “Options / Advanced options” / “Advanced” and select “Export”. After that, archive the csv file Z-Zip and set a password on it. This archive for security can be stored on a USB flash drive. Then try testing for transferring small amounts to your wallet through LastPass.
Delete your wallet and recover it using seed phrases. If this succeeds and the balance is preserved, then you can transfer the remaining savings to your smartphone, since it can now be used for cold storage. After that, turn off your smartphone.
Thus, to ensure your safety, you do not need to resort to buying a Trezor or Ledger. You can create a hardware wallet from your old smartphone. The main thing after the whole procedure is not to connect it to the Internet or use encrypted communication channels.