Secret Phrases, Private Keys and the Public Keys
Best Practices for Dummies
In order to offer you the minimum information required to avoid undesired results in the crypto environment you must first understand the following terms and the relations between them.
Secret Phrase — a sequence of words acting as master private key comprising an unlimited number of derived private keys. A Secret Phrase is commonly used by cryptocurrency wallets in order to secure the funds of the owners.
Note: It is very important to hold the Secret Phrase (this private master key) because one can get from it to the derived private key/wallets but not the other way around as it is based on an injective function that works just one direction.
Private Key — a derived key from the Secret Phrase. Every Private Key comes with a Public Key. It has full control (initiate & sign transactions) over the funds linked to its paired Public Key.
Note: At the moment Maiar uses just Secret Phrases to access the first Private Key and Public Key linked to it.
Public Key — it is the blockchain equivalent of the IBAN. It is basically the address one can share to receive crypto assets. The activity of each address can be tracked via blockchain explorers ( Elrond Explorer, Elrond Scan).
So how to keep crypto assets safely?
The most important measure is storing the Secret Phrase (24 words) physically. No matter how you are interacting with the blockchain via encrypted files (json+pass), via Maiar app, via Maiar DeFi Wallet, via Ledger, you must write down your Secret Phrase and keep it safe.
A great alternative for paper which can deteriorate are the Physical Storing Tools. A great example is Kryptodots, a metal planks ingenious long-lasting system. For the Elrond Network maximalists out there there is also a special Elrond edition.
- Don’t take photos of your Secret Phrases, don’t save them on your hardware and now that we have Maiar and Ledger (the most secure way of interacting with blockchain) avoid Json+Pass connection especially if you know you are not taking security measures on your devices. (Antivirus, VPN, Avoiding dangerous sites, Strong passwords, Encrypted Hard Drives). Your hard drive stored information can be hacked, especially if you are not taking these safety measures.
- Don’t use your Secret Phrases anywhere else than:
-Maiar App (always make sure you have the legit App installed)
-Ledger Device (always use devices from authorised sellers)
-Web Wallet: wallet.elrond.com (always check the address to be the right one)
How people are usually scammed:
- They share their Secret Phrases with Fake Projects Admins or Team Members.
- They fill in Secret Phrases on Scam Sites, usually shared to them by Fake Projects Admins or Team Members.
- They access Scam Sites, download and install Scam Software as Keyloggers which grant scammers access to their device’s activity.
- They store back-ups or even Secret Phrases on clouds or mails using compromised email addresses or weak security emails and get their info hacked.
Keep it simple! Store your Secret Phrase physically and use Maiar App or Ledger for the most secure experience.