Blockchain.info’s online Bitcoin wallet service is considered to be one of the most reliable, user friendly, and powerful web-based Bitcoin wallets available for new and experienced users alike.
It is pretty simple to use; it requires no software installation or lengthy registration processes, taking just seconds to get up and running.
However, the security of your Bitcoin wallet is of the utmost importance, especially when using an external provider. Even though Blockchain.info is a reliable and trusted web wallet provider, and is one of the best known companies in the Bitcoin community, the default security feature for your wallet is a single password. So as soon as you create your first Blockchain Wallet, you should take the time to properly setup your security configuration.
Blockchain Bitcoin Wallet Security Basics
I’ll try to give you the best instructions on how to explore the whole range of configurations on your Blockchain account, in order to support maximum security, and prevent hackers from gaining access to your Bitcoin wallet.
First, you should always use at least 16 characters, or even a whole phrase, as your password. You should use upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols, and try to avoid common words, sequences or dictionary phrases. If your password doesn’t follow these criteria, it is advised that you change your password immediately.
You should organize an agenda (preferably a paper agenda) where you can right down your User and Password info along with your account ID.
Avoid using your common username, email address or basic personal information. If you are using these, then you should closely monitor your email for any suspicious activity.
To move forward with configuring your Blockchain Bitcoin wallet security settings, click on the grey Account Settings button to access your account-related operations. Then, click Continue and enter your main password when prompted to confirm.
Blockchain Security Configuration
Click the Security tab to access your account security options. Here, you will want to do a few things
Set a Second Password for Your Bitcoin Wallet
You may have noticed an option for setting a second password that is used when authenticating outward transactions (when you send Bitcoin). This is useful for improving the security of your wallet. Enter a completely different password twice and update in the same way if you wish to use ‘double encryption’ on your account.
Always Use 2FA for Online Bitcoin Wallets and Accounts
The Two Factor Authentication option is the main aspect to prevent unscrupulous users from accessing your account. This involves being sent (or generating) a one-time authentication code on every login attempt, adding an extra layer of security that isn’t a password.
Email and SMS (text message) are common choices, although you can also download and use Google’s Authenticator app to generate codes for logging in. The final option is a Yubikey – a specialised hardware device for generating login codes, which can be purchased from Yubico directly.
With the example of Email, a login attempt with a wallet identifier and password will also trigger an ‘email code’ field, where Blockchain send a one-use confirmation code to the address registered with your account.
When your two factor authentication is set up, log out of the wallet to test the entire process. Make sure to read through the additional settings on the Security page too, as a secret phrase may be useful for proof of identity in the event of a problem.
The next area to monitor is Logging. This allows the Blockchain system to log data when wallet actions take place. By default, standard logging is disabled, although you can enable logging of the hashed IP addresses for basic validation purposes, or the more identifiable IP address and user agent string which collects more information.
Turn on Blockchain Alert Options to Monitor Activity on Your Bitcoin Wallet
Besides configuring payments, the Blockchain wallet also offers a variety of methods of being alerted if bitcoins are sent or received from your wallet account. Take a look at these for real-time updates if you’re concerned about the security of your Bitcoin balance. This option also lets you have a better understanding of incoming and outgoing transactions without even logging in
Use Blockchain Backup Methods to Make a Local Copy of Your Bitcoin Wallet
Finally, one of the most important features to manage is Backups, and you should always make good use of this feature. The General item under your Account Settings contains a checkbox to automatically email a backup when your wallet updates. One example of an update is adding a new payment address on your address list.
However, that’s not the only way to backup your wallet. Take a look at the Backup heading at the bottom of your Wallet Homepage. You will see a set of options including cloud storage services and conventional methods, allowing you to securely store your wallet either online or offline.
Also it is highly recommended to take a backup on a regular basis, although you should be aware that you need to secure your wallet backups via encryption.
Now, you are aware of how you should proceed to stay safe, you can be secure and use Blockchain as your online Bitcoin wallet to safely execute and receive payments.