Welcome to the first episode of my new series: HIVE Hints, where I will be doing my best to concisely and thoroughly break down some of the key things needed to be successful on the HIVE blockchain. If you've got any questions about the platform, the various front-ends, tokens, or anything else, please feel free to ask them in the questions. Not only will I answer them (if I can), but maybe they'll be the basis for my next episode (in which case I will mention you as the inspiration).
Kenny's Hive Hints
Episode 1: Passwords & Private Keys
Today's episode is all about passwords and private keys. This is one of those topics that seems to almost completely foreign to folks who are are just dipping their toes into the crypto world. In traditional social media, online shopping, and even banking, all you have to do if you lose your password is press the reset button. The problem with that, is that it completely removes the security of that account. If someone (or some server) can just reset your password, then all it takes is gaining access to that function, and your account is wide open.
In the crypto world, this is largely not the case. You hold your private keys, and generally ONLY you. Part of the new paradigm is taking responsibility for your life and your actions, and that includes taking responsibility for your finances... TOTAL responsibility. Many, many people have learned this lesson the hard way, including friends of mine. Do some searching for lost bitcoin some time and see just how many millions of $ worth of BTC people threw out or deleted.
You probably remember seeing this when you signed up
Many folks apparently didn't take that warning too seriously. I know many people who have lost access to their HIVE/STEEM accounts over the past few years. Most of them, it happened right away, when they created the account, and never backed anything up. They saved it in their browser, or in some .txt file.
Luckily, to help keep your account secure, the STEEM blockchain uses four types of private keys that you need to be aware of. They are:
- Private Posting Key - This key is used for voting, posting, commenting, re-blogging, following, and muting. This is what you should be using as your daily login key, and it's what websites like Dtube ask for.
- Private Active Key - This key is used for transfers, powering up/down, and placing orders on the market. This key you should be keeping well protected, as it's basically the equivalent of the pin number for your debit card.
- Private Owner Key - This is your ultimate key, with all the privileges. Not only does your owner key have all of the functionality of the others, but it can also be used to reset all of your keys.
- Master Password - This has all of the functions of the owner key, and basically serves the same purpose of a seed phrase from many other blockchains. This is the one that should be written down in your safe (or some similar level of security)
One of the great HIVE community devs, @yabapmatt created a tool called HIVE Keychain, which allows you to keep your private active/posting keys (for any number of accounts), in your browser, behind encryption. When you go to do some activity on peakd.com, hive-engine.com, or elsewhere, the site can just check with Keychain to make sure you have the privileges needed. Every time you close the browser, Keychain relocks itself, and will require your Keychain password the next time you want to use those HIVE keys again.
Here's a look at the Keychain plugin:
Here's the Chrome Plugin: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/hive-keychain/jcacnejopjdphbnjgfaaobbfafkihpep
And for Firefox: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-GB/firefox/addon/hive-keychain/
You can also download the Chrome version and follow the instructions to install it for Brave or Opera.
For more great info about HIVE, check out these other guides:
- Hive Blockchain Tools & Services by @thekittygirl
- I Made $400 This Week Posting Uncensorable Content by @bchainbastards
- How To Use Hive, LeoFinance, 3Speak, & More by @scottcbusiness
- 19 Ultimate Hive Tips For Brand New Users by @sidwrites
- Peakd FAQ by @peakd
- Ecency FAQ by @ecency
Be sure to follow me on HIVE, LBRY, and/or Telegram to catch all of my content on abundance, sovereignty, community, and much more!
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