How I Almost Threw Away My HIVE Keys - And What Saved The Day
I watched a video about how someone clicked on a scam going around Hive that posted something in your comments asking if you had gotten the 100 HIVE and 200 LEO they sent for great content, or maybe it was that they were offering that reward for delegating your Hive votes or WorkerBee or something like that. Whatever it was, I suddenly had the creepy sense that I, too, had clicked on that link! Did I have a clear memory of this? No! Evidence? No! Just a vague creepy feeling that I would be dumb enough to do this? Of course!
So I decided that, like this Hiverster, I would need to reset my Hive account keys and master password. I tried to follow along with the instructions, and, well, it was right before I usually go to bed and I have been under huge strain and time pressure at work and we have had an unending string of stupid crap to spend our savings on...home repairs, breaking cars, kid stuff, appliance failure, emergency trips for funerals, I mean, I was NOT at my best.
And I bungled almost the whole thing. Let's run down what I messed up on:
First, when I joined Hive I had no assets and no clue how there could be so many things to remember, so I wrote down the stuff I thought was most important, which was the master password and the owner key. At some point I also copied the other keys into a document, but stuff was everywhere. And, most crucially, I had made a typo in my master password and in the password for Ecency, which is my recovery account. And, of course, I did not know the difference between my Ecency password and my Hive master password anyway, so, even before all of this, I actually did not have my master password for the ENTIRE TIME I WAS USING HIVE! 🤬
Second, I missed a step on the PeakD profile section where you reset your account. I thought it was reset but I had not fully submitted, approved, acquiesced, and avowed the reset. So, when I started overwriting my old keys with the "new" ones where I had saved them (because NOW I was trying to be responsible) I was doing so with keys that had not actually been activated and a password that was not actually real. I only figured this out when I started replacing my keys in Hivesigner, starting at the top, with my Posting Key. It did not think that key was a real key, so I promptly freaked out, had a panic attack, and plunged my family into financial ruin. Or something like that.
And that was all it took. Being confused and sloppy when I started using Hive meant that I had inaccurate information about my keys. I did not take the time to figure out the uses of each of those bits of information because I just wanted to play Rising Star haha! Don't be like me, I guess. And being confused, tired, stressed out, and a bit panicky when I was resetting my keys meant that at the end of the day, all I had left of my beloved @pregosauce Hive account was my Active Key and my Memo Key.
I reached out to warn my guildmates on Splinterlands that I probably would be disappearing into the aether, and asked for help on almost every Discord channel I could think of. And, I tried to make peace with the death and annihilation of all of my work, gaming, and outside money investment in Splinterlands, Hive, Leo, and other great projects.
You can tell that I am writing this now, so something saved me - in fact, it was a suggestion from all around great guy @dynamicrypto to see if my browser had saved any passwords that at least got me back my Hive keys.
Here are some things I learned:
- Lesson #1 - Protect Those Keys! Write them down, Save them, Take a photo of them, Get a tattoo on the inside of your lip of them, Have 4 babies and in the grand tradition of Grimes and Elon Musk name each of your kids after 1 of your keys, I don't care, just DO NOT LOSE YOUR KEYS!!!
- Lesson #2 - Security Hygiene. I know, that seems obvious, but I started Hive when I really had no clue about its potential to bring me joy and make a little crypto. So I was extremely random in the way I stored my keys, etc. and just never did any Key Hygiene, so that is my recommendation. Every month, for as many of the 1 billion passwords, keys, and random strings of gibberish we are required to subject ourselves to in order to be cryptofree, make sure you know where they are, that they are stored securely, and that they are accurate and up to date.
- Lesson #3 - Learn How to Check Your Saved Passwords in your Browser. This feels obvious too, but I am not a tech guy. I am the guy from the SNL skit who shouts "Odessa! What are them kids up to out there?" and then Alexa sighs. Anyway, think of the endless list of tech crap we need to do as the modern equivalent of traffic signs - if you want to drive, you just have to learn what that triangle means. Saved passwords is the way I got all my keys back.
- Lesson #4 - More than 30 Days = U R Skrood. I onboarded into Hive through Ecency, making Ecency my recovery account. However, even with the diligent help of really nice peeps on the Ecency, Splinterlands, and even Hive discord channels, recovery is impossible (at least in my case) if the last time you changed your keys was more than 30 days ago. Good Hiveland peeps will try really hard to help you, but they cannot get those keys if they are 31, 32, 33, or more days old. U R Skrood.
- Lesson #5 - Have a Second Account on Hive. I am a patient investor, or, I am a lazy investor, I can't really tell, but I love me some staking and some delegating! I had almost everything in Hive either in-game (dCrops and Rising Star), Staked (everything that could be staked haha), Delegated (everything I had more than $2 of, because, you know, I am rich lol), or powered up (Hive ofc). That meant that even with the access my Keychain gave me, it would take a looooooooong time to get liquid. And, as you know already, I was not sure I would get any of my best keys back and never knew when I might get logged out or do something else wrong. So I started sending everything to my secondary Hive account. Now, even with that, I missed out on staking and delegating rewards while those processes unfolded, and would lose my reputation on this account, but I would have been able to save most of my assets even with some of them irretrievable either because I did not have my posting key and Gladius cards do not transfer (for Splinterlands) or you cannot have a second account (Rising Star). And, at least with that account, I could secure all my keys and master password, so I would have that sense of safety while still doing fun Hive stuff.
So, this @pregosauce account is my "me" account where I can write and use my Gladius cards and play Rising Star, and my other account is where I keep assets as I get them because I do have all of my Keys and Passwords secured, tattooed, and on the birth certificates of my 5 brand new babies.
Thanks for reading, I hope that this post can save you the heart attack and nausea that I caused myself!
Image credit: SHVETS Productions via pexels