A private key is an alphanumeric code that indicates a crypto wallet’s address, as well as the password used to access it. Private keys must only be accessed by the wallet owner.
Understanding the term
When opening a crypto wallet, a private key is automatically generated to refer to its address. Having private keys means a person has total control over that particular crypto wallet and all of its assets. Without private keys, it is impossible to access a wallet and transfer funds.
As blockchain has an irreversible nature, private keys cannot be altered once created. Users are advised to handle private keys with care and avoid sharing them with anyone (to protect their funds from being stolen).
It is advisable to transfer one’s digital funds into a new wallet if they suspect their private key has been compromised. Another way of protecting one’s private key is to store it safely through offline or online means. Offline storage of private keys is considered to be safer than online options, as they are far from the reach of hackers.
To create private keys, an alphanumeric string is enclosed in a file that is then encrypted or decrypted using an algorithm. Except for the original generator, nobody else has the authorization to access private keys.