There's been a lot of discussions lately about security in wallets and I wanted to chime in some facts about the Steem account wallets and how they differentiate from others.
Thefts have been growing lately, recently NiceHash made an announcement stating their hot wallet had been emptied and miners lost an equivalent of $60 million in Bitcoin. With adoption and more users these thefts and hacks will just keep on increasing, its going to be a wild west where only the truly safe options will remain.
As you are aware by now in crypto, only you hold the keys to your wallet. If someone else has a copy of them or you are storing them on another site such as exchanges then they are never truly yours as they can be stolen or hacked at any time. This is why many only "hodl" their coins and don't trade with them on a daily basis - this is also a big reason for the ridiculous volatility we have been seeing in prices as only a minority trade actively with their coins. Many use so called cold wallets to keep their private keys safe, same thing goes for your Steem account - you should have your private keys backed up offline and in different places to keep your account as safe as possible.
Steem offers an account recovery like no other crypto does. If you have created your account through the normal signup process and the @steem account has created it, this means you are eligible for an account recovery in case anyone were to get a hold of your private key. The recovery works only if you still have your initial private key though, which means that losing the key completely will result in the control of the account and its funds being lost forever. If someone were to take your private key and use it to change it into another so you lose control over your account - the recovery option gives you a whole month time to reclaim it. No matter how often the private key keeps changing, within one month you can recover it by proving you are the real owner of the account with the original phone number and email you used when signing up. This will give the account access back to the original private key which you then can change to another one combined with all other keys within the account.
Safety in savings and vesting
Other than the account recovery which is revolutionary on its own we have some added safety precautions. One of them is your Steempower investment which takes up to a full week to power down 1/13th of it. This means that if a hacker was to gain access to your keys he will have to wait up to a week to be able to steal your Steem that are vested on your account - giving you enough time to recover the private key with the option above.
If you like to hold a lot of coins liquid such as Steem Dollars or Steem, we also have a Savings account that takes up to 3 days to move them from savings into your account to make them transferable. This also gives you a lot of time in the case of a hack to regain control over your account.
Funds you have just laying there in liquid form have a high chance to get stolen in the case of a hack, though. That's why advice most users to not leave big sums just there on your account. Don't give the hackers a chance to even attempt to hack your wallet.
This is what makes the Steem wallet so unique compared to others. With other wallets such as Bitcoin or Ethereum, if a hacker were to gain access of your private keys, you'd have to say goodbye to all of your funds and never be able to get them back.
Remember that Steem is still a fairly new project and updating constantly, we will probably see more upgrades to safety precautions over time. There's also been some talk that many crypto investors don't feel safe with using a website to handle their wallets for risk of getting hacked (which could be a reason why there are so much Steem on exchanges),for that @jesta has created a desktop wallet called Vessel which I urge anyone to check out. Not only being safe it also offers a lot of different functions to make your Steem activities easier, such as delegations.
What are your thoughts on the security of the Steem Wallet compared to other ones?