<== An Outsider Look at HIVE ==>
Hive Keychain is a software program that allow users to access web sites in the Hive-O-Sphere without sharing their keys.
The HIVE Keychain family includes Browser Helper Objects for Firefox, Chrome and Brave web browsers. A BHO is a program one adds to the web browser. People who use multiple browsers must install Keychain on each browser. The group also created dApps for Android and Apple devices.
The group also produced the STEEM Keychain back in the day.
The keychain is a valuable tool as it provides a mechanism for authenticating calls to the HIVE blockchain without sharing keys.
IMHO, the first actions new users on HIVE should take is to create a secure back up of their keys and to install keychain. So, I wrote a blurb about key security.
HIVE and the Importance of Key Security
HIVE is a decentralized blockchain that runs in cyberspace. There is not a central organization that owns or administers the blockchain.
Users accesses HIVE through a combination of account names and keys for the account.
Since there is not a central organization that owns HIVE, it is up to the users to secure their the keys.
If a user loses their keys or if a thief steals the keys; then the user will lose the funds in the account. There is no mechanism to retrieve the lost funds. One can find hundreds of inactive accounts on HIVE. In many cases the original owner lost the keys and the funds will never be recovered.
After installing the keychain, one loads the keys into the keychain and locks the keychain with an easy to remember password. One can then access any site on HIVE with the keychain.
The keychain simply authenticates transactions. The chain does not share your keys with third parties.
Users Need to Create a Secure Backup
HIVE Keychain does not replace a secure back up.
New HIVE users need to make a secure backup of their keys. When securing keys it is best to have a secure offsite backup. If your house burns down, then you will lose both your computer and any media containing the keys. Some users print their keys and store the keys in a safety deposit box or with a local lawyer.
If you keep a local copy of your keys; the file should be encrypted file. I actually have my keys in an encrypted file in an encrypted directory. I have a twice encrypted copy of the file on a hidden drive on a secure server in a different state.
There is a key recovery program that can help in the case of stolen keys. The accounts can designate a recovery account. If the keys get stolen, the owner of the recovery account can issue a restoration order for the keys. The operation requires the old keys.
Users should never share the keys except with Hive.blog, The Keychain BHO or HiveSigner.com.