What if my device gets broken, lost, or stolen?
How is my data stored?
The way Atomic Wallet works is that all your private data is stored locally on your device, whether it's a smartphone, a PC, or a tablet. The only person who has access to this data is the person who has access to said device. What if something happens to this device? The short answer is, you'll still be able to access your wallet from any other device if you have your backup phrase. You'll just need to install the Atomic Wallet app on your new device and restore your wallet using your 12-word backup phrase.
What is the 12-word backup phrase?
The 12-word backup phrase is the master key to your account. It's used to generate all of your other private keys for each coin. It's also the only way to recover your wallet if you lose your device or forget your password. As you can tell, your 12-word backup phrase will give you access to your funds no matter what. It is of the highest priority to keep your backup safe. We recommend storing your backup offline written on paper in two different places. More about it here.
Note: Your 12-word backup phrase is the only way to recover your wallet.
So if your device is broken, it doesn't mean that all of your funds are gone with it. The 12-word phrase will allow you to access it from another device.
Why can't the Atomic Wallet team give me my backup phrase?
Atomic is a non-custodial wallet. "Non-custodial" simply means decentralized—unlike custodial (centralized) platforms, we don't have any access to your private data, such as your 12-word backup phrase. Meaning, if you didn't have a backup for your 12-word phrase and lost your device, there is no way to access your funds again.
On the upside, this guarantees that you alone are in full control of your crypto, and no one but you can access your wallet unless you give them your 12-word backup phrase or private keys. On the downside, though, it also means we cannot recover your 12-word backup phrase for you because we never had it.
A note regarding a stolen device
In the case of a broken device, everything's pretty clear. A device is dead, your data is dead along with it. But when it comes to a device that is completely operational but is missing, things get complicated. Your data, while encrypted, is still intact on a device that someone else might have access to. Your wallet is still protected by a password, so it doesn't mean that your funds are at risk right away. In the long run, however, if the person that has access to your device is tech-savvy enough, they might crack your password. This is why we recommend setting up a really complex password that cannot be easily cracked, even going as far as using a password generator.
Still, if you are uncertain about whether your password was secure enough and you know for sure that someone else now has access to your device, we recommend acting fast. Access your wallet through another device as soon as you can and send your funds away from it. Then create a new wallet and send your funds there. We cover this procedure in this article (items 2 and 3 on the list).