Ledger Nano: Security Made Easy

Beginner Jan 14, 2021 · 3 min read

Ledger Nano: Security Made Easy
Key Takeaways:
— Your crypto assets are completely intangible and exist solely on the blockchain
— How your handle your private keys for assets on the blockchain will define how secure those assets are
— Ledger hardware wallets allow you to store your keys within a device that is protected by Secure Element – a military grade security chip. Each device generates its own, unique 24-word recovery phrase which can be used to recover your associated funds if the device itself is lost
— Ledger hardware wallets allow users to set a PIN code, so that nobody else can use the device to access your assets, even if it is lost or stolen

Back in our “Own and use it” Playlist, we explained how important it is to be the true owner of your funds, by ensuring the security and ownership of your private keys. That’s where our Nano hardware wallets come in. And this article is precisely about introducing it to you.

A device that gives you full ownership over your crypto

Two things really matter when you invest in crypto: security and ownership of your coins. As previously mentioned, crypto assets are digital money stored on the blockchain, they are nowhere physically speaking. This means that it is on you to ensure they remain truly and safely yours. To do so, you need to protect the private key which gives access to your coins.

At Ledger, we offer you the best security and provide you with ownership and control over your assets. Therefore, we created the Nano hardware wallets combined with one-single app Ledger Live, to safeguard your private keys and mitigate potential risks. In short, the devices are designed so that your private keys never leave the security of the hardware, even when connecting your wallet to your smartphone or desktop.

Your Private key is always safe

Why is Ledger Nano the most secure: don’t trust, verify

At Ledger, we are pioneering hardware wallet technology that provides unprecedented levels of security for crypto assets. How? By creating certified devices that are secure by design.

  • All of our Nano hardware wallets possess a certified chip, designed to withstand sophisticated attacks. They are called Secure Element (SE), and are cryptographically protected, similar to the ones used in the likes of passports and SIM cards. Unlike the generic chips used in remote controls or microwaves, your private keys stay safe and isolated inside the Secure Element chips. 
  • Besides, Ledger Nano wallets are the only hardware wallets to have their own custom OS – called BOLOS. One designed specifically to protect your crypto assets. Not your family pictures. A tailor-made OS provides you with an enhanced security.
  • Need more proof? Ledger Nano wallets are the first and only certified hardware wallets on the market, certified by ANSSI, the French independent cyber security agency.

Make your device securely yours: the 24-word phrase

Every hardware wallet comes with an authentication process. One that commonly operates at two different levels: the PIN number and the Recovery phrase.

Your PIN number or PIN code

When setting up a new Nano device, you are asked to choose a PIN code. This code allows you to unlock your device, similarly to the passcode you use to unlock your smartphone. Here is a list of DOs and DONTs to help kick it off.

How to secure your Pin code

Your 24-word Recovery Phrase

You may have already heard about that one. Whether it’s called Recovery Phrase, Seed Phrase, 24 Words, it’s all the same. Your 24-word recovery phrase is the only backup to your private keys. 

While your PIN code is unique to your physical device, your Recovery phrase is directly linked to your private key, therefore to your funds. It remains the same even when you switch to another device. And if discovered by anyone, it would give them access to your funds.

Your recovery phrase is a unique sequence of 24 words, randomly generated by your hardware wallet during initialization This is the only time they are displayed and they are the only backup to your funds. Since no third parties are involved, there is no other backup. You are the only one in charge of your money. 

For example, if you forget your PIN code or lose your device, your 24 words allow you to regain access to your funds via your backup Ledger hardware wallet or simply any other wallet. 

Conclusion: do not share or lose your 24 words, ever. Keep them safe and secure.

How? When your 24 words are displayed on your device screen, you must carefully write down (in the correct order and without any misspellings) your 24 words. Then safeguard them after you initialize your hardware wallet. To help you do that, every Ledger hardware wallet comes with a Recovery Sheet: a physical card specifically designed to store your 24 words. Please review the best practices to protect your recovery phrase and sheet, and carefully follow them. Once again, it is your responsibility.

How to secure your recovery phrase

Knowledge is power – so keep on learning! If you enjoy getting to grips with crypto and blockchain, check out our School of Block video 3 Ways to Earn Passive Income from Crypto

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