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How to Keep Your Seed Phrase Secure

Read 4 min
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— Since your seed phrase can be used to gain access to all of your crypto, it must be handled with extreme care

— Losing your seed phrase can mean losing your cryptocurrencies

— It’s important to keep it in a secure place and you could consider breaking it up into several pieces to enhance security

— Keep your seed phrase on a metal backup for the ultimate protection against the elements

Your seed phrase (also called a secret recovery phrase) serves as the backup to all of your crypto assets. If anything ever happens to your hardware wallet, it can be used to regain access to them. It’s vital to keep it secure for that exact reason. In this article, we’ll go over some best practices.

Why It’s Important To Keep Your Seed Phrase Secure

When you start your Ledger – or any other hardware wallet – experience, you’ll be asked to write down a set of words. In Ledger’s case, this would be a list of 24 words. This is known as your seed phrase, which is the backup to all cryptocurrencies you’ll manage with your device. This means that if anything ever happens to your Ledger device, you can always regain access to your crypto assets through your seed phrase. Your crypto is safe from loss, malfunction, or even theft.

It’s vital to keep this safe for these two key reasons:

  1. Anyone with access to your seed phrase can access all of your accounts.
  2. If you lose access to your seed phrase, you won’t have a backup in case you lose access to your wallet.

How To Look After Your Seed Phrase

1. Never Share It With Anyone

A seed phrase must never be shared with anyone and be kept out of anyone else’s reach. A safe, hidden place that only you know of and only you can get to would be best. Don’t let anyone know where you have hidden it, and don’t leave it sitting on your living room table.

2. Keep Your Seed Phrase Away From The Internet

First of all, this means your seed phrase must never be entered into any smartphone, computer, or other device that can connect to the internet. If you’re using a software (hot) wallet spyware can target your computer or smartphone and allow the attacker to find the files containing your seed phrase, even if it has only been entered a single time. The same goes for taking pictures of your seed phrase or uploading it on cloud-based storage services. If you’re already using a hardware wallet, your seed phrase is safe from online threats, but uploading a copy of it to the internet immediately compromises the security of your device.

3. Protect Your Seed Phrase From Damage

A safe place doesn’t only mean somewhere out of sight. Your seed phrase should also be kept in a place where it wouldn’t be facing the elements. For example, if you’re keeping your 24 words on a piece of paper, anywhere close to water pipes could be an issue if there’s ever a leak. A piece of paper isn’t exactly the most durable material. Ink can wear off, water could leave it illegible and fire could destroy it.

Accessories like the Cryptosteel Capsule Solo and the Billfodl both allow you to record your seed phrase on a steel backup, making it resistant to fire, water damage, and other physical threats to your crypto access. That means your private keys stay private – and your seed phrase stays secure on a medium that cannot be destroyed.

If you don’t have a safe place to store your seed phrase, you can also consider another backup alternative: Ledger Recover. Essentially, Ledger Recover is a paid optional service that allows you to restore access to your crypto accounts no matter where you are, simply with your identification.

4. Split it into parts and store them separately

A clever method of keeping your seed phrase secure is by splitting it up into multiple parts. This could drastically increase the security of your seed phrase if done correctly.

In this example, you could have three pieces of your seed phrase: Part A, Part B and Part C. Each would only have a few words of your entire seed phrase written on it. This means that with only one part, you wouldn’t be able to reconstruct your seed phrase. Storing the parts of your seed phrase in different places is also a good idea. The most important part is to do it correctly.

Securing Your Seed Phrase Is Just The Beginning

Taking care of your seed phrase is the biggest responsibility you’ll face when dealing with crypto, but by continually educating yourself on best practices and the tools available to you, you’ll leave yourself free to enjoy the spoils of being your own bank, without the stress.

Knowledge is Power.

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