How to Make Sure that I Keep my Crypto Safe with Ledger

Beginner Juin 18, 2020

Keep Crypto Safe
Key Takeaways
– It’s key to use the legitimate Ledger Live app which is available on ledger.com
– Remembering your PIN is vital as well, but your recovery phrase can help you regain access to your crypto if you forgot it
– If you lost your recovery phrase, but still have access to your device and PIN, you can equally regain access to your crypto
– Should both be lost, your crypto will become inaccessible
– It’s also vital to keep your recovery phrase secure, offline and out of anyone’s reach
Ledger keep safe

Ledger hardware wallets are the best at keeping your crypto safe. Our devices use only top-of-the-line Secure Element chips to protect your valuable assets. There are still a few best practices that need to be kept in mind to maintain the security of your cryptocurrencies – and today we’ll go over those.

Using the Legitimate Ledger Live app

Ledger Live is a powerful tool to help provide you with the best crypto experience. Along with your Ledger hardware wallet, it enables you with complete control over your own crypto assets like Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP and 22 more coins as well as over 1500 tokens. You can even stake your Tezos and Tron for passively earning crypto rewards and buy more crypto directly through it.

It is, however, key that you are using the legitimate Ledger Live app.

There are several phishing attempts out there in the world of cryptocurrencies – so much so that we’ve written a dedicated article on it to help arm our users against them. A common phishing scam that we see is a fake Ledger Live app, most notably a fake Chrome extension or fake app for Android. We urge everyone to never interact with these apps – and definitely never enter your 24-word recovery phrase into any application. This should only be entered into a legitimate hardware wallet if needed. We also strongly recommend to only get Ledger Live through our website: www.ledger.com

We do sometimes get questions as well on losing crypto assets if you delete an account on Ledger Live, or if you can lose your Bitcoin when you delete the Bitcoin app from your Ledger device. In both of these cases, not to worry. If you delete an account on Ledger Live, you can simply re-add the same one through your Ledger hardware wallet. This means that even resetting Ledger Live wouldn’t affect your crypto assets. If you uninstall your Bitcoin app from your Ledger device, you can simply reinstall it. So long as your device is still set up with the same 24 words, it’ll grant access to the same accounts, thus equally not resulting in any losses. This is due to how apps work – you can read more about this here.

To recap:
– Always make sure to get Ledger Live through ledger.com.
– Never enter your 24 words into any device other than a legitimate hardware wallet
– The real Ledger Live app will never ask you for your recovery phrase
– Uninstalling an app from your device or removing an account in Ledger Live does not affect your crypto

What was my PIN code again?

We all forget things sometimes – it happens. Your PIN is definitely an important thing to remember since it’s the key to unlocking your Ledger device. If you cannot unlock it, you cannot access your crypto riches. What’s more: if you enter an incorrect PIN code three times, your Ledger device will reset itself and wipe the previous recovery phrase that was on it. This is part of a security mechanism so no one could endlessly try to guess your PIN code. So if you’d forget your Ledger’s PIN code, that’d mean it’s game over right?

Well, not necessarily.

Your PIN code is definitely a vital piece of information for managing your crypto. Should you have lost it, there is still a way to prevent any loss. Your recovery phrase can be used to regain access to your crypto assets. So long as you still have your 24-word recovery phrase, you can enter it into your device and continue managing your cryptocurrencies as if nothing ever happened. We wrote an article to show how this can be done. 

If you forgot both your device’s PIN code and lost your recovery phrase, this would cause the loss of your crypto. This is why we continuously stress the importance of keeping your recovery phrase in a secure location.

To recap:
– If you forgot your PIN yet still have your set of 24 words, your crypto isn’t lost
– In that case, you can enter your 24 words on a freshly reset device
– If you both forgot your PIN and have lost your recovery phrase, your crypto will be lost

I’m sure I left my Nano X right here…

The answer to no longer having your Ledger device is the same as having forgotten your PIN code. Should your Ledger hardware wallet be lost, stolen or broken, your recovery phrase will be of utmost importance. If you still have your set of 24 words, you can still regain access to your valuable crypto assets. In the event you have lost your device and no longer have your recovery phrase, your crypto would unfortunately be considered lost.

An extra note on this though: if anyone were to take your hardware wallet and they also happen to know your PIN code, they can steal all the crypto assets you manage through your Ledger device. Please never share your PIN code with anyone. If they don’t have your PIN, they’d still not be able to access your funds. At any rate, if your device is stolen, it’d be best to restore your funds through your 24 word recovery phrase and move them elsewhere.

To recap:
– If your device gets lost, stolen or broken, you can use your recovery phrase to regain access to your crypto
– Should you no longer be able to use your device and not have your 24 words, your crypto will be lost
– In the event that someone steals your Ledger device and knows your PIN code, they can steal your crypto – Never share your PIN code with anyone
– Though they wouldn’t have access without your PIN code, we do recommend moving your crypto elsewhere if your device gets stolen

Losing the most vital data: your recovery phrase

As you’ve probably gathered from the previous part, your 24-word recovery phrase is a pretty big deal. It’s the backup to all of your cryptocurrencies and can save all your assets if any difficulties arise. Sure enough, your 24-word recovery phrase must be kept safe at all times.

Unfortunately, things can happen to it. A spelling error when writing down your 24-word recovery phrase is easily made, but could have catastrophic consequences. Also since it’s on a piece of paper, it wouldn’t take too much for it to get damaged to the point where you can no longer read your 24 words. Even more, a piece of paper can easily be misplaced or lost.

Now, the loss of your 24-word recovery phrase can indeed lead to the loss of your crypto… if you can no longer access your Ledger device. If you still have a working Ledger Nano X or Ledger Nano S, you can simply unlock it with your PIN code and manage your crypto assets. We would definitely recommend sending your crypto assets elsewhere and getting a new set of 24 words though since they’re the only backup of all your crypto holdings. For optimal security, it’d be best if you’d send them to another hardware wallet. In case of a spelling error, you can simply use the Recovery Check app and try to find out which word of the BIP39 word list you might have gotten wrong.

If someone else managed to get a hold of your set of 24 words, however, your crypto assets are definitely at risk. If this were to happen, it’s important to act quickly and send your cryptocurrencies elsewhere. If you’re able to act faster than whoever else got access to your recovery phrase, you can still save your crypto assets.

Should you have lost both your recovery phrase and no longer be able to access your Ledger device, unfortunately there’s nothing you could do. Your crypto assets would then have become inaccessible.

To recap:
– Your recovery phrase is your saving grace if anything happens to your device
– It must, however, be written down correctly: the smallest spelling error renders it useless
– If you lose your set of 24 words but still have access to your device, you can send your crypto to a different address and create a new recovery phrase after
– If you lose both your 24 words and cannot access your device, your crypto will be lost
– If someone else can access your 24 words, your crypto are at risk since they can access it

I’ll never lose my 24 words, I saved it on my computer

Please, whatever you do: NEVER enter your 24-word recovery phrase on any computer, smartphone or other internet-connected device. The sole purpose of your Ledger hardware wallet is to keep the access to your cryptocurrencies completely offline. Entering your recovery phrase into any device that can connect to the internet completely defeats the purpose of using a hardware wallet. 

If you enter your 24 words – in any form – on a computer, smartphone or other device that can connect to the internet, your crypto assets are at risk. This includes taking pictures of it. Even if it’s only been on your PC for a few seconds, this can permanently affect the security of the crypto assets linked to your recovery phrase.

Should your recovery phrase ever have been on an internet-connected device, it’d be best to send your crypto elsewhere – ideally to another hardware wallet – while you reset your device to get a new set of 24 words. Once you have a new recovery phrase, you can safely use this again.

Another element is to never share your 24 words with anyone. If someone else has access to your 24-word recovery phrase, they could take all of your crypto assets. As such, it’s best to keep your it in a secure location, out of anyone’s sight at a place only you know of. It shouldn’t be given to anyone – not even to Ledger. We’d equally never ask for your 24 words.

To recap:
– Your crypto assets are at risk if you enter your 24-word recovery phrase on a computer, smartphone or other internet-connected device
– This goes for any format: photo, encrypted file etc. – even if only entered once
– Your cryptocurrencies are also at risk if you share your 24 words with anyone since they can access all your crypto assets through it
– Ledger will never ask for your recovery phrase

Going the Extra Mile

Now there are some extra steps you can take to have more robust backups. For one, you could get yourself a second Ledger device to serve as a backup. This can be done by entering the same 24-word recovery phrase as you’ve gotten from your first device into it. Not only would this give you a backup device in case anything were to happen to your first device, it could equally bring some extra flexibility. You can read more about this here.

For another, you could look into getting a solid steel version of your recovery phrase. Suddenly, your 24 words would become resistant to water and fire damage, as well as being really tough to break.

Your Ledger device brings an extremely high level of security for your crypto assets. If you keep the advice mentioned in this article to heart, you’ll be setting yourself up for a great crypto experience – and we look forward to helping you get the most out of your Ledger device.

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