10 tips for using your hardware wallet safely

19th November 2023

Hardware wallets (or cold wallets) are considered the safest method for storing cryptocurrencies. They provide protection against cyberattacks and physical theft. Indeed, ballet hardwares do not store your private keys on a computer or mobile device connected to the Internet.

However, while they are considered the safest storage option for your crypto funds, zero risk does not exist. Do not forget it.

Indeed, you should know that even hardware wallets can be vulnerable to attacks if you do not use them correctly.

In this article, we will give you 10 tips for using a hardware wallet safely.

1. Choose the right hardware wallet

There are many physical wallets available on the market as Trezor, Bitbox, cold card for example, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Before choosing a hardware wallet, it is important to do some research and read different reviews to find the one that best suits your needs. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a hardware wallet:

  • Know if the wallet is open source (this is extremely important because it allows everyone to review the code and check for flaws)
  • Compatibility with the cryptocurrencies you own or wish to own;
  • The security features offered;
  • Utilisation facility ;
  • The price, obviously.

2. Keep your hardware wallet safe

In reality, your hardware wallet contains your private keys, which are essential for accessing your cryptocurrencies. Remember that cryptocurrencies are not “in your wallet” but it is only the signature that will be made with the wallet.

It is therefore important to keep it in a safe place, out of the reach of thieves and hackers. To do this, store it in a safe place, such as a safe or a hidden place in your home.

Also, never leave it within sight of other people. Do you have fun spreading wads of cash in the street? It's the same with your physical wallets! Hide them!

2. Never use your hardware wallet on an untrusted computer

Also be sure to connect it to your computer or smartphone only when you need to make a transaction.

If you connect your hardware wallet to a computer, make sure it is reliable. Do not use your hardware wallet on a public computer or on a computer you do not trust.

In fact, this is the main security vulnerability of physical wallets. They can become infested with a virus if you connect them to a computer that is itself compromised by a virus. Really be aware of this!

It is possible to infest your wallet by connecting it to a computer or smartphone that has viruses and malware.

3. Know how to protect your recovery phrase

When you configure your hardware wallet, you will be prompted to generate a recovery phrase (also called a seed phrase). This seed phrase is made up of 12 to 24 random words. It is essential for restoring your private keys if you lose or destroy your hardware wallet. So, keep your recovery phrase or seed phrase in a safe place, separated from your hardware wallet.

Do not write your recovery phrase on paper or on a computer. And finally, memorize your recovery phrase or save it on a durable medium, such as a metal plate special.

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4. Update the firmware of your hardware wallet

Hardware wallet manufacturers regularly release firmware updates to fix bugs and add security features.

It is important to update your firmware regularly to ensure that your hardware wallet is protected against the latest threats. Therefore, check the support page of your hardware wallet manufacturer to find out how to update the firmware. Then, follow the manufacturer's instructions to safely update the firmware.

6. Use secure wallet software

When using your hardware wallet to send or receive funds, you must use a secure wallet. For this purpose, there are many wallets renowned for their security such as Samourai Wallet ou Wasabi wallet for example.

Make sure you choose software that has a good reputation for security. If possible, also prioritize your level of confidentiality.

7. Never share your personal information

Your personal information, such as your email address, phone number, and username, can be used by hackers to access your cryptocurrencies. Never share this information with apps you don't know or trust. For that :

  • Be careful when using cryptocurrency websites and apps;
  • Read user reviews before downloading an application from the internet.

8. Always be vigilant

In the field of cryptocurrencies, “common currency” scams, no bad puns intended. Be careful. If you receive an email or message from someone claiming to help you with your crypto funds, beware!

Never click on links in these emails or messages or give your personal or financial information to anyone.

Indeed, the crypto threat landscape is constantly evolving. That's why it's important to stay up to date on the latest threats so you can protect yourself. You can do this by reading crypto news, following crypto security experts, and using a crypto threat monitoring service.

-> Read the article : 6 ways to lose your bitcoins and how to avoid them

9. Enable two-factor authentication

Double authentication (2FA) adds an additional layer of security to your hardware wallet. When 2FA is enabled, you will need to enter a one-time code generated by an authenticator app or physical device, in addition to your recovery phrase and PIN. To activate this second layer of security:

  • Consult your hardware wallet documentation to find out how to enable 2FA;
  • Use a reliable authenticator app, such as Google Authenticator or Authy;
  • Keep your 2FA recovery code in a safe place, separate from your hardware wallet and your recovery phrase.

10. Don’t connect your hardware wallet anywhere

When connecting your hardware wallet to your computer or smartphone, make sure you only do so from trusted sources. Therefore :

  • Do not open unknown files or links when your hardware wallet is connected;
  • Use a secure USB cable to connect your hardware wallet to your device;
  • Make sure your device is up to date with the latest security updates;
  • Only use your hardware wallet on secure Wi-Fi networks.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a way to store your crypto funds securely, a hardware wallet is a great option. By following the advice in this article, you can help protect your funds and use your hardware wallet safely.

Remember that security is the top priority when trading cryptocurrencies. This is why you must remain vigilant by taking all necessary measures to protect your funds.

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Note: No financial advice is given in this or any other article on zonebitcoin. This is information of which you are the sole judge and master. Be responsible with your investments and only invest as much as you are willing to lose.

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Moctar Bouraima

I am passionate about what Bitcoin can bring in terms of financial emancipation and it is with great joy that I share my articles on the subject; Whether it's blockchain, web 3, DeFi, because I know that it helps in one way or another to move the ecosystem forward.

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