Ledger Nano and its partner Ledger Live
Ledger is a great example of this approach in action.
Its hardware wallet (Ledger Nano) stores your NFT private keys offline at all times, while its management interface Ledger Live allows you to buy, sell, visualise and manage your NFTs easily, making it the safest and most enjoyable way to explore the Web3 ecosystem. Another particularly helpful feature of Ledger Live is an NFT integration that shows the full details of any NFT transaction you go to sign through the application, meaning maximum transparency and minimal blind signing risks as you interact with dApps.
Ledger Live is a powerful application helping you up your NFT security in one easy-to-use app.
Using Ledger Live, you can get all the important details of an NFT transaction and keep your NFTs safe, all in one place.
What is a Seed Phrase and How Does it Work?
It wouldn’t be a proper discussion of NFT security without a few words on the seed phrase (or recovery phrase). When you create your own crypto wallet, you will always receive a set of 24 words known as the seed phrase: this is simply a back up of all the private keys secured within that crypto wallet, allowing you to recover your assets on another wallet, even if you lose access to the original.
It is extremely important to keep these (up to) 24 words safe, because ANYBODY can use them to recover your crypto assets, via any other wallet. They are like the master key to your valuable NFTs, and how you manage these words will make or break your security.
How to Manage your Seed Phrase
There are a few essential rules when it comes to managing your seed phrase. Let’s go through some of these extra important NFT security tips now.
Firstly, Never tell anyone your seed phrase. Read that again.
If someone has access to your seed phrase, consider your NFTs gone, it’s that simple. This might seem straightforward, but there are a few things to consider in terms of how you store these words.
Where to store your Seed Phrase and Private Keys
Never record your phrase on your phone, computer or anywhere it will be connected to the internet. You’ll know from our previous section that connected devices allow scammers and hackers to access your sensitive data – this can be done via bad links that deploy spyware onto your device, meaning that connected devices are not the place to store your precious seed phrase.
Instead, make sure to write down your seed phrase on paper (or preferably, record it on metal so that your record of it can’t be destroyed by fire or water). This is your only back up if you ever lose access to your NFT wallet. Yes, that’s right – if you lose it, there’s no way back.
Never take a picture of your seed phrase…unless its just Rick Astley lyrics Credit: Eggplant_Elon
NFT Security Starts At Home
Storing your seed phrase and private keys somewhere safe is very important. Some keep them in a secure spot in your house, a personal safe, a safety deposit box or with a close and trusted family member. Some people even engrave their seed phrase on thin metal slabs!
The Winklevoss Twins famously take their private key storage incredibly seriously. They split it into different parts. Then, they stored each part in several banks across the four time zones of the US.
You likely don’t have to go as far as that! Still – the concept of splitting up copies of your seed phrase (and or your private keys), and storing them in different places, is a high-level security practice. Wherever you decide to keep your seed phrase, protecting it well means keeping your NFTs secure. However, make sure it’s accessible and you may want to make some copies, just in case.
Smart Contracts and How They Affect Your NFT Security
Smart contracts are digital agreements that execute without a middleman. This allows blockchain users to interact with decentralised apps (and one another) in a “trustless” fashion.
However – watch out! You cannot reverse the action a smart contract triggers once you sign it. This makes smart contracts a popular vehicle for scammers looking to get access to your NFTs under false pretenses. Many scams today trick users into interacting with a malicious smart contract. In effect, the scammers make you open the door to your own assets. This is why understanding what you’re agreeing to is so essential for NFT security.