Learn about recovery seed phrases – all you need to know about how to keep your wallet recovery seed safe.
For a long time our customers have been asking us what the best way to store their private seed is. Now we have the answer… This week we added two new products to the site. The awesome Cryptotag and Steely are both next-generation seed phrase storage solutions.
Your recovery back up seed (also known as a recovery phrase, or a recovery seed) is one of the cornerstones of Hardware Wallet security; they act as an offline backup of your device, and all of the addresses/wallets which are associated with it.
If your hardware wallet is ever damaged or stolen, you can use your seed phrase to restore access to your wallet and all the addresses related to it.
This is why it is absolutely essential your seed phrase is kept secure. The process of restoring your wallet is really easy; you simply have to enter the words into a new device.
Recovery seeds are either 12 or 24 words long, and will be completely unique to each device you own. Your Ledger or Trezor device will generate these English words for you when you first set the hardware wallet up.
It’s worth noting that although the exact combination/sequence of the words, will be completely unique to you, the actual words might be repeated. For example, a word might appear twice or even more times in your recovery seed phrase.
It is absolutely essential that you see these words generated on the hardware wallet during the set up process – DO NOT TRUST a device which comes with a seed phrase written down for you.
The recovery seed is your “master access key”. Because this is the master key, anyone with access to it can access your data. Therefore, it is important to keep your recovery seed safe — offline.
Think about physical protection for your recovery seed phrase. There are lots of potential points of failure; environmental threats like sunlight, fire and water might all damage a back up depending on the material used to record it. A quick google search will provide numerous examples of people who have lost their back ups due to fire and flood damage.
Both Trezor and Ledger devices come with a recovery seed booklet which they suggest you write your recovery seed phrase in, however MyHardwareWallet do not recommend using these. They are easily lost, and at risk of fire and water damage… Instead, we strongly suggest using a metal back up like a Steely or a Cryptotag.
The Cryptotag starter kit
Here’s the MyHardwareWallet list of tips for storing your recovery seed phrase;
- Do not store your recovery seed digitally. Whether it’s on your mobile phone, tablet or laptop, encrypted or not… it’s too easy for a hacker to get hold of your phrase if you store it digitally – trust us – just don’t do it!
- Keep your recovery seed phrase away from any cameras. It’s worth noting that most laptops and phones have cameras built in – don’t let them see your phrase, even if you don’t think they’re on/recording. Think about any CCTV cameras which might be around when you inscribe your phrase.
- Do not read your seed words out loud.
- Keep your recovery seed card safe from environmental elements. We highly recommend using a product like the Titanium Cryptotag or the stainless steel Steely.
- Ensure you are the only person with access to your recovery seed.
- Consider how your next of kin will access your recovery seed phrase in case you are rendered incapable of doing so.