If protecting your seed phrase is all you learn from reading my columns, then I’ve done my job. The seed phrase is the most important part when it comes to the security of your cryptocurrency. If someone obtains it, they can access all of your cryptocurrency and destroy your account. Intentionally or unintentionally handing your seed phrase to someone is equivalent to handing your debit card to someone and pin.
In this post, I’ll explain how to protect your seed phrase and show you some of the tools I use to protect mine.
A seed phrase is a string of 12 to 24 words generated by your cryptocurrency wallet. For example:
Write down your seed phrase and keep it in a safe place. It’s your key to unlocking your wallet in the future if you ever need to restore your wallet on a new computer or replace your hardware wallet.
Four things you should never do:
- Never store your seed phrase online.
- Never enter your seed phrase into an online application without your due diligence.
- Never give anyone your seed phrase.
- Don’t lose your seed sense.
These are a few products that I use to protect my seed senses. Stored offline, these products are resistant to water and/or fire and many other harsh or extreme conditions. They are stored physically (offline) — away from online hackers — and are built to last. They range in price from $45 to $585 depending on the level of protection you want and how many seed phrases you need to protect:
By now, you’re probably wondering why you’d want to spend $110 on a stainless steel password protector. you are after all could be Just write an opening sentence on a Post-It note and tuck it deep in your desk drawer, or stash it in your safe.
That’s all true, but accessing your cryptocurrency is not the same as accessing your online bank account: if you lose it, you lose it! There is no way to recover or reset your seed phrase. Clicking on “Forgot password” is not an option. You can stare at your money online all day and watch it increase in value, but that’s all you can do without your starter phrase. Being in that situation is very painful – and depressing. If you’re storing $5,000, $10,000, or any amount of crypto, you can afford to keep your seed phrase well secured.
For our example, let’s use Stonebook as the seed phrase protector and Arculus as the hardware wallet. Stonebook, as the name suggests, is water and tear resistant and has enough pages to back up more than 50 crypto wallets. Plus, at $45, it’s the best value of the three.
Stonebook is an easy way to store all your crypto seed phrases offline. You can keep this little book in a bank vault or a safe location of your choice. It has the following specifications:
- 100% offline and safe from hackers
- 80 Page Stone Paper Notebook
- Works with any ballpoint pen
- Organizes seed phrases and private keys
- Shieldcrypt paper encryption for maximum security
- 3.5″ x 5.5″ Stone Paper Notebook
Here is an example of how to use Stonebook by setting up the hardware wallet Arculus.
Go to the app store and download the Arculus Wallet app. Tap “Get Started” and place the Arculus card on the back of your phone to activate.
Create a PIN to secure your device and now you will be presented with your 12 word recovery seed. For the purposes of this post, I will show you the seed phrase.
You will now be asked to re-enter the seed phrase to confirm that you wrote it down correctly. After confirmation, your Arculus hardware wallet is configured. You can now add digital assets to it.
Before sending assets to a wallet, I delete the entire wallet and test the recovery process. I never want to have money in my wallet that I can’t recover. Especially for Arculus, I go to ‘Settings’ and choose ‘Restore new map’. It will ask for my 12 word seed phrase. I will enter the sentence and confirm that I can recover it. Once confirmed, I feel comfortable sending money.
NOTE: If you try to take a screenshot of your seed phrase, Arculus will empty it. (Well done, Arculus!)
One accessory ShieldFolio offers is the Ghost Pen ($15), which allows you to write seed sentences with the invisible ink that the included black light reveals. Let’s write the same seed phrase with the Ghost pen.
How do you protect your seed phrase? Let me know in the comments.