A recovery phrase, or seed phrase, is the 12/18/24 words generated by your hardware wallet during the initial setup process. It is used to encrypt your private key into an easier-to-understand format (i.e. instead of a string of letters and numbers) which can then be used to identify, authenticate, and grant you access to the cryptocurrency in your wallet. Therefore, anyone who knows your recovery phrase can access your wallet and funds.
Not to mention that if your hardware wallet breaks, is stolen, or misplaced, your recovery phrase can be used to restore it. But if your recovery phrase is stolen or misplaced, there is no bank or institution to back you up or give you a replacement. And because of the secure nature and random mathematical sequences used to generate the private key, there’s no way you or anyone else can recover it, so you will lose access to your cryptocurrency.
So, it’s vital that you keep it private and secure.
But what are the best ways in which to protect your recovery phrase?
HOW TO SECURELY STORE YOUR RECOVERY PHRASE
First things first, you need to make sure you are correctly recording down your recovery phrase when first setting up your hardware wallet. A change in just one letter can be enough to make you part ways with your cryptocurrencies, so make sure you double-check (or triple!) that you’ve got it right!
Secondly, you should NEVER store your recovery phrase on a device or application that is connected to the internet. Storing it offline is the safest option, where there is less chance of you being hacked.
There are also a few other things we recommend you DON’T do:
- Take a screenshot or mobile photo of your recovery phrase because someone can simply hack into your computer/mobile and copy it
- Store it on email or cloud services
- Rely on your memory alone to remember your recovery phrase
So what is the best option for storing your recovery phrase safely?
Of course, you could simply write down your recovery phrase on a piece of paper, but this isn’t the most durable option. Paper can easily be destroyed or misplaced. Just ask Clifton Collins from Dublin, who lost access to 6,000 Bitcoins after his cleaner chucked out scraps of paper that, unbeknownst to her, stored his recovery phrase!
Luckily, there are companies such as Billfodl, who have created recovery phrase devices to store your recovery phrase safely. The Billfodl is constructed of 316 stainless steel, with a melting point of almost 1400 degrees celsius. It can withstand more than double the temperature of an average house fire and it’s impervious to any type of electrical hazard. Using a randomised set of character tiles, you simply recreate your recovery phrase in the steel unit, creating an almost indestructible backup.
The Billfodl is a much more permanent, solid, and dependable solution to storing your recovery phrase. Remember, your assets are safe if your 24-word recovery phrase is! You can get 5% off the Billfodl until 14/9/21 with discount code ‘BILLFODL5’.
No matter what recovery phrase storage solution you decide to go with, it’s important to remember that offline is ALWAYS the safest option. But while paper does the job, steel devices like the Billfodl take your seed phrase’s security to the next level. Now, the choice is yours — steel-grade security or paper-grade security?