As a new entrant into the world of cryptocurrencies, one of the first things you will be confronted with will be your choice of wallet for the storage of your digital currencies and assets. There are a number of factors that end up determinining your wallet choice and this include, ease-of-use, security, appealing user interface among other factors.
And as you mature in the game and accrue more coins in your stables, you begin to wander and ponder in search of more secure mediums of storage in order to help shield you from the prying eyes and fingers of scammers and wallet-hackers that throng crypto-street. This is the point where you begin to consider the need for a hardware/cold storage wallet. Thus far, hardware wallets have proven to be one of the most secure of all the various cryptocurrency wallet forms – particularly because they are mostly offline unless plugged into an internet-connected device.
The points below can guide you as you seek to make your crypto hardware wallet choice. Despite these recommended guides it is advisable that you conduct/Do Your Own Research (DYOR) in order to finally settle on which hardware wallet best works for you;
- Do not purchase a hardware wallet from a retailer, buy directly from the manufacturer through their own approved portals/channels – this way you can to a large extent be certain that the device’s private keys and seed have not been tampered with and that you alone have access to them.
- Go for multi-currency wallets – to help you store the various digital currencies and assets you hold in your portfolio.
- Go for wallets that are well-known in the crypto community and have high reviews – nothing trumps word-of-mouth recommendation by people who have actually used a product.
- Look out for regular system updates of your hardware wallets and make the necessary upgrades timely. Wallet manufacturers do update their systems regularly in order to either help beef-up security or correct some detected malfunctions or both.
- It is advisable also that you have a temporary storage wallet (likely a regular mobile or desktop hot wallet) to transfer your coins into when updating your hardware wallet’s software in order to safe-guard your coins in the unlikely event that the update causes your coins to disappear.
- Store your wallet in a secure and conducive environment to prevent theft and damage.
- Store your 24-word seed keys (which you would have written down upon first usage of your hardware wallet) separately from where you keep the wallet – this helps you to maintain and keep control of your coins even if your wallet device gets stolen. After all, it isn’t about the wallet, it is about who holds the seed and private keys and password to the wallet address.
- Write down the various Blockchain addresses used to store your coins on the hardware wallet – this might come in handy in case you need to recover your coins after theft or damage of the hardware device (this you will need obviously in conjunction with your seed keys and password).
- Do not polish or clean wallet with liquid or semi-liquid substance. If you feel that your wallet has become dusty, just use a soft cotton material or brush to remove dust or related particles.
- Do not use a hardware wallet device for too long a time. Three (3) years is quite enough to replace it.