Investing in cryptocurrency is becoming more popular by the day. And with the ever-increasing demand for crypto, storing crypto assets securely has become a burning issue.
The good news? There are plenty of backup options that ensure that you never lose your crypto wallet - one of which is the "recovery seed phrase," or simply, recovery seed.
Since it allows you to protect your assets and recover them if need be, you'll need to store them in a secure location. But as with most things, there are wrong and right ways to go about it. So, keep scrolling to see the best places to keep your recovery seed phrase!
What Is A Recovery Phrase?
A recovery seed phrase - or a mnemonic recovery - is a line of words that hold the information you require to recover your Bitcoin holdings. The wallet you're using to store digital assets will create a recovery phrase used to prevent losing access to your crypto assets - even in the events of natural disasters.
When you get your recovery phrase, you'll also receive instructions on how to store your seed phrase. The point is you should always be able to access your recovery seed phrase, even if you encounter any kind of emergency.
All recovery seed phrases are unique, and they can consist of either 12 or 24 words. Some of the words may be repeated - but each word is usually different.
The point of the seed phrase is that it allows the Bitcoin funds to be accessed by whoever has them. If something were to happen to your Bitcoin wallet, you could still get your hands on the cryptocurrency funds.
But it's crucial to remember that other people can access them, too, using the exact seed words.
How To Store Your Recovery Seed Phrase
Storing your seed phrase in a safe place is essential, as that ensures your wallet can be assessed and your funds won't be stolen. The key for storing the phrase is to put it in a place that is easy to access - while remaining completely secure.
There are plenty of ways to keep your backup phrase, from paper backup to a safe deposit box - and even online storage. However, we would generally advise you to have a physical backup of your phrase. It's the only way to securely store the phrase from hackers.
That being said, many will still choose long-term storage online for the additional safety of the crypto funds.
We'll cover the best places to store your recovery seed, how to carry out the storage, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of every form of storage below.
Pen And Paper
Using a regular pen and paper as the physical storage of your seed phrase is perhaps the thing most people think of first. You can simply write it out on a piece of paper, and it could give you enough security for your crypto assets.
Do note that, while storing your seed phrase on paper may seem like a great idea, it comes with certain downsides. For example, the paper may seem rather convenient enough to protect your crypto wallet, but it's easily destroyed in a fire or flood.
Simply writing your seed phrase on a piece of paper seems great, but if you lose it, you can't regain access to your digital assets. So, you should consider better forms of backup.
Stainless Steel Plates
Stainless steel plates are one of the favorite ways to store seed phrases. They're undoubtedly far more durable than good, old paper; they won't get destroyed in flood - and you can keep them virtually anywhere, as they're generally pretty small.
The companies that sell them also let you pick a size you like, from small and portable to larger, intended to be kept in at-home crypto safe or a safe deposit box, along with the tools for engraving.
Some crypto users may opt to encrypt their seed phrase and store it in digital form. We advise against this, though. Storing seed phrases in any digital format is generally not recommended.
Of course, the phrase shouldn't be sent via email, so storing the phrase on a flash drive can be as secure as physical storage. However, the issue is that encryption is not that simple to carry out if you aren't too familiar with it - and on top of it, remember that a flash drive usually has a shelf life of 10 years.
The Best Places To Store Recovery Seed Phrases
The most important thing to remember as a crypto holder is:
Your seed phrase is as valuable as the contents of your wallet.
That's why seed phrase storage must be thought out perfectly, allowing only you to gain access to it quickly if need be. And, more importantly, keeping it in a highly secure spot and preventing it from falling into the wrong hands.
Fortunately, since the digital seed phrase is just 12 or 24 random words, it can be secured using different methods without too much hassle. Our advice is to make at least one copy of the seed phrase - and keep them all in separate (but safe) places.
So, below we are going to discuss the best places to store them - allowing you to get to them quickly but without anyone else being able to get their hands on it.
The best places are always in plain sight - and hiding your seed phrase underneath your ground coffee, flour, or sugar is one of the best places out there. The key point to remember is to use a ziplock bag to put the paper or steel plate in before you put the actual contents of the container on top.
Using books to hide your seed phrase for accessing your new wallet can be the 'cool' way to hide it. You can use a dictionary - marking the words discreetly, and perhaps even writing the instructions on the words somewhere. If all that seems all too complicated, you can always hide the paper with the seed phrase in a book simply, but make sure you put it in a book nobody is likely to touch.
Some people like to use the home safe - and that can be an alright idea, but in certain cases. If you must use the safe, make sure that it's a safe installed into the wall or closet, making it impossible to take out. Next, it should be safe that is already hidden well, so burglars don't see it.
Attic or Basement
Attics and basements are often skipped during a burglary, as they are oftentimes filled with stuff people don't need. No burglar is going to expect to find hardware wallets or steel plates in there. If that seems like a good place for your seed phrase, make sure to use a metal box so mice or rats cannot get in and damage it.
Picture frames are one of the best places to hide your seed recovery device for maximum security. Many burglars will look behind pictures and paintings, which is why you should hide the paper or steel plate between the picture and the frame. It is pretty accessible while being pretty safe.
Going into the backyard and burying your seed phrase can be the ideal spot for you if everything else doesn't do the trick. It can be the way to prevent having your money lost because of the 12/24-word combination.
Where NOT To Store Your Seed Phrase
There are plenty of places to keep your seed phrase. Some of them are the perfect spot to secure the assets - while others are plain wrong.
Whether you are using a flash drive, USB stick, or regular paper, you need to hide it somewhere - ideally in several different places. It's challenging to say what the right place for you is, but we can discuss what places you should always avoid, as they carry a higher security risk.
For one, avoid safe deposit boxes in banks. Many people believe deposit boxes are the definition of security, but they're not. Banks make mistakes, and boxes can be lost - and you don't want to risk losing your seed phrase like that.
Home safes are often advised against, too, as they could be taken out of your home by thieves to be opened up later. It should go without saying, but - refrain from hiding your private key or seed phrase in your bed or under it; that's usually the first place the burglar will look. The same goes for fridges - and yes, some people tried this method.
Jewelry boxes and drawers are generally full of valuables, so that's not the best way to hide your recovery phrase.
Another thing to avoid when it comes to keeping your seed phrase safe is to use cloud storage - and using screenshots is advised against, too. Both would leave you (and your hardware wallet) open to a cyber security attack.
One of the best tips we can offer you is to use multiple locations for extra security. That way, if you lose one key or forget where it is, you can still access another steel plate or USB drive.
Hide the seed phrase in multiple places throughout the house, in plain sight, each in a different location. Using a separate device for every spot helps, as well, because your seed words - and, in essence, your master key - will always be in your possession.
Keeping your hardware wallet safe can be quite a challenge. And sure, that's why recovery seed phrases exist - but they need to be kept safe, too.
We've gone over everything you can do to secure your private keys - and discussed a few things you should refrain from as well. Keeping your private key safe is equivalent to keeping your crypto assets safe, so it's critical that you secure it well.