When it comes to NFTs, not only can they cost a pretty penny, but they hold a lot of sentimental value. You may consider storing your NFTs in the most secure location possible.
The safest place to store your NFTs is cold storage on NFT launchpads hardware wallets like Ledger. Hardware wallets are protected by a seed phrase, a password, and touch authentication and remain offline, meaning hackers can’t gain access. At the same time, an online software wallet like Metamask can easily be compromised.
Below you will discover the best way to store your NFTs to ensure safety and security.
Related: A Comprehensive Guide to Understand the Development of Metaverse NFT Launchpads
What is the safest way to store your NFT?
The most secure and preferred way to store your NFTs is in your NFT launchpad wallet or a cold-storage hardware wallet like Ledger or Trezor. That is because hardware wallets and their crucial information like seed phrase, password, and touch authentication are stored, making it difficult for hackers and keyloggers to gain access.
One of the most common methods for storing tokens on NFT launchpads is using a software wallet like Metamask or Coinbase NFT. However, these wallets can be easily compromised if you aren’t careful with your account. Several reports have recently reported that NFT launchpads are getting more visitation from hackers and scammers. The software wallets work fine for storing NFTs and crypto, but the weak point comes from the fact that the information to access these wallets is stored in the software, which is stored online.
That means if a hacker somehow got access to your computer or phone, they could easily access your wallet on your NFT launchpad by watching every move of your transaction. That has happened many times through numerous types of scams.
The safest option is to store your NFTs and crypto offline using a hardware wallet. With a hardware wallet, it’s essential to understand that your NFTs aren’t stored offline; only the information required to access your wallet is. All NFTs are stored on the blockchain, which is as secure as it gets.
Common NFT storage options
There are various options for storing your tokens. However, some options are more secure than others. Typically, your tokens are safe on NFT launchpads as you trade with them. As more alternatives, here are the most common options for keeping your NFTs:
Software wallets (Metamask)
A software wallet such as Metamask is considered standard security for NFTs. Everything you do is encrypted on the browser you use to operate your NFT launchpad and secured by your password and 12-24 word seed phrase. However, this form of storage is easy to hack, especially considering the types of scams that are common today.
All it takes to hack your software wallet is a hacker gaining access to the device you use to log in to your software wallets, such as your phone or computer. One of the most common scams is the wallet holder giving access to hackers by signing a transaction hash, allowing the complete hacker access to their wallet. This scam happens daily through Discord DMs, social media, and sometimes on NFT launchpads.
Also, always disconnect your wallet from every site – including NFT launchpads – before logging out of your wallet. That ensures your wallet stays safe if one of the sites you visited becomes compromised.
InterPlanetary File System (IPFS)
An IPFS like Pinata stores your NFTs off-chain, decreasing the likelihood of being hacked. Also, an IPFS is safer thanks to its content identifiers (CIDs)—which are hashes of data connected directly to your NFT’s content, as opposed to an HTTP link which has the vulnerability of being modified and hacked.
These hashes of data are stored on your computer. So, when you request data from an IPFS, the system looks to its nodes for that same hash of data and then verifies that data is correct by rehashing on the receiver’s computer. If a hacker node ever produces a CID hash, you will be notified on your end of the false data.
The added benefits of an IPFS make for a more secure storage option for your NFTs. However, you still have the potential of being hacked through your computer if you don’t log out from the NFT launchpad where you were trading.
Cold Storage Hardware Wallet (Ledger)
Storing your NFTs in a cold-storage hardware wallet is the most secure option. Hardware wallets provide the most security because your wallet data is kept entirely offline and protected by a device password. These wallets can generally restore device content if it’s lost or stolen.
You can also use hardware wallets as hot wallets—which means you can connect your hardware wallet to the internet via the device’s mobile connectivity. These hot wallets are still secure when connected to the internet, allowing you to transact without the fear of being hacked or obtaining a virus.
Can you lose your NFT?
You can lose your NFT’s content and metadata if you are careless with your NFT launchpad’s account details or don’t store your NFT properly. That can happen if your token’s content is stored on an HTTP URL, and that link gets modified somehow. The contract of your NFT will remain on the blockchain ledger. However, all its content may be gone forever.
Losing your NFT may be unlikely, but it can happen. Moreover, if your NFT content is stored on a specific HTTP URL site and that site happens to disappear, you risk losing all your crypto-asset content along with it.
Tips for keeping your NFTs safe
Regardless of where you decide to store your NFTs, there are a few tips you might find helpful for keeping your NFTs as safe as possible during storage, including:
- Never give out your 12-24 word seed phrase.
- Create complex passwords that include phrases, numbers, and symbols.
- Don’t allow anyone accesses to your login credentials.
- Store all your passwords and phrases in physical form, locked away safely (not on your computer).
- Avoid visiting sites that may have malicious intentions (watch for no SSL).
- Don’t click on any random links sent to you via DM or untrustworthy sources.
- Always log out of your wallet, and log out of sites to which you may have your wallet connected.
- Store your long-term digital assets offline wholly.
- Consider using a virtual private network (VPN) that hides your IP address and encrypts your internet traffic.
Although NFTs are stored on the blockchain, that doesn’t mean your digital assets can’t be stolen.
NFTs have been stolen many times before. NFTs are just as susceptible to hackers as our emails and social media accounts, according to a former CIA Professional Hacker.
A hack can strike any moment, so it’s best to be over-prepared. Storing your NFTs in a cold storage wallet and being aware of the most common NFT launchpad cams is your best bet to avoid being hacked.