nft

How to Set Up a Hardware Wallet

HW MOBILE
Stephen Hatala / One37pm

When we talk crypto and NFTs you have to bring up security. While there are several ways to protect yourself, you can lose your assets and even your NFTs due to things that are not your fault. One of the most famous hacks in the entire crypto-sphere was MT. Gox, at one point it was handling over 70% of all bitcoin transactions worldwide. Over the years, hackers were able to skim bitcoins from customer accounts stealing over 740,000 bitcoin (approximately 31 billion dollars today). All without the customers having any idea and without any fault of their own. 

One of the ways to prevent this from happening to you is to have a hardware wallet. Often referred to as ‘cold storage’ devices, a hardware wallet is a type of cryptocurrency wallet that stores your private keys in a physical device that you can keep within arm’s reach. Crypto and other assets like NFTs are protected by the hardware wallet which stores the keys to access your wallet, keeping them offline so they are not vulnerable to hacking. Whenever the owner needs to access their coins and digital assets they can safely unlock their hardware wallet and interact with them through the wallet’s interface.

In the last year, NFTs have catapulted themselves into society as the next big craze for gaming, art, and collectibles. And with all the popularity around NFTs, a lot of fake accounts, scammers, and malware have emerged which when given the opportunity will take advantage of your information to gain access to your wallet. Hardware wallets allow you to be the sole person in control of accessing your NFTs and provides the necessary layer of security while interacting with Web 3.0 applications.

When it comes to which hardware wallet to use there’s a ton of good selections like Trezor or Ledger. But for this setup guide, we will be focusing on the Ledger and how to send your NFTs to it from A to Z. If you want to see a similar guide with other wallets let us know!

Here’s how to get started;

1. Get a hardware wallet from the verified vendor

Be sure to buy a ledger or any hardware wallet from the retailer. There’s a very common scam where ledgers are preloaded with viruses pose as cheap or second-hand hardware wallets. Supply chain hacks are common because suppliers know that the user will be using the hardware wallet to store their most valuable assets on the device. This creates a vulnerability in second-hand sales of hardware wallets. Ledger’s own website warns of phishing websites posing as them or their team. Ledger and other official vendors will never ask you for your seed phrase or any other private information about your hardware wallets.

ledger site
Ledger

2. Set up ledger live on the device

Ledger has created custom software that helps with setting up your device and will help you with your crypto assets. Once you have your ledger go ahead and plug the USB cable into your device and into your PC. It should light up and carry you through the prompt that takes you to the ledger live site which you can find here.

3. Write down your seed phrase multiple places offline (never digitally, including photos)

Start the setup of the new ledger and be sure to follow the prompts until you get to the pin code. Make sure you write your pincode down somewhere you will not forget. Also, be sure to write down your 24-word recovery phrase offline. Most ledgers will come with little sheets that you can write your phrase on. Write your recovery phrase down in several places so that if you were to lose one there will be another stored somewhere else. Store your recovery phrase offline and somewhere secure. If you lose the recovery phase you lose access to your wallet and will not be able to recover it.

4. Confirm your recovery phrase

The automatic prompt should have you confirm your recovery phrase to make sure you wrote it down correctly. For extra security, after recording your recovery phrase you should reset your wallet and restore it completely using your recovery phrase. This step adds an extra precaution to make sure that you will always be able to safely recover your hardware wallet.

5. Create an ETH wallet on your ledger

Go to the manager section of the menu, from there search for Ethereum. Follow the prompts and after adding successfully you can jump to adding your first NFTs to your hardware wallet.

eth
Ledger

6. Connect metamask

You will need to login into your Metamask on the computer. From there you need to click on the top right-hand corner and connect your hardware wallet. If you need a tutorial on how to set up a Metamask on your browser you can refer to this article here

connct hardware wallet
Ledger

After you click continue, MetaMask will look for a Ledger device connected to the computer. Unlock your Ledger wallet to ensure that it is discovered. It will prompt you to select a Ledger account to link to MetaMask once it has discovered your wallet. Choose the ledger account you want to use or create one with ledger live.

On your hardware wallet display, click the Ethereum application. Then go to your settings and turn on contract data. If you skip this step the contract information will not function properly. Click on the account logo in the top right corner of the MetaMask window and scroll down to the settings menu. Once you are there click advanced settings, and select "use with Ledger Live" from the drop-down menu. This will allow you to see the balance of your Ledger wallet on your MetaMask extension. You will also be able to create transactions across all MetaMask-enabled blockchain applications. All you have to do is connect your Ledger wallet to your device, launch Ledger Live, and check and sign the transactions.

7. Enjoy

BOOM. Now you can use all of your favorite NFT marketplaces like OpenSea from the security of your hardware wallet.

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