Securely Storing Your NFTs: A Complete Guide


When it comes to NFTs, not only can they cost a pretty penny but they hold a lot of sentimental value. With that, you may want to consider storing your NFTs in the most secure location possible.

The safest place to store your NFTs is in a cold-storage hardware wallet like Ledger. Hardware wallets are protected by a seed phrase, a password, touch authentication, and remain offline; meaning hackers can’t gain access. Whereas 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.

What is the safest way to store your NFT?

The most secure and preferred way to store your NFTs is in a cold-storage hardware wallet like Ledger or Trezor. This is because hardware wallets and their key information like seed phrase, password, and touch authentication are stored in the device itself, making it difficult for hackers and keyloggers to gain access.

One of the most common methods for storing NFTs is using a software wallet like Metamask or Coinbase NFT, however, these wallets can be easily compromised if you aren’t careful. 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 got access to your computer or phone somehow, they could easily gain access to your wallet by watching your every move. In fact, this 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 important to understand that your NFTs aren’t actually 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.

How most people end up getting hacked is through their wallets.

Common NFT storage options

A view of the different wallet types to safely store your NFTs.

There are various options for storing your NFTs. However, some options are more secure than others. Here are the most common options for storing 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 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 wallet, such as your phone or computer. As well, one of the most common scams actually involves the wallet holder giving access to hackers by signing a transaction hash, allowing the hacker complete access to their wallet. This type of scam happens every day through Discord DMs and on social media.

If you choose to use a software wallet like Metamask to store your NFTs, make sure you do everything in your power to keep your wallet’s secret phrase and password safe. Software wallet best practices include never storing your secret phrase or password anywhere online, or on your computer and phone.

Also, make sure to always disconnect your wallet from every site before logging out of your wallet. This ensures that your wallet stays safe in the chance that one of the sites you visited becomes compromised.

InterPlanetary File System (IPFS)

An IPFS like Pinata stores your NFTs off-chain which can decrease 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, 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 CID hash is ever produced by a hacker node, 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.

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 all of your wallet data is stored completely offline and protected by a device password. These wallets generally have the ability to restore device content if it’s lost or stolen as well.

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 which allows you to transact without the fear of being hacked or obtaining a virus.

The key takeaway is that a hardware wallet is the most secure option for storing your NFTs because the information required to access these wallets is stored offline on the device. Even if you have connected your hardware wallet to your computer at some point, disconnected it, and your computer happens to get hacked, your hardware wallet would still be safe because the information is stored in your wallet, not on your computer.

If you plan on storing your NFTs for an extended period of time or if you have a lot of high-valued NFTs, then you need to get a hardware wallet such as Ledger or Trezor.

If you have a Ledger wallet, you can learn how to set it up and use it here.

NOTE: Only purchase hardware wallets from the manufacturer’s official website. If purchasing from Amazon, you risk buying a hardware wallet that has been compromised, meaning your precious wallet contents could be hacked.

Ultimately, choose the wallet that best suits your storage needs. If you are constantly buying and selling NFTs, maybe a software wallet will suffice. Likewise, if you are storing your NFTs for a long time, then you need to invest in a cold storage hardware wallet.

Can you lose your NFT?

If you’re anything like me, then you value your NFTs and want to take care of them. That’s why it’s important to understand how your NFTs could get lost.

You can lose your NFT’s content and metadata if you don’t store your NFT properly. This can happen if your token’s content is stored on an HTTP URL and that link happens to get modified in some way. 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.

Can your NFTs be stolen?

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. In fact, NFTs are just as susceptible to hackers as our emails and social media accounts according to a former CIA Professional Hacker. NiftyGateway users have already lost thousands of dollars from NFT art theft through hacking.

A hack can strike at any moment so it’s best to be over-prepared. Storing your NFTs in a cold storage wallet along with being aware of the most common NFT scams is your best bet to avoid being hacked.

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 access to your login credentials.
  • Store all your passwords and phrases in physical form, locked away safely (not on your computer).
  • Avoid visiting sites which may have malicious intentions (watch for no SSL).
  • Don’t click on any random links sent to you via DM or from untrustworthy sources.
  • Always log out of your wallet, and log out of sites that you may have your wallet connected to.
  • Store your longterm digital assets offline completely.
  • Consider using a virtual private network (VPN) which hides your IP address and encrypts your internet traffic.

AlexWGomezz

Alex is an experienced writer and aspiring entrepreneur. He has written for numerous outlets such as MexicoTravelBuddy, ONE37pm, and Voice. He spends the majority of his time collecting NFTs and exploring the web3 space. In his free time, he enjoys hanging out with his family, helping others, traveling, and learning new hobbies.

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