NFT assets are the hottest commodity right now, as they continually gain exposure and value. Slowly making their way into the mainstream since they first emerged in 2014, these tokens saw quite a boom last year when their trading volume exploded by 704% between Q2 and Q3. The NFT marketplace grew to approximately $41 billion by the end of 2021, approaching the $50 billion benchmark of the conventional art market.
Everyone’s talking about NFTs. More and more people are investing in them, and as such, these crypto assets have also attracted the unwanted attention of scammers that might try to get their hands on your non-fungible tokens. The good news is that any blockchain network is highly secure, and since these digital goods are stored safely on the blockchain, it’s unlikely that you’d lose your NFT coins due to a blockchain-level hack. However, that doesn’t mean that this type of digital asset is not susceptible to online scams or the owner’s lack of security measures. Don’t panic, though! All is not lost (yet!), and it won’t get displaced ever if you follow these simple steps to keep your NFTs safe:
Always use a hardware wallet
After buying NFTs from any NFT marketplace, make sure you store them in a cold storage wallet. With a hardware wallet, all the key information like seed phrase, password, and touch authentication is stored on the device itself, making it nearly impossible for hackers to access it.
Usually, people use software wallets to store their digital assets, but the main issue with this option is that all the information needed to access the software wallet is stored online.
Why choose a cold storage hardware wallet?
It is considered a very secure method to store your NFTs since all the sensitive data is stored offline. On top of that, the device is password protected, adding more security to your crypto wallet. Another great feature of this type of wallet is that it allows you to restore all its contents if it ever malfunctions or you lose it. You can also turn it into a hot wallet through the device's mobile connectivity, allowing you to make transactions when you need it.
Create complex passwords
When creating passwords for login credentials, try to come up with complex combinations, including capital letters, numbers, and different symbols. The harder to guess is your password, the safer your assets will be from anyone with malicious intentions.
Store credentials offline
Another secure method to preserve your virtual items is to store all your credentials in a physical format. Write them down in a secure location where nobody can gain access. This way, you can prevent any possible data breach that would make you vulnerable.
Safeguard your seed phrase/recovery phrase
A seed phrase or recovery phrase is a series of 12 to 24 words generated by your crypto wallet during the initial setup. It’s like the master password that gives you access to the digital assets associated with that wallet. Don’t give your phrase to anyone, and double-check that the location isn’t easily accessible to outsiders.
Do your own research on NFT marketplaces
Usually, these marketplaces are non-custodial platforms. You’re always in control of your virtual goods, whether they’re listed on the marketplace or just added to your portfolio. Users need to authorize a marketplace’s smart contracts to interact with their digital items to transfer them to the buyer once the sale is finalized. A possible bug in these smart contracts would leave your NFTs exposed. A way to counteract such risks is to check the public audits of the marketplace you are planning to use to buy NFTs. Doing some due diligence never hurt anybody!
Since you spend the most time on the internet (we all do!), it’s critical to keep your computer protected against any viruses. Protecting yourself against suspicious malware and viruses will keep your private keys safe and ensure your NFTs don’t get stolen. Be on the lookout for copycat websites, suspicious file-sharing systems, or chat rooms. Don’t click on a link unless you know the source or trust the person who sent it to you. The best solution would be to purchase a strong antivirus system and always keep the firewall on.
In between buying and selling NFTs, storing them is a vital part of the process. Whether you are a serious collector or just interested in making a quick buck, you’ll want to safeguard your valuables at all times. Follow these five easy steps for NFT protection and make the most out of your collectibles.
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