It’s never enough to stress that you should keep your seed phrase safe, secure, and 100% private. Ivan Bianco, a blockchain gaming YouTuber from Brazil, learned it the hard way. A careless influencer revealed his crypto wallet seed phrase during a live stream on his Fraternidade Crypto (Brotherhood Crypto in Portuguese) channel.
Bianco was presenting a document that contained his seed phrases. He did it recklessly enough for the viewers to take notice of the precious contents. One of the followers was quick enough to access Bianco’s assets and drain an equivalent of about $60 thousand in crypto and NFTs from his wallet in a matter of minutes. The stolen goodies included 86,600 MATIC tokens and 3.35 ETH.
When the influencer realized his mistake, he rushed to create a new wallet, but the money was already gone. As a last resort, he filed a report with the police without much hope for a successful turn of events. Unexpectedly, Bianco was contacted by an identified man who admitted to being the perpetrator behind the theft. The guy said he was sorry and… returned about $50k worth of stolen MATIC tokens, keeping the remaining loot to soothe the remorse.
Fraternidade Crypto started out in 2017 and has gained over 2.2 million views so far. The YouTube channel is currently followed by approximately 34,000 subscribers. In such a crowd, there’s plenty of room for the black sheep – or wolves, if you prefer – of the crypto family.
Bianco’s mishap is yet another harsh reminder that you should handle your seed phrase with extreme care. Here’s a handful of good advice on how to keep it safe.
Best practices to keep your seed phrase safe and secure:
1. Store it offline
It’s the rule number one. Keeping your seed on a connected device or third-party platform always poses a security risk. Whatever carrier you use to store your phrase, keep it in a secure location like a safe or a lockbox.
2. Use hardware wallets
Using hardware wallets is a highly recommended practice. Dedicated offline devices provide both security and relevant functionality. They are much more secure than digital storage.
3. Memorize the phrase
The most secure seed phrase is the one you never write down. Memorize it carefully, ensuring you can recall it when needed. The tricky part is the fact that memory is fallible.
4. Use multiple copies
You shouldn’t rely on just one location while keeping your seed phrase offline. Accidents happen. A single site may be compromised, so use multiple copies and store them in different secure places.
5. Split your seed
Splitting your seed phrase between several locations mitigates risk in case one of them gets compromised. You can store several seed words in one place and the remaining part in another one.
6. Use encryption
If you decide on digital storage, use encryption with a strong passphrase. Store the seed on an encrypted USB drive or secure cloud storage.
7. Protect yourself from scammers
Always keep an eye out for scammers. Crypto thieves are going to great lengths to invent and apply elaborate scam techniques, like pig butchering, SMS scams, and others.