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Should I get a hardware wallet?

If you're wondering whether you need a hardware wallet, the answer is probably yes. If you have an amount of cryptocurrency that you worry about losing, you should probably get one.

Using a Cardano wallet interface such as Yoroi, Daedalus, Flint, Eternl, etc. without a hardware wallet means that the cryptographic keys to your on-chain wallet are stored on your computer or mobile phone. The only thing protecting your wallet keys in this scenario is your spending password, and as the device is connected to the internet this leaves your wallet vulnerable to hacking attempts. A hacker could potentially decrypt your wallet keys and sign a transaction, sending all of your funds to themselves.

If you connect a hardware wallet such as a Ledger or Trezor device to one of the wallet interfaces mentioned above, the cryptographic keys to your wallet are stored on the hardware wallet itself. In this scenario, your cryptographic keys are never exposed to the internet-connected device and physical access to the device is required to sign a transaction. This makes your cryptocurrency wallet a lot more secure.

Hardware wallets also allow you to switch between wallet interfaces without having to type in your seed phrase. Every time you type your seed phrase into an internet-connected device, you are putting your wallet at risk. With a hardware wallet you can just pair it to the new wallet interface and you're good to go.

A very important point to remember is that your hardware wallet is the only place you should ever enter your hardware wallet seed phrase. Never type your hardware wallet seed phrase into any Internet connected device such as your laptop or phone.