Hardware wallets act like 2fa for your cryptocurrency. They are essential for anyone who is serious about cryptocurrency. In this video, I will show you what they are, why you need one and which one I recommend.
Can hardware wallets be hacked? Short Answer, yes. Long answer, check out this article.
Someone would need physical access to your device and advanced knowledge of microcontrollers, but it is possible, though likely not something you should worry about depending on the average persons threat model.
Supply Chain Hijacking is when an attacker intercepts a hardware wallet before delivery and maliciously modifies it. They can be a state level actor working through the post office or a 3rd party distributer selling malicious devices using Ebay, Amazon or a deceptive website.
This doesn’t happen a lot, but it’s a best practice to always order from the original supplier. Don’t bother buying second hard hardware wallets, because you never know who might have had it last and if they tampered with it.
Additionally, you can check on the manufacturers website to make sure the hardware device has been untampered with during the shipping process. In most cases you will be ok, but if you are super paranoid or live in a draconian country and/or are on a FBI watch list, then you may want to verify everything is in order. Beyond that, you can actually build your own hardware wallet if you live under a rock, there are plenty of DIY’s online.
But for the majority of us, ordering from the supplier will be just fine.
Since you need to receive a physical device you will need to provide a shipping address. If you’re worried about privacy, this might be a concern for you. Considering, addresses could be leaked and people can find out where you live and that you have crypto. It’s not the greatest threat for many of us, but this can easily be mitigated.
Just ship a hardware wallet to a neighbours house and make sure you use an email alias. Or you can always send the hardware wallet to your friends address! :p Maybe even considering going on a vacation, rent an airbnb and ship it there.
Your cryptocurrency is NOT stored on the hardware wallet. It is stored on the blockchain and the wallet is essentially just a key that “unlocks” your coins so you can spend them. This is important to understand, because if you lose your hardware wallet, you can always recover your coins as long as you have your 12-24 pass phrase. If you lose your pass phrase, you lose your crypto!