There are two types of wallets. One is called a “hot wallet” and this is any wallet that you hold online in a “live” way—be it on your laptop, phone or iPad. The second type of wallet is a “cold wallet” which is a bit more like a flash drive. This is a device that is held outside of your normal devices (some people, for example, wear theirs around their neck or put it into a safe at home) and it keeps your information safe and non-hackable. It’s good to have a cold wallet if you have a lot of crypto—the term “crypto whale,” for example, refers to someone with a lot of bitcoin. These users often have cold wallets to make sure their assets stay safe. But if you don’t have a lot of assets, hot wallets are fine. (For example, just using Coinbase on your phone.)
It’s hard to hack a hot wallet, but like we mentioned before, your seed phrase (Private Key) is everything here. You must put that on paper somewhere or into an ultra-safe online storage system like OnePassword and NOT keep it on your computer just on your desktop or in a file somewhere. Hackers can hack you easily for a seed phrase kept locally on your computer via any shared network, like, for example, a Starbucks shared wifi account. Putting your Private Key seed phrase on paper somewhere is actually a form of having a “cold wallet”—sometimes also called a “paper wallet.” It’s just smart.