Originally meant for Ethereum, MetaMask is a software wallet that allows users to trade on various decentralized crypto exchanges. The software has a great deal of security in place and comes in the form of an app and a browser extension.
But despite the security already in place, it never hurts to be cautious about your cryptocurrency. Here are some tips to keep your MetaMask wallet safe as as well some things to look at for.
Basic Level of Security
MetaMask uses a Secret Recovery Phrase, or a seed phrase, which is a series of 12 randomly generated words that serve as direct access to your digital wallet. The company strongly recommends that you either physically write down this series of words or upload a file to a flash drive to have a record in case you forget. Without this phrase, your cryptocurrency will remain inaccessible and the team at MetaMask cannot help you.
Obviously, don’t share the seed phrase nor use your MetaMask account out in public as hackers can easily access your private information in such an environment. Because of this, it’s recommended that you don’t access your wallet in public and get yourself a hardware wallet.
A hardware wallet adds that extra degree of separation between you and a potential hacker. If you’d like to know which hardware wallets are the most recommended, I wrote an article detailing the best crypto wallets of the year.
There are a number of things that you can do to minimize your phrase or cryptocurrency getting stolen. The best thing that you can do is to implement an auto-lock timer that locks your account after a certain amount of time. This is helpful if you ever forget to lock your wallet.
To set auto-lock on your browser extension:
- Go to the upper right-hand corner and click the profile icon.
- Select Settings, then go to Advanced.
- Scroll down until you see Auto-Lock Timer where you can set the time the account can be idle before it locks.
- To back in, simply sign again.
To set auto-lock on your mobile app:
- Touch the three lines on the upper left-hand corner to open the menu
- Go down to Settings
- Touch Security & Privacy
- Scroll down to auto-lock and you can choose how long should the app wait while idle to lock the account.
MetaMask can also connect to your ledger directly, so after completing a transaction, you view your history offline and safely. In the same Advanced Settings menu, you will find Use Ledger Live that enables this feature. However, this is only available on the Chrome version of the extension.
Watching for Scams
MetaMask strongly recommends that you do not share your seed phrase with anyone, but there are other ways a scammer can get your money. Phishing scams are particularly nasty and can come in the form of a fake pop-up or someone explicitly asking for your seed phrase. MetaMax comes with a phishing detection feature that can be toggled.
5/9 Now MetaMask is displaying the phishing warning on that domain. pic.twitter.com/IL3q6RwXJA
— stazie (@stazie) July 31, 2021
Scammers may also send a fake notification that tells you that the transaction failed with an overview of details. That overview often has a slightly different address that is not the intended address. Don’t confirm this notification and double-check your account and talk to the recipient.
If it sounds weird or looks suspicious, it is.
If you would like to learn more about MetaMask, you read about how to use the software on Binance Smart Chain.