Crypto Is Wilder Than the West Ever Was

As Ferris Bueller once said: "Life moves pretty fast." But when it comes to the crypto space, you can magnify that statement about a billion times over.

This space doesn't move at light speed. It moves at ludicrous speed. And the scammers adapt just as quickly. MetaMask is probably the most popular non-custodial wallet extension in use today. Millions of users worldwide manage their ERC-20 tokens and interact with dApps by means of a MetaMask browser extension. You're most likely one of them.

So, in this article, we're going to talk about what you can do to maximize your MetaMask extension security and keep the scammers at bay.

Seed Phrases, Passwords and Private Keys

MetaMask is a non-custodial wallet. That means only you have control over your private keys and seed phrases. No one can help you if you get hacked. So, never give them to anyone online, unless you intend to transfer complete control of the wallet to them.

Your seed phrase, or recovery phrase, is all a scammer needs to drain your wallet. That's why storing your passwords, seed phrases or private keys somewhere like your hard drive, Google, or iCloud is not recommended if you want optimal MetaMask security. Write your important security information down and keep it offline. And make sure your passwords are strong: they should be at least 12 characters long with a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. 

2FA - A Friend to the End

The MetaMask extension itself doesn’t support two-factor authentication, or 2FA. But many exchanges and other Web3 platforms do so when they demand the usage of email addresses and passwords. Activate 2FA in the dApps that have the option. But make sure to use authenticator apps like Google Authenticator rather than SMS-based 2FA, because using SMS-based 2FA leaves you vulnerable to SIM swapping attacks​.

Don't Get Caught On The Phishing Hook

Too many crypto users have been caught in the net of fake MetaMask extension support. If you post on X, Discord or Telegram about a difficulty, you will usually get replies from a bot programmed by those who are out to steal your bagz. They will tell you to send your private keys, passwords or seed phrase information.

Don't ever click on a link claiming to assist with MetaMask security or any other MetaMask extension feature. And never, ever, give your seed phrase or private keys to anyone online. No valid provider of any service is ever going to ask you for those. Use browser extensions like Cryptoguard to help authenticate a support site before you connect to it.

Keep Software Up To Date & Configured

When it comes to your MetaMask extension protection, keeping your MetaMask extension updated is a no-brainer. That's because MetaMask is continually releasing new updates in response to bugs, needed fixes, and other security risks.

Stay up to date and make sure you have the latest version of the MetaMask extension installed. Then, configure it to your specifications. But read carefully, because some of the options need to identify you by your IP. Here's the link to find out everything you need to know about MetaMask extension security and privacy configuration and updates. 

Use A Cold Wallet

A cold wallet basically looks like a USB drive.They're not as easy to use as the hot wallet that's hosted directly by your MetaMask extension, but they're safer for a few reasons. A cold wallet stays offline unless you connect it through your MetaMask extension.

You have to approve each transaction manually through a process called signing, which takes you through every element of the transaction. Notably, your private keys never leave the device, so they can't be intercepted by hackers the same way as if you were using a hot wallet. 

Public Wi-Fi = Bad News

You can take all of the MetaMask extension security steps if you want, but when you use public Wi-Fi you are putting yourself at exponential risk. Crypto scammers and other cyber criminals lay in wait for the suckers who aren't smart enough to wait until they get home to make that trade. But if you have no choice but to use it for whatever reason, then make sure to use a VPN. 

In Conclusion

"With great power comes great responsibility." - Spider Man

We've all heard the phrase "Not your keys, not your crypto." But that means your MetaMask extension security is really up to you. A solid battle plan hinges on the following checklist:

  • strong passwords 
  • constant vigilance against phishing (which CryptoGuard can help you out with)
  • keeping your MetaMask extension updated 
  • being careful about what dApps you interact with

With these MetaMask extension protection practices, you can secure your hard-earned funds and feel more confident. Self-custody is a privilege, but if you don't know what you need to do to keep your crypto safe, you're putting your assets at risk.

The crypto space is the final frontier of financial freedom. It's wilder than the West ever was. If you want to enjoy the ride and reap the rewards, keep everything we've said here in mind. 

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