MetaMask is a browser extension for Google Chrome, Brave, Edge, and Firefox. It offers many different functions to improve your crypto game. However, the topic that concerns us today is security: Is MetaMask safe?
MetaMask works as a security application and a gateway to other decentralized platforms. The wallet feature works mainly for ETH and ERC-20 tokens, which means it is limited to Ethereum compatible networks.
What is MetaMask?
The platform was launched in 2016 by ConsenSys, a company founded by Joseph Lubin, specializing in blockchain software.
ConsenSys is heavily focused on the Ethereum network, which has led to it becoming an important contributor to its growth over the years. In fact, the company has developed multiple Ethereum apps such as Infura, Meridia, and Gnosis.
After years of being a favorite among many users, MetaMask also became a favorite among developers.
Now, virtually every Ethereum-compatible platform provides support for MetaMask. This means that if you are partaking in the world of DeFi or Blockchain Gaming, you might already have stumbled upon MetaMask.
What Features Does Metamask Offer?
Before we start answering about if MetaMask is safe, we should know what its functions are. As we mentioned before, MetaMask offers many other features besides wallet services. Let’s take a look at some of them:
Connect To Your Favorite Platforms
MetaMask is not an exchange, crypto game, collectible platform, or dApp. However, it is essential to access them as it allows you to connect directly with all sorts of blockchain platforms.
For example, when using a Decentralized Exchange you will only have to click on two buttons to connect your wallet.
Some of the most popular DEXs that support MetaMask are:
- Kyber Swap
- Radar Delay
- Totle Swap
The same is true for crypto games like Axie Infinity, My Crypto Heroes, Gods Unchained, Splinterlands, and more. Collectible platforms like OpenSea, Mintable, Mintbase, and NBA Top Shots will also be easily accessible.
With its top-notch security, which we will discuss later on, you will be able to relax. You can think of MetaMask as your key to the Ethereum ecosystem!
MetaMask is heavily integrated with the Ethereum network, which means it has many advantages over other wallets. With their swaps function, you can trade ETH or any ERC20 token at the best possible rate.
This is possible because the platform scans all exchanges for the best rates and offers them to you. This way you don’t have to waste time registering on various exchanges that offer a good price.
Obviously, you will pay the fees you would pay to use that exchange, but MetaMask will not charge you anything for those transactions.
In addition to this, as everything is done directly from the wallet, the risk of using custodial services is reduced. This is not only convenient but also secure!
Add Custom Tokens
MetaMask has a wide variety of tokens available already listed on the App. However, the Ethereum network allows hundreds of thousands to exist and not all of them may be added to the list.
If the token you are looking for is not available by default, you can add it yourself. This is as easy as pasting the contract address for the token.
However, be mindful that adding the wrong address could result in you falling for a scam. As such, always make sure to use reputable or official sources. In this case, ensuring the security of your funds is up to you.
MetaMask also allows you to have multiple profiles, which are basically multiple wallets in the same platform. This ensures that you can organize and manage your crypto in a more efficient manner.
When it comes to security, this also brings the benefit of not putting all your eggs in one basket. If somehow one of your wallets gets compromised, your other crypto will be safe.
Advanced GAS settings
MetaMask uses the EIP-1559 System to collect fees. This function allows you to decide what price you want to pay for a transaction depending on the priority you need.
When doing a transaction, the wallet shows you 3 recommended options you can choose from. However, you might want to reduce or increase the priority of the transaction. That’s why MetaMask allows you to edit the fees manually so that you can decide the exact price you are willing to pay.
This is especially beneficial at a time when gas prices on the Ethereum network are so unpredictable. If you need to have an important transaction being settled in an expedited manner, you can do so. This gives you the security that your transactions will go through as expected.
MetaMask also has a mobile version. This will automatically synchronize with your browser extension. It works really well and you can find it in the Google Play Store with more than 5,000,000 downloads. It is not yet available for iOS devices but it will be very soon!
Hardware Wallet Support
The browser version of MetaMask can also be installed on Trezor or Ledger hardware wallets. While MetaMask already fulfills the function of storing your blockchain passwords, this allows you to add a layer of security.
How secure is MetaMask?
Having reviewed its main features, it is time to answer the big question: Is MetaMask safe? To do so, we can review the main security features it offers and good practices to follow!
Secret Recovery Phrase
MetaMask creates an automatically generated Secret Recovery Phrase consisting of 12 words. If someone guesses your passwords they will need this Keyphrase to access your account, so only you should know it.
Our recommendation is that you write this code on a piece of paper and keep it in a place that only you can access. If by any chance you lose your password you will need this code to recover your funds. Do not lose it!
If you already have another wallet, MetaMask will allow you to add it, and you will be able to use the same keyphrase with the option “import Secret Recovery Phrase”.
MetaMask keeps your wallet data private unless you authorize permission to share your account address. You will see a MetaMask confirmation when websites request access to view your account address.
As the wallet doesn’t require you to provide personal information, your identity will never be known by its developers. This is of great help for those of us who care about privacy. After all, privacy and security come hand in hand!
Disconnect MetaMask from Dapps
It is important that, if you use a website, whatever it is, you are sure of what data is required and when you are offering it to them. As MetaMask connects directly to Dapps, so does your data as long as you authorize it.
But you may want to remove it after a while, so MetaMask lets you decide which Dapps you want to disconnect from. This can be done manually by clicking on the “Connected sites” option and choosing the ones you no longer want.
Due to how MetaMask operates, it is not possible for it to automatically disconnect on your behalf. Failing to disconnect your wallet from reputable platforms might not be a big deal… But as discerning between legitimate and shady platforms grows increasingly hard, why risk it?
In terms of security, MetaMask has never been hacked as of the time of this writing. However, the platform has been involved in some hacking controversies, but it is completely unrelated to the platform itself.
There are versions of MetaMask circulating on the internet that are intended to look like the original but created by hackers. Our recommendation is that you download MetaMask only from reputable sources. In fact, let us provide you with the official link so you can download it now if you want to try it.
All of MetaMask’s code is available to the public. While this might sound like something that could compromise security, the opposite is actually true. By making the code transparent, users can audit the code and identify vulnerabilities and bugs.
While being open source by itself doesn’t warrant security, it certainly helps. In the case of MetaMask, security is increased due to it having a dedicated team working on it. The community supports the team, instead of developing the wallet themselves.
How to use MetaMask Safely?
Unlike other wallets, Metamask’s installation is super simple. As we said before, it is essential that you download a legit version of MetaMask to ensure your safety. Head to this link to download MetaMask if you are planning on using it.
Once you follow the link provided, installing the wallet will be as easy as clicking on “Add to X”, where “X” is your browser. The installation is quick and automatic, often taking less than a minute!
If you already have a wallet, you can use it by entering the Keyphrase. This can be done by choosing the “Import Wallet” option.
However, if you do not have a wallet yet, you should choose “Create a wallet”.
You will now have to enter a personal password and MetaMask will generate a Keyphrase for you to save. Make sure your wallet is as secure as possible. Following the advice of Edward Snowden might be a good idea!
Secure Your Secret Recovery Phrase
Once you have created a password, you will receive a secret recovery phase. Make sure to store it in a safe, preferably offline, place. This will be your only means to recover your wallet if you forget your password or charge your devices.
Never share this phrase with anyone! If someone was to find it, they will also be able to “recover” your wallet. Security is an aspect that also depends on you!
Connecting To Crypto Platforms
When using MetaMask, you will be likely to connect to third-party applications eventually. While this is extremely useful, it can also represent a problem if you don’t have good security practices.
Never connect your wallet to a platform you don’t trust completely. Make sure a platform is official and trusted by the community before connecting to it.
Ensure Your Device Is Safe
While MetaMask itself is extremely secure and the team is always working on keeping it that way, there is only so much they can do. Having a good antivirus, avoiding shady websites, and following good security practices are essential.
If your computer is infected, hackers could gain access to your crypto in some instances. For this reason, some users choose to use a dedicated device for their crypto. This can be an old computer or phone, once they have been wiped.
Is MetaMask Safe?
Now that we have reached the end of this article, you should know more about how MetaMask manages security. However, you might still be thinking “So… Is MetaMask safe?”. The quick answer is a resounding yes.
MetaMask is widely considered one of the most secure crypto wallets in the ecosystem. However, it is important to note that every wallet’s security depends on your security practices too.
That being said, you can be sure that the team behind MetaMask is doing everything they can to keep you safe. All of the features we have mentioned contribute to the security of your crypto, both while in your wallet… And while transacting with it. If you value security, MetaMask is the right wallet to go.
However, if you are still unsure, there are other wallets you can consider. If you would like to know more about MetaMask itself..we have an in-depth review that discusses features, customer support, and more!
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