Launched in 2016 by Consensys, Metamask is a web 3.0 cryptocurrency wallet. With over 30 million monthly users it is one of the most popular applications in the space.
Unfortunately, with this popularity comes unwanted attention. Hackers and scammers target users regularly and as a result, theft is rampant.
But don’t worry. In this article, I will be covering 8 ways to use Metamask safely. So without further ado, let’s jump right in.
The main way to protect yourself when using Metamask is by integrating a hardware wallet. In essence, they are physical devices that store your private keys offline. This provides added protection against hackers as they are not connected to the internet.
1. Utilize hardware wallet integration
Hardware wallets are the pinnacle of security in the cryptocurrency space. These devices essentially store your private keys offline and are therefore more resilient to hacks.
In most instances, hackers need to steal the device in order to access your funds. The hardware wallet that I recommend is the Ledger Nano X. You can check my review by clicking here.
2. Don’t share your secret recovery phrase
Simply put, when you sign up for Metamask you are provided a recovery phrase. This phrase is between 12-24 words long and provides full access to your wallet.
Therefore, it is vital to keep this phrase hidden. Best practices include paper storage to avoid hacks and storing it in a secure environment that is out of sight.
Moreover, you can encrypt it and split the phrase up storing it in multiple locations.
3. Avoid suspicious links & verify URLs
There is no denying that phishing scams are rampant in the space. Scammers email suspicious links that redirect to illegitimate websites. These websites imitate legitimate ones in hopes of luring unsuspected customers.
Consequently, when users transact they unknowingly grant scammers full control of their assets. Therefore, it is vital to verify the URLs, emails and to not click on any suspicious links.
4. Remain anonymous
Ultimately, hackers leverage personal information to gain access to accounts. By remaining anonymous you not only limit the number of attack vectors but also limit the attention.
If the hacker does not know the amount of cryptocurrencies in your wallet they will be less likely to target you. Anonymity can be maintained by using VPNs, installing antivirus software, and limiting social media exposure.
5. Diversifying funds
When it comes to cryptocurrency storage it is important to not put all your eggs in one basket. By diversifying your funds across multiple addresses it reduces the overall risk.
This is because if one of your addresses is compromised there are several others with backup funds.
6. Revoking permissions
Essentially, revoking permissions removes any permissions you have granted to smart contract platforms. When interacting with various decentralized applications (DApps) you authorize a transaction that allows a certain degree of control.
However, issues arise when malicious actors leverage this control to steal users’ assets. Therefore, if you no longer trust an application, it is undergoing an upgrade or you no longer use it then it’s best to revoke any permissions granted.
This will prevent bad actors from conducting transactions on your behalf. You can use platforms such as DeBank and Unrekt to revoke permissions.
7. Research the DApps you interact with
When using Metamask to interact with decentralized applications it is vital to remain vigilant. Overall, scam projects have several warning signs.
For instance, promises of exorbitant returns or vague details on the goals and aspirations of the project. Moreover, poor website design with grammatical errors is another red flag.
Furthermore, it is important to avoid projects with a weak reputation and team. Anonymous creators are also a major warning sign. Ultimately, they are rarely held responsible if something goes wrong.
Here are several other best practices to follow:
- Only use the desktop application – overall, it is less susceptible to hacking when compare to the mobile app.
- Lock the application when unused – this limits unwanted data exposure.
- Use a secure password – like most applications a strong password limits the potential damage of a brute force attack by hackers.
- Clear your history and cookies regularly – this also limits unwanted data exposure. After all, they track the websites you visited as well as your IP address.
To conclude, although Metamask has the potential to be abused with various hacks and scams there are also several ways to prevent them. From using a hardware wallet to diversifying your funds it is vital to follow the best practices outlined in this guide.
However, if you do then you will navigate the space with ease. I hope you found this article useful and thanks for reading it.
Want to learn about how to prevent NFT theft? Click here to read my previous article.