If there’s one thing that’s of paramount importance when it comes to cryptocurrency, it’s security. While the blockchain is a wonderful thing, many have spoken of the potential for exploitation given that there’s no centralised authority; if cryptocurrency is stolen or you’re scammed out of your money, there can often be no way to get it back.
This being the case, the importance of keeping cryptocurrency wallets like MetaMask secure should be obvious. If you don’t want your cryptocurrency to go missing or get stolen – or, worse, you could forget how to access it – then you’re going to need to keep security at the forefront of your mind. Here’s how you can keep your MetaMask wallet secure in 2022.
Create a secure password
First and foremost, you need to make sure that the password you create for MetaMask is secure. That means no “password1”, of course, but you’d be surprised; even creating a common phrase with numbers instead of letters can be easily guessed by hackers. We’re still huge fans of this XKCD comic, which demonstrates how to create an easy-to-remember but difficult-to-guess password; just think of a random nonsense phrase and truncate it so that it’ll fit password requirements.
Consider a passphrase instead
Passwords are so passe (forgive the pun). It’s all about passphrases these days. A passphrase is a lengthy string of words as opposed to a shorter password; it usually contains many characters, making it much harder for any potential hacker to guess. Think of a sentence (preferably not one with correct grammar, or it may be easier for a hacker to uncover). Use that sentence as your MetaMask passphrase and you’ll almost certainly never be hacked!
Don’t store your information online
If you want to keep your MetaMask wallet secure, then don’t store your information online anywhere. Hackers can easily gain access to credentials that have been stored online, so write down your password, security phrase, and any other relevant information on a physical piece of paper instead. Unless you leave it in full view of your webcam, there’s pretty much no way hackers can get to a physical item. They could break into your home, of course, but that’s incredibly unlikely to happen.
Download a password manager
There are lots of excellent password managers out there that can help you to store your passwords. Using one of them to keep your MetaMask information safe can be a great way to make sure your crypto is secure. Your master password should be impossible to guess, of course, so make sure to use the techniques we’ve outlined above in order to keep your information away from prying eyes. You can usually download desktop and mobile clients, too, so you can keep an eye on your info on the go.
Rotate passwords regularly
Keep changing your MetaMask password every so often. It can be helpful to set a reminder on your phone or on another device so that you don’t miss the chance to switch your passwords around. Make sure that each time you switch your password, it’s a completely new phrase that bears no relation or resemblance to the old one; this will make it much harder for hackers to get a handle on what your password patterns look like.
Don’t store your seed phrase online
MetaMask uses a “seed phrase” in order to help you recover your information. That seed phrase consists of twelve words in a random order; it’s not usually a complete sentence. The order must be correct when you input the seed phrase or it won’t be accepted. As such, make sure that you’re not storing the seed phrase online; either on a password manager or anywhere else on the internet. Even storing it on your local machine might be too risky, so just write it down on paper and keep it on you at all times.
Don’t share your information
This one should be obvious, but even if you implicitly trust a person who’s asking you to share your information, you should never do so. All of the transactions and access to your MetaMask wallet should, in 99% of instances, be handled by you and only you. Think very, very carefully before you decide to grant access to your wallet to someone else. Cryptocurrency stores and marketplaces will never ask for the login credentials to your MetaMask wallet, so if someone asks for it, they’re trying to scam you.
Consider getting a hardware wallet
Hardware wallets are a great solution if you’re worried about the safety and security of your cryptocurrency. This technically isn’t a tip for keeping your MetaMask wallet secure, but it can help you to get peace of mind if you’re dealing with large quantities of cryptocurrency. Hardware wallets usually don’t connect to the internet and are detached from most ways that hackers could access them, making your cryptocurrency much safer if you store it on them.
Deactivate your browser extension when you’re not using it
Since MetaMask is most often used in the form of a browser extension, turning off that extension when you’re not using your wallet can be a good way to keep your cryptocurrency safe. Hackers shouldn’t be able to access the wallet if the extension isn’t actively being used, so consider switching it off every time you’ve finished making your transactions and managing your cryptocurrency for the day. It might seem a little cumbersome and time-consuming, but it’ll help in the long run.