The design trend for optimizing online registration processes is predicated upon reducing friction. The idea is to make the process as simple and painless as possible. Registering for MyEtherWallet is not that way and understandably so. In fact, their registration warnings serve as an apt reference for inherent security issues of any online data storage, let alone money in a cryptocurrency wallet.
These are the warning pages that lead you through completion of the sign-up process.
Welcome to MyEtherWallet.com
We know this click-through stuff is annoying. We are sorry.
Please take some time to understand this for your own safety. 🙏 Your funds will be stolen if you do not heed these warnings.
We cannot recover your funds or freeze your account if you visit a phishing site or lose your private key.
What is MEW?
MyEtherWallet is a free, open-source, client-side interface.
We allow you to interact directly with the blockchain while remaining in full control of your keys & your funds.
You and only you are responsible for your security.
MyEtherWallet is not a Bank
When you open an account with a bank or exchange, they create an account for you in their system.
The bank keeps track of your personal information, account passwords, balances, transactions and ultimately your money.
The bank charge fees to manage your account and provide services, like refunding transactions when your card gets stolen.
The bank allows you to write a check or charge your debit card to send money, go online to check your balance, reset your password, and get a new debit card if you lose it.
You have an account with the bank or exchange and they decide how much money you can send, where you can send it, and how long to hold on a suspicious deposit. All for a fee.
MyEtherWallet is an Interface
When you create an account on MyEtherWallet you are generating a cryptographic set of numbers: your private key and your public key (address).
The handling of your keys happens entirely on your computer, inside your browser.
We never transmit, receive or store your private key, password, or other account information.
We do not charge a transaction fee.
You are simply using our interface to interact directly with the blockchain.
If you send your public key (address) to someone, they can send you ETH or tokens. 👍
If you send your private key to someone, they now have full control of your account. 👎
Wait, WTF is a Blockchain?
The blockchain is like a huge, global, decentralized spreadsheet.
It keeps track of who sent how many coins to whom, and what the balance of every account is.
It is stored and maintained by thousands of people (miners) across the globe who have special computers.
The blocks in the blockchain are made up of all the individual transactions sent from MyEtherWallet, MetaMask, Exodus, Mist, Geth, Parity, and everywhere else.
When you see your balance on MyEtherWallet.com or view your transactions on etherscan.io, you are seeing data on the blockchain, not in our personal systems.
Again: we are not a bank.
Why are you making me read all this?
Because we need you to understand that we cannot…
Access your account or send your funds for you X.
Recover or change your private key.
Recover or reset your password.
Reverse, cancel, or refund transactions.
You and only you are responsible for your security.
Be diligent to keep your private key and password safe. Your private key is sometimes called your mnemonic phrase, keystore file, UTC file, JSON file, wallet file.
If you lose your private key or password, no one can recover it.
If you enter your private key on a phishing website, you will have all your funds taken.
If MyEtherWallet can’t do those things, what’s the point?
Because that is the point of decentralization and the blockchain.
You don’t have to rely on your bank, government, or anyone else when you want to move your funds.
You don’t have to rely on the security of an exchange or bank to keep your funds safe.
If you don’t find these things valuable, ask yourself why you think the blockchain and cryptocurrencies are valuable. 😉
If you don’t like the sound of this, consider using Coinbase or Blockchain.info. They have more familiar accounts with usernames & passwords.
If you are scared but want to use MEW, get a hardware wallet! These keep your keys secure.
How To Protect Yourself from Phishers
Phishers send you a message with a link to a website that looks just like MyEtherWallet, EtherDelta, Paypal, or your bank, but is not the real website. They steal your information and then steal your money.
Install EAL or MetaMask or Cryptonite by Metacert or the MyEtherWallet Chrome Extension to block malicious websites.
Always check the URL: https://www.myetherwallet.com.
Always make sure the URL bar has MYETHERWALLET INC in green.
Do not trust messages or links sent to you randomly via email, Slack, Reddit, Twitter, etc.
Always navigate directly to a site before you enter information. Do not enter information after clicking a link from a message or email.
Install an AdBlocker and do not click ads on your search engine (e.g. Google).
How To Protect Yourself from Scams
People will try to get you to give them money in return for nothing.
If it is too good to be true, it probably is.
Research before sending money to someone or some project. Look for information on a variety of websites and forums. Be wary.
Ask questions when you don’t understand something or it doesn’t seem right.
Don’t let fear, FUD, or FOMO win over common sense. If something is very urgent, ask yourself “why?”. It may be to create FOMO or prevent you from doing research.
How To Protect Yourself from Loss
If you lose your private key or password, it is gone forever. Don’t lose it.
Make a backup of your private key and password. Do NOT just store it on your computer. Print it out on a piece of paper or save it to a USB drive.
Store this paper or USB drive in a different physical location. A backup is not useful if it is destroyed by a fire or flood along with your laptop.
Do not store your private key in Dropbox, Google Drive, or other cloud storage. If that account is compromised, your funds will be stolen.
If you have more than 1-week’s worth of pay worth of cryptocurrency, get a hardware wallet. No excuses. It’s worth it. I promise.
Even more Security Tips!
Alright, I’m done lecturing you!
Sorry for being like this. Onwards!
- Get a hardware wallet
- How to Set up MEW + MetaMask
- How to Run MEW Offline / Locally
- How to Send via Ledger hardware wallet
- How to Send via TREZOR hardware wallet
- How to Send via MetaMask
- Learn More or Contact Us
OMG, please just let me send FFS.