Public blockchains like Ethereum are the next evolution of Internet databases, and MetaMask is the next evolution of the browser.
MetaMask is a web browser extension and mobile app that allows you to manage your Ethereum private keys. By doing so, it serves as a wallet for Ether and other tokens, and allows you to interact with decentralized applications, or dapps. Unlike some wallets, MetaMask keeps no information on you: not your email address, not your password, and not your Secret Recovery Phrase or other private keys. You retain all power over your crypto-identity
Alternatively, you could also access each browser's extension store and search for MetaMask. Whatever you prefer!
Configuring your privacy settings When installing the MetaMask extension, you'll be able to adjust privacy settings one-by-one to ensure the app is set up according to your privacy preferences.
To do this, simply hit the 'Advanced configuration' button in the wallet set-up process. Here you can toggle/configure settings including:
Phishing detection Incoming transactions Additional token price information from third-party sources The default RPC provider Token autodetect Batch account requests Custom IPFS gateway. Don't worry if you're unsure during setup: once your wallet is up and running, you can access the same settings at any time in Settings > Security & Privacy.
Extension permissions When adding MetaMask to your browser, you may ask why you’d have to approve an extension to “read and change all your data on the websites you visit”. Get ready, the answer is technical:
If you are still not convinced, a good way to experiment and manage your browser is to sandbox your MetaMask: create a separate browser profile so that MetaMask is only installed there. This will let you get used to MetaMask and Web3 in an environment that's separate from your existing web identity.
That said, MetaMask is safe for browsing. Welcome — you're joining over 30 million MetaMask users all over the world!