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{ "title" : "Getting Started on MyEtherWallet.com", "sort" : "01", "category" : "Getting Started", "description" : "Getting Started", "date_published" : "2015-10-05T08:00:00+08:00", "date_modified" : "2017-11-11T08:00:00+08:00" }

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  • Please take some time to understand this for your own safety. 🙏
  • Your funds will be stolen if you do not heed these warnings.



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.
  • We cannot recover your funds or freeze your account if you visit a phishing site or lose your private key.
![](../images/getting-started/onboarding_icon-01.svg)


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.
![](../images/getting-started/onboarding_icon-02.svg)


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. 👎
![](../images/getting-started/onboarding_icon-03.svg)


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
![](../images/getting-started/onboarding_icon-04.svg)


We need you to understand that we **cannot**...

  • Access your account or send your funds for you.
  • Recover or change your private key.
  • Recover or reset your password.
  • Reverse, cancel, or refund transactions.
  • Freeze accounts.

**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 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.
![](../images/getting-started/onboarding_icon-05.svg)


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](https://www.coinbase.com/) or [Blockchain.info](https://blockchain.info/wallet/#/signup). They have more familiar accounts with usernames & passwords.
  • If you are scared but want to use MEW, [get a hardware wallet](https://kb.myetherwallet.com/hardware-wallets/hardware-wallet-recommendations.html)! These keep your keys secure.
![](../images/getting-started/onboarding_icon-06.svg)


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.

![](../images/getting-started/onboarding_icon-07.svg)


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.
![](../images/getting-started/onboarding_icon-08.svg)


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.

More Security Tips!

![](../images/getting-started/onboarding_icon-09.svg)


Onwards!

![](../images/getting-started/onboarding_icon-10.svg)