In this article, we'll discuss the aspect of using a Bitcoin wallet to safely store your BitCoins. In a relatively short space of time, BitCoins have earned its place as a viable alternative to paper (fiat) currency.
With that said, it is very important for you to know what BitCoin wallets are and how to safely store your BitCoins in your wallet. You will need to treat your BitCoin wallet in the same way that you treat your physical wallet in your pocket. You would not leave your wallet on some random table for anyone to pick up, now would you?
You can create your BitCoin wallet either offline or online. The method that you use is directly dependent on your own personal security needs.
Having a BitCoin Wallet Online.
With an online BitCoin wallet you can easily perform transactions in any location where you have internet access and on any desktop or mobile device. This gives you the freedom, for example, of moving to another country with well over $10,000 worth of BitCoins.
The security measures in place for keeping your BitCoins online are getting better every day. But like everything else in life – nothing is perfect. If the website where you store your BitCoins does not have a high amount of security, there's a good chance that the website could get hacked. If this happens, some or even all of your BitCoins can be stolen – and there are no ways to automatically retrieve BitCoins once they are transferred to another account.
There are ways of increasing the security of your online wallet such as enabling two-factor authentication (available on all reputable online wallets), where you can enter your password and then receive a text message on your mobile phone with a second code.
Besides using two-factor authentication, you should also use a lengthy password (mixed with letters, numbers and symbols) and make sure to backup your wallet in an offline location.
Nothing is completely impervious to persistent hackers, but using these strategies will give hackers a really hard time – thereby forcing them to move to easier targets.
Here is a list of popular online bitcoin wallets:
Having a BitCoin Wallet Offline.
If you are worried about your BitCoins being stolen from your online wallet, then your best alternative is to download an offline wallet and store your BitCoins on your desktop computer.
Here's a list of popular desktop BitCoin wallets for both Windows and Mac computers:
If you are not very tech savvy when it comes to BitCoins, then it is recommended that you should use one of the simpler Bitcoin wallets.
An offline BitCoin wallet needs to do the following:
1. Connect to the BitCoin network (BlockChain) with a high amount of security.
2. Securely perform outgoing Bitcoin transactions.
3. Securely perform incoming BitCoin transactions.
4. Store your BitCoin wallet data on your computer.
5. Backup your BitCoin wallet data to a remote location (like your DropBox account for example).
Bitcoin wallets would have different additional features, but the ones mentioned above are the most important. Take your time and see which one of these wallets would be right for you.
As you can see, with BitCoins you have lots of options when it comes to storage and performing transactions. Just use your BitCoin wallet in the same way that you use your physical wallet – the difference being that your digital wallet can perform transactions on a worldwide scale. So if you don't have a wallet as yet, have a look at the options provided. Take your time and see which BitCoin wallet solution is right for you.
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