Since the turn of the millennium, few currencies have experienced as many highs and lows as Bitcoin. A few years ago, very few knew that the cryptocurrency even existed and yet it continued to gain more and more value with every passing year. Eventually, Bitcoin became so huge that it caught the public’s eye, becoming a part of our daily news cycle and attracting more users than anyone could have ever imagined.
Since then the number of Bitcoin users and investors has exploded, and yet not everyone knows how to keep their digital currency safe. This has led to a number of worrying reports regarding Bitcoin and security, with hackers looking to get a good chunk of the Bitcoin empire which could be worth billions of dollars in theory.
To ensure that our readers’ Bitcoins remain secure for the foreseeable future, we’ve compiled a brief guide on how you can keep your cryptocurrency safe and secure.
Safe & Sound?Bitcoin wallet by QuoteInspector on Flickr
Before you can even get your hands on some Bitcoin, you normally will need a digital wallet where you can store it. There are numerous different kinds of wallets out there, so it’s crucial to look for the wallet that will suit your needs. Many Bitcoin users choose to use a mobile wallet, which is exactly what you think it is – an app for your smartphone. These are undeniably convenient, but many people are against the idea of walking around with their digital cash on them at all times.
Another option is a web wallet, which exists solely online as they are entirely browser-based. Again, these are convenient and come with a number of fancy flares, but some may have security risks. If you are going to choose this form of wallet we highly recommend using a well-established Bitcoin wallet provider with a good amount of built-in security already in place such as Coinbase, which is also a cryptocurrency exchange platform. According to this Coinbase review, all deposits are insured – that is how confident they are in their security and so it may be one of the best sites to trust with your Bitcoins.
Arguably the safest way to store your Bitcoins is to simply place them on a hard drive, as this ensures that your cryptocurrency will be completely safe from digital threats when not plugged in. A hardware wallet is absolutely perfect for anyone who isn’t accessing their Bitcoins to make exchanges regularly, but if you are then you may want to consider a desktop wallet. This will exist in your computers storage drive which will be far easier to access but will rely on your computer as a whole being secure. In a perfect world, your desktop wallet will be stored on a computer that is not connected to the internet at all times and has up to date operating systems as well as robust virus protection.
There are other wallets to consider including paper wallets that you create yourself, though these are best left to those with a full technical knowledge as they can get complicated. Regardless of which wallet you trust with your Bitcoin, the most important thing you must do afterwards is to remember your passcodes, passwords and passphrases. Without those you’re likely to lock yourself out, meaning that your Bitcoin will be secure even from you.
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