I just looked it up and it has a sent notice about 8 hours later.
The address has a couple small received amounts shown and that's it.
So you are sayiing that when looking at the blockchain (e.g., using http://Blockchain.info
) you can see the transaction from Mt. Gox (based on the date and the amount) to your address, but then there is another transaction that occurred after where the funds have since been spent?
So I guess somehow, someone ripped me, but I don't know how they got me.
Which client? Are you using passphrase encryption?
Can anyone tell me how to be safer with my coin and if this btc is gone forever? I assume it is.
Bitcoin transactions are nonreversible so if the above scenario is what occurred (a transaction spent your coins and it wasn't you that spent them) then yes, the funds are gone.
I just want to know if I bother to continue with btc since there seems to be no recourse if your money disappears.
Nobody can spend your coins unless they have access to your private keys stored in your wallet. There are differing levels of protection, suitable for different requirements. Of course, a paper wallet created offline using a bootable CD and an "air gap" to the network is one of the most secure methods, but that isn't convenient. Adding passphrase encryption to your wallet is going to protect your wallet from the risk where your wallet.dat somehow gets into the wrong hands. It won't protect you though if your system is compromised with spyware that contains keylogging software, for instance. Running the Bitcoin client locally does have the dependency that your system is kept secure.
There are protections that will protect even against that risk, to some degree. Mt. Gox, for instance, offers a Yubikey hardware device that is needed in order to login and withdraw from your account with them. There are other solutions from other exchanges as well. Even Blockchain offers an optional two-factor authentication method.
But if your coins were spent and you didn't do it, then the prudent course of action is to assume your system is compromised and proceed with an appropriate course of action from there. If you still have other bitcoins stored, then backup the wallet and recover the funds elsewhere first.