Can Blockchain Technology End the Threat of Online Personal Data Theft?

 

Blockchain and Identity Theft

Technology has been evolving at an alarming rate for more than a decade, and now more than ever people use personal, portable devices like their laptops and smartphones to buy and sell goods/ services in marketplaces online. Personal information tends to flow more freely than one might hope due to the familiarity of the websites that you are using.  It’s only after the theft has occurred that we heed the warnings and begin to take proper care of ourselves and our personal information. Only after our identity has been lifted and the crime successfully committed, do we encounter every website as less of a safe space, and more a place we share with real people on which we should tread lightly. With our awareness heightened, we finally do proper due diligence and verify that those we interact with are whom they say that they are.   More and more every day as one more database falls prey to a successful hacker do we see the illusion of digital security crumbling. Sadly it usually takes a personal encounter with these digital criminals before people become less inclined to provide retailers in big online marketplaces with compromising personal data. 

Blockchain technology holds the unique promise of change and gives consumers control over their online identities, adding a durable layer of security that offers peace of mind as we maneuver all online communities and marketplaces.  Below is a quick and simple overview of blockchain technology and how it aims to combat online thievery, keep your data safe and secure, but allowing you to continue purchasing online as you have always done before.

The Problem With Standard Financial Transactions:

With standard online financial transactions, the consumer enters their credit card or bank information directly with the website to pay for the goods or services they wish to purchase. The databases used to complete these transactions saves your data with the expectation that you will come back to the site and buy again. Now, this is a beautiful shortcut for the consumer and an excellent ploy service providers use to lure customers back to their website to make second and third purchases since it’s quicker, simpler, and the credit card used initially no longer needs to be present.  This is convenience at its finest, but this time-saving model pokes many holes in the security of that website and the information that you provided. Your run of the mill online criminal would only need to compromise one of the online retailers with which you’ve saved your data, and just like that, you fall prey to these terrible criminals and become the next victim of identity theft.

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The Quickest Overview of Blockchain Technology Recorded:

A blockchain is a decentralized network of peers that maintains a ledger for all transactions that take place within the system. Rather than using a central database to store financial records, a blockchain depends on the user to change and update transaction logs and personal account balances. The fact that no one single person can control the entire network creates the foundation for enhanced safety and security that only blockchain can provide us.

How Blockchain Fills the Security Gap (Simplified)

Blockchain technology and its decentralized, scrambled network can fill the gaps between the consumer and the service provider where it is the most accessible to poaching from online criminals. This extra layer of added security provided by the blockchain would be enough to present and guarantee personal data’s safety and to, once again, instill a sense of confidence when making purchases online. When blockchain technology is used to complete a transaction, the consumer has a secure account from which to send the required funds. For those of you familiar with the blockchain revolution, this secure account is your wallet.  

Initially provided to investors in need of cryptocurrency storage, the digital wallet is a secure place where you would keep all of your personal information accessible to you and only you. Wallets receive a unique ID number similar to a bank account number meant for use when making online purchases. Once finalized, the wallet will then broadcast the transaction on the blockchain network for everyone to see. In other words, you have not exchanged a bit of personal information directly with the retailer entirely bypassing that sensitive moment where your data could be most vulnerable.  Even if hackers could break into a website’s server with the purpose of gaining access to consumer’s data, they will find nothing of value.

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Consumer Awareness is Still Key:

Blockchain technology reduces the risk of identity theft but does not make consumers entirely immune to these criminals. A determined attacker could work to gain access to your digital wallet, seize control of your funds and leave the consumer powerless to stop the threat. It is still imperative to maintain proper security on all personal devices by using a reliable antivirus program.  Stay aware and educated on cyber intrusion and to make sure you are utilizing the most sophisticated applications on the market to combat these online criminals.

TO SECURE YOUR UNDERSTANDING…

Blockchain technology decentralizes transaction logs and removes the requirement to enter personal data during an online transaction. For more information and up-to-date news on blockchain technology, visit www.springlabs.com.

Adam Jiwan, CEO – Spring Labs – Powering the Future of Credit and Identity

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