People are always looking for more security in their lives. This extends to their online existence. Within conversations surrounding security, a word that has popped up numerous times in the last decade is Blockchain. Another saviour that has been devised to streamline our lives and protect us from online threats? Possibly, but what does it actually do, and can it actually provide you with a more secure browsing experience?
What are online safety concerns?
It’s common knowledge that the internet isn’t necessarily a safe place. Despite many of us becoming more security-savvy in recent years, learning how to identify scams and installing protective software into our machines, it doesn’t mean everyone fully understands the importance of online security.
Even your grandparents know about computer viruses, but that doesn’t mean they can protect themselves from them. Malware is the catch-all term that covers viruses, spyware, trojan horses and the like. This malicious software infiltrates your system usually through an email or unsafe download, bypassing your security software and harming your device or holding it ransom.
In an age where we all store our details on various browsers and apps, everything from our bank details to our addresses are up for grabs from hackers with the right tools and knowledge. Information theft can involve your details being stolen and sold on the dark web or held for ransom until you cough up. Either way, it can be an incredibly stressful situation and happens in both small and large ways every day.
This can happen totally out of your control too, this is why you need to make sure the apps and websites you provide your details with have strong security systems. If you want to gamble online, for example, check to see whether the online casino you’ve like to use has been reviewed on OnlineCasinos and what their verdict on its security measures.
We’ve all gotten pretty good at spotting emails that sound too good to be true. But that doesn’t mean phishing scams aren’t still incredibly common. Phishing scams usually target individuals at risk, asking them to either hand over details or capturing them through a dummy link after convincing them with a professional-looking email using genuine branding material, such as that of a bank.
What does blockchain do?
Unfortunately for blockchain technology, the B-word has become a bit of a buzzword in recent years, with very few people actually understanding its purpose.
Blockchain (as the name would suggest) creates a chain of blocks, each one an individual record of a transaction. With each step being individually recorded, this makes it harder for a hacker to tamper with, as they would have to edit each portion of the blockchain. Each record is secured through cryptography, which assigns a key and signature to each customer and transaction. If the record is altered at all the signature becomes invalid.
Blockchain is all about offering clarity and making it harder for hackers to get their hands on personal information. The technology is decentralised so as to create no single point of failure. Bigger is better in the world of blockchain, so the larger a network grows the more secure it is.
Who does it keep safe, and how?
Unfortunately for the average internet user looking to make their browsing experience safer, Blockchain is not a magic wand that will wave away the hackers and scammers of the world.
It is mainly of benefit to businesses. Individuals will only see use and safety from it if they are purchasing using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, which is a very small portion of the population. It makes individual transactions clearer and more secure, as well as encrypting them all. This makes it much harder to have your money stolen, as your details are not in clear view.
However, on the flip side to shop using the blockchain requires you to store your virtual wallet somewhere. If that gets stolen or hacked into, there’s almost nothing you can do to get your money back. The average online shopper needs to weigh up the benefits and risk of handing over more information for more secure, verified transactions.
Blockchain is not an easy concept to understand, especially when your mind is focused on trying to stay more secure online. Unfortunately, a blockchain is only as secure as the infrastructure supporting it and isn’t a universal solution for your security needs.