How To Prevent Being Scammed in the Blockchain

As the blockchain is becoming increasingly popular among the tech world and investors alike, fears are arising about the distributed nature of the technology and how, for example, losing the private key of your bitcoin wallet could lead to the loss of all your money.  If you still have doubts about the blockchain just because you’re afraid of being scammed, this article is definitely for you.

What are the risks?

Owning your own data exposes you to theft

If even the biggest international agencies like Equifax are exposed to theft and data breaches, imagine how vulnerable you are if you are managing your own data. With cryptocurrencies keen on keeping people’s identities anonymous, storing your private key locally or even in the cloud can be extremely risky.

Your cryptocurrencies are a target for hackers

With cryptocurrency prices getting higher than ever, stealing those coins is becoming even more tempting for hackers. Hackers have commonly used phone porting to steal bitcoins. Phone porting is an attack where hackers snoop around social media, looking for cryptocurrency conversations in which investors post their phone and email. Then, posing as the victim, they call up the phone provider in an attempt to fool a customer service representative into transferring the phone number to a device they control.

Anonymity leads to less transparency

Anonymity is highly beneficial for the blockchain, especially in terms of information confidentiality and the security of transactions. However, every time a user makes a transaction with someone they are giving their address, which can be used to find out the users crypto-net worth and the particular exchange that the user uses. This information can be used against the user, for example, in social engineering, hacking, blackmail, kidnapping, or by law enforcement in regions where cryptocurrencies are illegal.

How to protect yourself using the blockchain?

In order to ensure that you’re not vulnerable to any kind of scamming inside the crypto environment, you have to go through three layers of identification: Access identification using an app like Civic, work identification which can be ensured with a platform similar to Okta, and finally a global identification app like Biometrids that will massively reduce the risk of being scammed in the crypto environment. Let’s find out what these layers and apps are all about.

Civic        

What is it?

Civic is a blockchain-based app that prevents you from becoming a victim of identity theft. It provides identity protection services by allowing people to respond to fraud alerts in real time in order to prevent the fraudulent act from actually taking place. Civic achieves this by alerting users via push notifications to their smartphone, or a text or email when their Social Security Number is being used at the time of the transaction. This gives the consumer the power to immediately deny the transaction.

How can you use it?

Civic provides a mobile app that is available for both Android and iOS. Once you download the app into your phone, the user needs to enter a passcode of his or her choosing. Then the user can verify his own phone number and email through two factor authentication. Afterwards, you’re all set to use or register in any Civic Partner website safely. Since Civic Partner websites request your information through custom QR codes to be scanned with the Civic Secure Identity app, you’re the only who can unlock the app since it relies on biometrics to do so. Once you can scan these codes, as well as review exactly which information is being requested, you can choose whether to approve or deny the request.

What are the benefits?

The Civic app proposes a new authentication paradigm, and it certainly raises the question about how secure it is. Is it more secure than Facebook or Google? Well, as secure as Facebook and Google are, they still use two factor authentication to prevent identity theft. Moreover, using the blockchain to prevent identity theft gives the Civic app a slight edge over any other authentication technology. More importantly, as Civic CEO Vinny Lingham stated, his app offers the advantage of immediate reporting to the user when his identity is used by another person, unlike previous data breaches where companies report identity theft after the fact.

Okta     

What is it?

Okta is an on-demand identity and access management service company, often referred to as Identity-Management as a Service (IDaaS). Okta is gaining a strong reputation as an identity management platform provider for the enterprise. Its Okta Mobility Management (OMM) platform applies Okta’s identity management platform to mobile enterprises and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) security.

How can you use it?

The free Okta Mobile app (iOS/Android) is a single sign-on (SSO) application enabling users to access enterprise applications using their Okta credentials. Okta Mobility Management (OMM) gives you the option to specify whether to open an app via the web or a native mobile app. Okta has an easy to use dashboard. You can also activate and deactivate people within a few clicks.  Moreover, you can send 150 character messages to all your users directly from the Okta Notifications page. All of this results in eventually increasing productivity within the workspace. You can find more about how to use the app in here.

What are the benefits?

  • Eliminate login and password hassles: Bypass the security risks of multiple logins and enforce strong password policies with Okta Single Sign-On.
  • Automate the user lifecycle & improve collaboration: Automatically create users at scale within Okta’s dashboard, based on security groups and other management attributes. You can also automatically add new users to pre-existing internal groups, giving them full access to all the collaboration that has taken place since the creation.
  • Add multi-factor authentication: Add an extra layer of security to Workplace on day one with modern factors including Okta Verify, or third-parties like Yubikey and Google Authenticator.

Biometrids    

What is it?

Biometrids, found online at Biometrids.io, allows people to identify themselves to others using face recognition services that are already built into their phones. The identifying data is recorded onto the blockchain with every person in the distributed ledger having a unique ID. Each face is linked to an ID. If you are recorded in the chain once, then you’ll never be able to manipulate that ID again or copy it.

How can you use it?

Biometrids proves particularly useful when you want to do business online. You may, for example, want to check to see if you can trust that the other person sells original products, or that the other person is really who they say they are. Let’s say a company or user in a forum needs to identify you. That individual or company can send a request for your Biometrids wallet. A request will pop up on the screen, and you can simply scan your face. This validates your identity. Your face recognition – through your phone – is matched with the Biometrids blockchain ID linked to that face. If everything matches then your ID is verified and you’re good to go. Moreover, Biometrids is an important utility when logging in to services as it uses facial recognition for authentication. That means that once a person is logged in, be it on a social network or business forum, a high amount of trust is ensured between the network’s participants.

What are the benefits?

  • Ensuring identity makes the system trustworthy: As bounding people to their true identity will result in preventing the sending of fake products or fake deals, the fraudulent actors will be registered as people to avoid doing deals with in the system.
  • Free of charge implementation:  By using the API connected to the Biometrids platform, any service can adopt Biometrids’ ID protocol into their own system and force people to use the Biometrids ID to improve security and so that customers know they are transacting with genuine people.
  • Very Low Fees: When a company wants someone to confirm their identity, they can send a request for that person to identify themselves. The person then scans their face, which identifies them to the company. These transactions will have a cost of 0.1 IDS each.

What are the top domains that can benefit from Biometrids?

  • E-commerce: Scammers use e-commerce platforms with fake ID cards, fake social media profiles, someone else’s fingerprint, and even fake names. With Biometrids combining the blockchain with facial recognition, this entire problem is solved.
  • Rental: Despite platforms like Airbnb taking several measures to get rid of scammers in their platforms, fake presentations and details are still posted on such websites. Biometrids can give an efficient solution for these issues as well.
  • ICO participation: ICO scams have become so common that China has banned them once and for all. Biometrids can definitively solve this problem since it can leverage people by their true face and identity.

Conclusion

Getting scammed in the crypto environment remains a valid and constant threat given that there is always money at stake. Therefore, users should take necessary precautions and look for the most secure apps, preferably blockchain-based ones, to prevent being exposed to identity theft.

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