Blockchain Could be our Best Defense Against Identity Theft
I'm lucky; I've never had my identity stolen. However, millions of Americans — MAYBE EVEN YOU — have had their identity stolen.
And the financial consequences can be devastating.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, a record 16.7 million American consumers/businesses had their identities stolen last year alone. They were robbed of $16.8 billion. Ouch!
What are the odds of having your identity stolen?
About 33% U.S. adults overall have experienced identity theft, according to cybersecurity company Proofpoint Inc's (PFPT) 2018 User Risk Report.
About one in 15 people experienced identity fraud in 2017.
The Federal Trade Commission lists the most common types of identity fraud crimes ...
- Tax Return Fraud: When a criminal uses your Social Security number and personal information to file an income tax
- Credit Card Fraud: When a cyber thief uses someone your credit card number to make fraudulent
- Phone/Utilities Fraud: Using your personal information to open a wireless phone or utility
- Bank Fraud: Using your personal information to take over an existing financial account or to open a new account in your
- Loan/Lease Fraud: Using your identity to obtain a loan or lease in your
- Government Benefits Fraud: Using your stolen identity to obtain government
Even if you're diligent and use a credit monitoring service (which I HIGHLY recommend), your identity can still be stolen from a company that you've done business with.
The list of examples is long, but the most recent is Capital One (COF).
Last week, the personal information of over 100 million customers was stolen in one of the largest security breaches ever.
Capital One admitted that the hackers gained access to names, addresses, birthdates, emails, credit scores, transaction records and even Social Security numbers. Not to mention the bank accounts of Capital One credit card customers.
If you're a Capital One customer, the first thing you should do is sign up for a credit monitoring service. Credit Karma is a free service that alerts you when a new line of credit is taken out in your name. It also notifies you if your personal information is found in an online cyber thief's database.
If you suspect your identity has been compromised, you can also place a freeze on your credit files. This move prevents anyone from using your information to open a new line of credit.
So, I can hear you asking: What's this got to do with blockchain or cryptocurrencies?
While some cryptocurrency wallets have been hacked, NO ONE has ever hacked Bitcoin. That's because blockchain is the most secure computing network in the world. This security is exactly why the business world is rapidly incorporating blockchain technology into their corporate databases.
The key factor of blockchain security is decentralization. There is no central location for cyber thieves to search for your personal data.
Cybersecurity expert Cybersecurity Ventures forecasts that total global spending on cybersecurity will exceed $1 trillion cumulatively over the five-year period from 2017 to 2021.
I'm sure a big chunk of that $1 trillion jackpot is going to find its way into the coffers of the blockchain service providers …
… and a piece of THAT action is going to find its way into the pockets of investors who are savvy enough to include those kinds of stocks in their portfolios.
Jump on the blockchain bandwagon ... NOW. There's a mountain of money to be made. To see how you can learn the "identities" of the best players in this booming industry, start here.