Personal Safety in the Age of Digital Technology

Having Internet access every minute of every day helps us do many tasks of varying difficulty more efficiently. We no longer even process its presence because it’s just so integrated into our lives: we just chat with our friends anytime, send out work e-mails all day, search for quick info or entertainment, go shopping conveniently, and many others. The perks of being online basically comprise our lifestyles, without us having to really think about our cyber involvement. Once we do, however, an important question arises: how can I ensure my personal safety while availing everything that being online has to offer me?

The issue of personal safety on the Internet takes many forms. These include safeguarding one’s privacy and personal information, avoiding identity theft, watching out for malware, detecting fraud and various scams, even staying away from predators and/or cyberbullies. This means that our many conveniences should always come with a certain level of vigilance.

One of the easiest and most obvious things to do is be smart with passwords. For your accounts, creating passwords that are hard to decipher is the first step, but not the only one. It also helps to have different ones for different sites, and to change all of them every once in a while. Then again, passwords aren’t enough to ensure the security of your accounts.

Having great passwords doesn’t mean we can do whatever we want with our profiles and such. Be very aware of what you share online. Of course, it’s a lot of fun to post photos on social media, but you also have to consider: what info about me can people online infer from these photos? Is my home address shown to the general public, or just my friends? From religious affiliations to current employers, it’s also sometimes tempting and seemingly necessary to exhibit many details about yourself on certain sites and apps, but think carefully about which ones you put on your profile.

Watch out for sites that ask for your bank accounts or Social Security number. Of course, it’s unavoidable to enter your credit card details when shopping online, but do the necessary background checks on the stores or whatever other sites you’re giving your information to. Identity theft is a prevailing problem on the Internet, and knowing which sites or apps are reputable should help a lot.

Lastly, the Internet provides many avenues for us to meet other people. To keep these interactions safe and enjoyable, we also need measures to ensure our personal safety. Users sometimes fake their identities (called catfishing) in order to have people send them money, lure others out in real life, prey on children, and lots of scary stuff. Some basic tips when arranging to meet in person: make sure to have the meetup in a public place and tell a family member or a friend about it.

The BeepBeep Nation app has its own mechanisms to help with its users’ personal safety. As the app encourages people to help each other out by meeting and interacting in person, it’s very important to know just how safe you are when using it. Fuelled by the EMINENT (EMN) token, BeepBeep Nation’s payment methods are cashless and therefore more secure for you. Because the app has a built-in e-wallet that stores EMN, you don’t have to enter your bank details with every encounter. Payments are carried out with just one tap. The EMN is an ERC20 token, processed in the Ethereum blockchain platform, which makes for faster and safer transactions.

Aside form this, the app itself has other features. Both people who request for help (requestors) and people who can offer help (helpers) can put a profile photo, which will aid in recognizing each other during the meetup. Real requestors and helpers should have no reason to hide their appearance. Below their profile photo, all users also have a green bar with a score of 1 to 10 called a Beep Rank. After a meetup, requestors and helpers can rate and even comment on each other. The Beep Rank takes into account these ratings and other important factors about a user’s previous help history.

Requestors and helpers are also encouraged to take a Beepie with each other. A Beepie is sort of like a selfie with the two of you or more, and it will be taken on the spot during the meetup for help. By uploading Beepies as evidence of previous help transactions, it assists other users to identify which requestors or helpers can be trusted. There is also a Chat feature to converse with your prospective requestor or helper, which you can use to verify some information before you proceed with the meetup.

Ultimately, BeepBeep Nation’s goal is to create a helping economy in which people willingly help each other out in many different ways. Because the personal safety of its users is paramount to the app in achieving this goal, BeepBeep Nation also provides them with practical measures. It’s up to the individuals as well to use the potential of these safety features wisely.

BeepBeep Nation will launch soon in selected cities worldwide. Make sure to check out the EMINENT token sale, now available!

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Blockchain Program Piloted to Help Homeless in Austin

With corporate tech giants making appearances on our news feeds every hour, it is difficult to deny that technology serves the purpose of profit most of the time.

Nevertheless, it is also impossible to ignore its greater impact when it serves the purpose of solving real social issues. For example, innovations such as 24-hour “free purchase” vending machines and portable origami tents were produced in a response to the issue of homelessness.

Today, one technological advancement that is making waves is blockchain. Blockchain is used in cryptocurrencies, and the use of cryptocurrency has become more common recently; I believe it is only bound to get bigger in the future.

However, another very real potential of blockchain is the way it can be used to solve critical human issues through its decentralized, private, and secure mechanisms. More governments around the world are also bound to engage this technology if they want to keep finding solutions to various social problems.

Surprisingly ahead of the blockchain race, the city of Austin pilots a platform that uses it to provide identity services for the homeless.

Steve Adler, the mayor of Austin since 2015, explained to TechCrunch that “at a high level, [the pilot] is trying to figure out how to solve one of the challenges we have in our community related to the homeless population, which is how to keep all the information of that individual with that individual.”

If governments cannot address the issue of identity, then the cycle of poverty persists among these people who live in the margins, such as the homeless or refugess. Austin’s blockchain platform seeks to consolidate the identification details of each person and let service providers, like those in health care, safely access that information.

The use of electronic encrypted records eliminates the need for paper records to verify a person’s identity. In addition to this, blockchain can also build someone’s personal history over time by keeping a record of the services he/she had previously availed. Indeed, the program opens up a lot of possibilities for social services.

As Sly Majid, Chief Services Officer for Austin, said, “If you have your backpack stolen or if your social security card gets wet and falls apart, or if you are camping and the city cleans up the site and takes your possessions, you have to start all over from the beginning again … It really prevents you from going about and doing the sort of activities that allow you to transition out of homelessness.”

If Austin can successfully use blockchain to improve the lives of homeless people, then it only goes to show that more governments should be willing to get involved in advance technologies and new economies as a commitment to their citizens.

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