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Quantum Mechanics and ID Theft

Jackie here. Today’s computers are smarter and faster than ever before, but even with all the technology we have, it often seems impossible to completely protect personal information. Quantum mechanics, a complex branch of physics, may hold some of the keys to enhanced protection.

Some researchers worry that quantum computers (currently theoretical, but could be a reality in the coming years) could put an end to current data protection practices. These computers calculate differently than a modern PC and are believed to be able to quickly break in to public key encryption systems.

While most experts think quantum computers are probably 10+ years away from becoming a reality, researchers have begun looking for ways to protect information from attacks with these devices. The NSA is warning that quantum computers could become a problem when it comes to protecting information.

One solution may be to use quantum mechanics in the fight against quantum computers. Researchers hope that by transmitting data using quantum principles, they will be better able to tell when information has been compromised. Some even say that the system will be un-hackable if done properly.

An un-hackable password may be waiting in the future, but before we can use it, we’ll need to change the way data is transmitted. Current systems use 0s and 1s to electronically send a signal. The quantum theory would use protons, or bits of light. The process is very complex and would require major changes in infrastructure.

While this particular threat, and its potential solution, are years away, it is a good reminder that protecting your identity should be an ongoing effort. New threats and new ways to protect your identity crop up frequently.

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