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BlockCerts Use Case Desk: ShareCERTin vs. The Dropbox Effect

BlockCerts Use Case Desk: ShareCERTin vs. The Dropbox Effect

Dropbox boasts 500 million users today. It gained in popularity because it solved a couple of problems, but…what problems did it create? Did you know there are unintended consequences now called “The Dropbox Effect”? This is costing businesses dearly, many are unaware it’s happening, others find-out when it’s too late, so beware!

The platform was a step up from the floppy disks and clunky flash drives we had to lug around back in the day, but in terms of user security, it’s scary to discover how quickly that information can be shared…unless you do things differently.

Here’s how ShareCERTin will secure your business and bring more advanced solutions to the cloud. 

The cloud storage company is a popular choice among businesses looking for an easy way to store and sync files and encourage collaboration from anywhere be it a desktop, server or smartphone. It solved the issue of sending an email that couldn’t support a large attachment. The platform was certainly a step up from the floppy disks and clunky flash drives we had to lug around back in the day. Instead of carrying our data with us, we found that it was easier to store our data in the cloud and access it anytime.

The Dropbox Effect (and Unintended Consequences)

In science there are unintended consequences, outcomes that are not the ones foreseen or intended on purpose. There are good ones and bad ones. For example, Silly Putty was a great one. In World War II scientists were trying to develop a rubber, that was in short supply, aka, Silly Putty was born.

The term “unintended consequences” was popularized by the American sociologist Robert Merton. The introduction of the internet had many unintended good consequences, ordering goods to be delivered and many conveniences, for example. There is a growing list of negative consequences ushered-in by the internet too, like the unwanted sharing of personal data, easy hacking into enterprise databases, the proliferation of “fake news” on social networks, emails with links you’re afraid to open for the fear of computer malware, and the list goes on.

Tim Vasko, founder of BlockCerts, believes that, “The Blockchain will fix the problems that the internet created.” There are a number of unintended consequences which businesses are now facing with Dropbox and many other “Centralized Databases” which also use email as their form of distribution.

The Dropbox Effect is one that has a growing concern with businesses of all sizes. You or your employee shares or collaborates on files and in the process exposes important business secrets with the world. By sending an email with a link, those emails can get hacked and anyone can open that link. By sharing a link, your information can also be shared with anyone, whether you’ve approved it or not. Just think of all of the files, contracts and important information that is shared through a file sharing service. What if you don’t want that to get to your competitor or into the wrong hands, especially sensitive data and information. Links can be shared and are shared and the only way to protect it is through a secure service.

The Dropbox Security Issue

Dropbox brought something special to the masses, but maybe Steve Jobs said it best, Dropbox is “a feature, not a product.” An effective product would first prioritize users’ security and unfortunately, that has not been reflected with the company. According to a recent article by VentureBeat, Dropbox has become a “problem child of cloud security.”

The article cites various instances of security problems that the company has faced, including one instance in which individuals’ usernames and passwords were stolen from other websites and used to access their accounts. In another instance, a bug in Dropbox’s authentication mechanism caused all users’ files to be publicly accessible for up to four hours. Yikes!

Dropbox connects to your account through the email address you signed up with. The problem is, email can get hacked extremely easily and you’re basically placing your most important documents right into the hands of your competitors. Businesses are now paying $200 a year for Dropbox. Secure or not, and whether you use it or not, you’re paying for that service and crossing your fingers that your information doesn’t get compromised.


With the advent of the blockchain, we are transitioning from the rocky grounds of email to an advanced platform where security is embedded into each document you store, share and sign within your business. With ShareCERTin, your documents are shared only with those who you intend to share it with. You know when it is opened and by whom. And if the project is time-sensitive, you’ll know when to initiate a phone call to remind that person to take a look at the document.

No longer are you waiting around wondering if the person on the other side has received or opened an email. With version control and a full view of every version of every document, you’ll be on the same team throughout the process, working towards the best end result.

You’ll also know exactly whom you’re working with. On the platform, everyone receives a 64 digit private key and only those who you have specifically shared a document with will be able to open that door. Now you can share important files and start conversations with the right people. You can block information from being screen captured or even downloaded if you so desire, creating a view-only environment as well.

It’s time to be certain about where your information is really going. ShareCERTin is not just a feature, it’s a product to get your team working on the same team and here at BlockCerts, we’re rooting for you.