The next phase of Your Digital Self

The next phase of Your Digital Self

Dear Your Digital Self-Community,

We’re delighted to tell you about the next phase of Your Digital Self!

Table of Contents

What happened after “Your Digital Profile”

Your Digital Profile gave us a unique insight. Yes, we each learned what data Germany’s largest Data Enrichment Company collects about us and about over 70 Million residents, but we learned something else that changed our view on the state of Personal Data globally dramatically.

We reached our target and collected €10.000 to build Your Digital Profile and many supporters added considerable donations to their pledge: people cared!
And then something interesting happened: Less than half of the supporters went online to complete the process and of those, only half ever logged in to look at the information.

We had to chew on that a bit, but slowly a picture started to emerge that we saw confirmed all around us: We care about the topic of personal data and we think something is wrong, but we personally don’t take action to change the way we behave online.

Why do we continue without change if we think it’s not right?

We became obsessed with this question, because we kept seeing it standing in the way of a change everywhere.
Projects that try to make things better for consumers and their data have a tendency to fail, amazing technical efforts and research struggle to catch the public eye but it feels like every second hollywood production is happy to joke about “technology companies own all our data”, which never fails to get more than its fair share of likes on Facebook.

The results we found are confrontational and hard to hear. But stay with us, we have a plan.

First the easy part: we’re comfortable.

The internet gives us a number of comforts. Easy communication with our friends, distracting pictures, easy navigation or a simple way to buy tickets. We know that these things are connected to the Data that we give in exchange for these comforts. We suspect, or even know, that the deal is not fair, but we don’t want to give up our comfort so we don’t dig too deep. And why would we?!

Second: the issue is too big

While the internet is a daily companion, how it actually works is a mystery for most people. What we do know is that parts are controlled by companies and institutions with impressive wealth and influence. While these companies make it easy for us to use the internet, they also dictate what we see, hear or read. It seems that for us to gain autonomy over our Digital Identity, so much needs to change!
It’s understandable to feel powerless against those odds.

Third: We’re hurt and we have lost trust.

Our digital selves are in a relationship where we feel something is not right, but we don’t know how we can get out. We know we’re not safe: we’ve been confronted with big headlines about millions of leaked accounts and profiles often enough. We know about the dangers of data theft. We’ve been told about micro-targeting and mass manipulation and we’ve been shocked about the documentaries every time.

And while I am typing this I am arranging with my friends to meet over a common messenger service that I know is not safe.
I will just leave this there for you to ponder about and decide how much of this applies to you personally. It’s onward and upward from here on: we’re looking for solutions, afterall!

Digital Dignity

“The value of our Digital Identities is far greater than the money that is being made with them.”

Now that the Internet is so common in our daily lives, we must realize that the online world is as much part of our lived experience as the analog world. There are two very important consequences that we must draw from there:

  1. The sum of our Personal Data is a complete recollection of our online experiences: it is our Digital Identity.
  2. Our Digital Identity is due that same inalienable right that we are all due as members of the human family: Dignity*. Digital Dignity is the sovereignty over your Digital Identity
    (* Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

To achieve dignity in our online world, we need to achieve these 3 things, one after the other.
Insight, Sovereignty and a way to make meaningful Connections between our Digital Identities.


We need to have easy options to get a complete overview of what information is available about us, either individually or as part of a group. We need to know who has that information and what, by right, they can do with it.


We need non-invasive, user friendly tools to manage our fractured Digital Identities. In many countries we still need a safe legal structure protecting our ownership over our Digital Identities.


As individuals, we grow through our meaningful connections. Allow our Digital Selves to do the same. Access-rights based connections between Digital Identities will radically improve people’s lives for comfort, sharing, learning, to earn and to contribute to society.

Your Digital Self

The objective of Your Digital Self is now to include “Digital Dignity” in public discussions and construct workable models for companies to achieve Digital Dignity for their customers.

But more importantly, we are building a number of tools that can easily help you achieve a level of Dignity Dignity that you feel comfortable with. Dignity has no uniformal style so not all of the tools will be of interest to you but we are dedicated to building a toolkit with options for everyone. We likewise believe that Digital Dignity should be available to everyone and are planning to provide all tools and information with a “choose what you pay” concept.

Introducing: Persona

Persona masks your private email in online registrations, tells you who shared your data and increases your online security.
Find out more about our first tool here:

Since we aim to provide all tools and info for a voluntary contribution, we’re happy for any support you can give us while we work on the next development or publication. Check out to sign the charter, check out options if you want to join the cause or show your appreciation by making a donation.

Header Photo by Jukan Tateisi on Unsplash

Michiel Top
Michiel Top
While working on strategic positioning, marketing and sales programs for various companies, I was shocked again and again by how easily accessible private information actually is. Around 2017, when I was designing an online customer management system, it occurred to me how we could turn the tables. Then in mid-2020, when my own GDPR application to a well-known data enrichment company failed, I knew something had to be done.

What is Digital Privacy & 7 Ways on How to Protect It in 2022

What is Digital Privacy & 7 Ways on How to Protect It in 2022

Are you worried about digital privacy and searching for ways to hide digital footprints? Does digital privacy concern you as data breaches are increasing with time, and you find plenty of digital privacy frauds?

If so, you’re not alone in this! Many people are unaware of how their personal information is collected, shared and used in our digital society. Your personal data, including your email address, social security number, and phone number, are worth a lot of money to businesses. In this era of uncertainty and heightened risk, it is significant to plan your digital privacy strategy. Due to this, people regard digital privacy greatly.

Luckily, it’s possible to live a private online life and maintain your digital security. You can protect your online privacy by making small & painless steps like making little changes to your online accounts and devices. You might have heard about digital privacy more than ever, but what does it really mean? No worries. In this article, we will explore what digital privacy is and seven proven ways to protect your privacy in 2022. Let’s get started!

Table of Contents

What is Privacy?

Privacy is a basic human right, essential to the protection of human dignity. Privacy enables us to protect ourselves from unwanted interferences in our lives, manipulations, and those who wish to exert control. Now, in this digital age, privacy is essential for the well-being of a free & just society. In a nutshell, it allows us to think freely and establish boundaries to limit who can access our things, places, information and communication.

But, what does privacy mean with the internet? Keep scrolling and read on to learn that.

What does Privacy mean, Digitally?

Digital privacy or internet privacy refers to protecting your personal, financial and browsing data while using the internet. It is a control of information about you or your business. Besides, it protects your online accounts, mobile devices, computers and internet-connected devices from intruders. Now, the need for digital privacy is more than ever because the number of data breaches has escalated ten times.

With the digital privacy definition, it is essential to explore the type of information that can be leaked, the threats to digital privacy and how you can keep your information private. Read on to find more.

The types of information

Photo by Mourizal Zativa on Unsplash

The type of information that companies can use and sell consists of data you share on online accounts or social media. It includes your email address, phone number, social security number, financial information, birthdate, business files, downloads, medical records, pictures, maps and search history.

Digital Privacy intends to protect your personal data shared online from malicious access. Anyone can track a computer’s IP address and monitor your actions. Digital mediums can leave digital footprints, and many don’t realize how this information can be used and stored. Before discussing the ways to protect yourself online, let’s take a look at threats to online privacy.

Threats to Digital Privacy

If you’re using the internet, your privacy is at risk due to browsing activities you might be unaware of. Here are some of the threats to digital privacy.

  • Identity theft through Phishing, malware, farming & hacking attacks
  • Cyber attacks
  • Cookies Proliferation
  • Cell phone GPS Functionality
  • Mobile app permissions and privacy

How to Protect Digital Privacy

Here comes the most awaited and significant part of the blog. If you’ve read it all, you have a better idea of digital privacy and its concerns. Now, the question is, how can I protect my privacy online? Below we’ve discussed the seven best digital privacy practices to adopt today. These effective ways will help you protect your financial & personal information and stay safe from data breaches

Be careful of what you share

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

First and foremost, look at your social media profiles and limit the information you share, regardless of what the site asks for. The more personal information you share online, the more people can scam you and get their hands on it.

Remember that less is more. Hackers use your digital footprints to track you. Therefore, be careful when sharing pictures, posts, or other personal information because oversharing on online platforms can be disastrous.

Cover your cameras

Cybercriminals can use your photos and videos through cameras for blackmailing. So, it is wise to cover your webcam and tablet’s cam with a seamless cover to reduce the risk of being recorded. You can also use coloured tape on your device’s camera instead of covers to prevent attackers from using your data.

Use a VPN

Photo by Petter Lagson on Unsplash

If you often work remotely and are fond of using public internet networks, you must use a VPN to protect your devices and data. Connecting your device to public networks and WIFI hotspots can leave your data vulnerable to cybercrime. Install a VPN extension on your browser or as an application on your mobile phone. Secure VPN encodes your browsing data and makes it unreadable to hackers.

Block online tracking with extensions

Google and Bing are the popular browsers that track a lot about you. Your browsers collect vast amounts of data about you by online tracking in the form of cookies. So, delete all the cookies and data from your activity dashboard regularly and switch to other secure search engines such as DuckDuckGo or incognito mode. Block the cookies with browser extensions such as AdBlock Plus and uBlock.These extensions will limit online tracking by a third party. It’ll shield your digital footprints and protect you from data breaches & identity theft.

Create Unique Passwords for each account – or use a Password Manager and enable Two-Factor Authentication

Photo by Volodymyr Kondriianenko on Unsplash

Unique passwords are a vital defense step in protecting your data online. Sometimes, it is the only protection against identity theft. Add strong and unique passwords with the combination of special characters to all of your devices and online accounts. Also, changing the passwords regularly and using different passwords for different accounts is highly recommended. Use the password manager to keep the passwords strong and secure for multiple accounts.

In addition, the most crucial step is to set up two-factor authentication in your login processes for every account. Two-factor authentication is another layer of protection for your online accounts and strong passwords.

Carefully review app privacy policies & app permissions

The other way of protecting your digital privacy that almost all the digital experts mentioned is to double-check app privacy policies and permissions. Carefully review whether it makes sense for an application to ask for specific permissions. If the app asks for access to data that is not relevant to its function, it’d be better off not accepting it as it is a warning sign.

Besides, notice your phone’s behavior and changings after installing the application. If the app is not behaving well and your battery time is decreasing, it means the app is running in the background, so delete it quickly. Furthermore, update privacy settings on social media profiles regularly.

Check data breach status

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Last but not least, check out whether your information is exposed in data breaches or not. Hackers and cybercriminals may have leaked or used data from at least any of your accounts, which can lead to identity theft. Check your data breach status by searching for your email address on Have I Been Pwned. You’ll know if your email address or phone number is in the data breach.

Bottom Line

Being online and using social media does not have to be scary, but internet privacy is critical in today’s modern age. You can be private in this online world & protect yourself or your business online by trying out these ways and using the tools.

Your digital privacy control starts with you, and you will have to take the steps and adopt healthy internet habits to protect yourself from data breaches and identity theft. With the guides from your digital self, you’ll learn how to surf online safely and protect your personal credentials.

Want to make your devices and digital identity more secure? Feel free to reach out to us. As digital security and privacy experts, we’ll provide you with the technical solutions to protect your digital identity and maintain digital excellence. Your digital self is committed to keeping you safe & secure and protecting your privacy.

Header photo by Antoine Beauvillain on Unsplash

Michiel Top
Michiel Top
While working on strategic positioning, marketing and sales programs for various companies, I was shocked again and again by how easily accessible private information actually is. Around 2017, when I was designing an online customer management system, it occurred to me how we could turn the tables. Then in mid-2020, when my own GDPR application to a well-known data enrichment company failed, I knew something had to be done.