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Your Digital Self

Understanding What is Your Digital Identity And 4 Important Steps To Control It

Nowadays, digital identity is the heart of any data-driven organization. While you cannot present paper documentation to support that you are who you claim to be online, your digital identity can still be used.

Let’s picture it.

For example: you’re driving your vehicle and happen to cross a red light. If a police officer stops you he will asks you to verify that you possess the car and have the legal right to operate it. You can respond by providing identification documents like your license and registration documentation.

But what takes place when you communicate online? You are unable to complete the same task using your paper files. Those prerequisites would be met by a digital identification. So let’s learn more about what is your digital identity and ways to control it:

Table of Contents

Definition of digital identity

A more formal definition of what is your digital identity is a connected or online identity that a person, business, or electronic equipment acquires or claims in virtual worlds. Through various networks, these users might also project several digital identities. The two main issues with digital identity control are security and confidentiality.

What is considered your digital identity?

A digital identity is made up of features, or data attributes, such as:

·         User ID and password

·         Social security number

·         medical background

·         Purchase patterns or history

·         Online search activities, like commenting on different posts, transactions, and search preferences

Your distinct identity among users of the Internet is your digital identity. It includes specific traits and characteristics that are particular to you.

For instance, you can identify yourself by your first and last names, birth dates, and occupations. Your first and last names don’t necessarily make you special, as there might be many individuals with the same particulars.

You, therefore, require additional identification, such as your birthdate. In this manner, it will be obvious that identity, such as an email address, relates to you. These identifiers are permanent; they don’t change throughout your life.

Some ids are changeable while others are static. Like your job description, they are subject to frequent modification. These distinguish you in a particular situation from other people. But in a virtual space, they don’t always identify the genuine person. Rather, each identifier contributes to the creation of your online identity. This digital identity can then serve as a record, enabling people to recognize the true you online.

The use of digital identity

Businesses can benefit from developing and maintaining digital identities in several ways. Among them are:

Banking

Businesses can safeguard login and transaction data for their clients by establishing highly secured identities. Since this is the foundation upon which eCommerce systems and finance platforms are built, this protection is essential.

eCommerce

To decrease fraud cases and encourage customers to do business with them, it is crucial for eCommerce platforms to protect their customers’ digital identities. Additionally, it enables them to improve the user experience.

Gambling and gaming

Businesses can prevent unlawful and unethical gaming and adhere to laws by requiring digital identities when users play games or gamble online on their systems.

Government and Public Sector

A digital identity for a corporation can assist in securing online logins and safeguarding vital assets, preventing any federal disputes or legal action. Additionally, government business units can protect their data by giving all of their workforce and other interested stakeholders digital IDs.

Healthcare

Hospitals and other medical facilities must generate digital identities for patients, physicians, and other staff members to store confidential material. Patients can especially benefit from this since the digital identity can record all medical information and make it easily accessible from any location.

Payments

Digital identities are used by finance and digital payment systems to speed up data security and enhance vendor onboarding.

Travel

Digital identities are used by the hospitality and tourism industries to stop compromised perks from being redeemed and fraudulent reservations from being made.

Insurance

Insurance providers and agents can keep all client data on file using digital IDs. This quickens the screening procedure and guards against all forms of fraudulent activity.

Lending

Digital identities must be used by both monetary and non-monetary entities to compile credit reports, credit histories, and certification of prospective and current borrowers. This aids in fraud prevention and supports quick loan applications.

Media

Digital identities are used by media and public relations executives to stop phony accounts and information, as well as to verify they receive the most for every dollar spent on advertising and marketing efforts.

How to control your digital identity?

Digital identity authentication and validation techniques are essential to guaranteeing Web and network infrastructure integrity in public and private sectors since identity fraud is common on the Internet. Below are the ways to control your digital identity.

· Make sure the connection is encrypted

Websites that use encryption to protect and secure online purchases only give private information. To determine whether the domain you are accessing is secured or not, look in the address bar of your browser. A “lock” symbol indicates that your data can be transmitted securely, but take precautions when connecting to a public wireless (Wi-Fi) network. Everyone can see the information you share and receive on these open networks if you visit a secure website. Personal financial procedures like viewing an account’s balance should be done via private and secure networks.

· Use password manager

The password management app that comes pre-installed on many smartphones is certainly known. These straightforward tools are essential for creating strong, one-of-a-kind passwords that are not reused across several accounts.

Making passwords is no longer sufficient on its own. One email account is all it needs for an attacker to gain access to all other identities in an environment where one Facebook account may sign you into many other sites. A password manager can assist you in using different passwords for each account, creating complex passwords that can’t be stolen using personal information, and updating your passwords regularly.

· Enable multi-factor authentication

To utilize a service like an app, net banking, or a VPN, the user must submit two or more verification credentials, known as multi-factor authentication (MFA). A solid identity and access management (IAM) procedure must include MFA as a fundamental element. MFA demands one or more extra authentication elements on top of a username and password, which lessens the possibility of a catastrophic cyberattack.

· Self-sovereign identity

Everyone has diverse associations or distinctive sets of identifying information, including businesses and the Internet of Things.

In a secure and reliable identity management system, self-sovereign identification (SSI) extends the same freedoms and personal liberty as physical documents to the Internet. SSI denotes that the person (or entity) administers the components of their identity and digitally limits access to all those credentials.

You can use your digital wallet and the credentials you were given to confirm your own identity through the SSI identification system.

The Takeaway?

In today’s modern world, understanding the concept of digital identity or online footprints is our ground reality. Besides, knowing how to control your digital id is likewise important.

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.

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