What is Digital Identity (and why should you care)?

What is Digital Identity (and why should you care)?

If you’re reading this, you have a digital identity. 

And depending on how you think about it, you probably have more than one! After all, you have your social media accounts—those are all digital identities of yourself, right? And then you have your school or workplace accounts—those are digital identities, too. 

Oh! And let’s not forget any accounts with your bank, credit card, doctor’s office, any online shopping you do…oy, just typing about it is stressing us out.

But that’s why we dance! Because let’s face it, the Internet is a rapidly changing landscape and sometimes the only way to stay sane is to dance through digital identity.

We’ll teach ya the steps. 😉

It’s All About Perspective

With a few exceptions, each service you use thinks of your account as uniquely you. Their responsibilities start and end with protecting the information you’ve given them about you. So, if you think about it from the perspective of the service provider, you have LOTS of different digital identities—aka different personas that apply in different situations. Think of it like the “work-life balance” thing people talk about (as if it was a split between two halves of you).

Anyway, the collection of personas is your full digital identity, and managing and protecting the collection of your personas is something only YOU can do.

But why would you want to? That’s easy. Because it’s how you protect yourself from fraudsters, stalkers, hackers, marketers, and anyone else who wants to control you, be you, or use you online. You really do NOT want to become a victim of Identity Theft—unless you do, which is a very interesting personal preference.


Let’s Take Control

What you can do in five minutes:

  1. Install a password manager. LastPass is really popular and super easy to use! You can learn more about other password managers here
  2. Install Authy or some other multi-factor authentication application. If you are running the new iPhone 15, there is a new built-in multifactor authentication service.  Just have the service installed and ready; we’ll talk about how to use it later. If Authy doesn’t work for you, there are plenty of other options.

What you can do in thirty minutes:

  1. If you have an iPhone running iOS 14 or newer, check out your passwords (found in your settings) for any security alerts and change them if necessary (and add them to your password manager). It will tell you if you’re reusing passwords, or if your passwords have been found in some online hacker store for sale. Google’s Smart Lock does much the same thing for Android phones and Chrome browsers. There are lots of potentially useful security features there.
  2. As a bonus, as you change your passwords, check to see if any support multi-factor authentication (remember that Authy thing?). That means that the service will ask you for a little more information, maybe from an app like Authy or from information they send you in a text message. 

What you can do in an hour:

  1. Make sure all your systems are patched and your apps are up to date.
  2. Sign up with a service like Credit Karma and have it start watching your credit history and your account information for free. There are other services out there as well; check them out and decide what might work best for you!

We know you’re going to say it…

But It’s All SO Annoying!

Yes, all this security and management is really, really annoying! But trust us, it’s not nearly as annoying as recovering from identity theft. Allstate Insurance did a study and found it takes 100-200 hours—to put that into perspective, OVER SIX MONTHS—to recover from identity theft. According to Experian, a major credit agency, it can even take years. YEARS!

We said we’d dance, but we’re not up for spinning out of control here.

Wrap Up

So, what do you think? Can you pass the marshmallow test and do something now for better rewards (which in this case is the promise of less pain!) later? Of course you can! Identity Flash Mob is here to help you think through what’s possible, what’s practical, and how to make your digital identity as secure as YOU as you need it to be!

We hope to meet again on the dance floor. Until next time!  

Photo by Ayo Ogunseinde on Unsplash

Posted by heather in Mosh Pit, 0 comments