Nowadays, every individual using the internet leaves various records and traces under the form of a digital footprint. However, do we always need ‘to step’ before leaving marks? Apparently, not. 81% of children under two currently have some kind of digital dossier or footprint, with images of them posted online (Singer, 2013). The wider context is explained by Alec Couros in this video.
Real-world and the online identities are very different from each other (Internet Society, 2013). Composed of partial identities, profiles and personas the online identities can induce the idea of a parallel life. Couros legitimately asks: ‘Should we teach our children as though they have two lives, or one?’. My answer is no, but social media seems to conduct people in this direction.
It was! The matter of being yourself online was addressed by Casey Neistat, co-founder of Beme – company recently purchased by CNN. Along with his team, he created an app where you could share your life as it is. No filters, no versions of who we are. Not seeing the world through your phone, but seeing the world through your eyes.
This concept is unique because it established a network by building a bridge between social media and real life. I would like to see it further developed by other online platforms where we create profiles, creating more accurate versions of our online identities.
Building up on the point made earlier, creating sockpuppets online became easier than ever and this led to the birth of false identities on the internet (Seife, 2014). The justification is described in the following infographic and supported by a few examples.
Sharing information online, voluntary (social media) or involuntary (online advertising companies), people can often become victims of phishing (Internet Society, 2013). The method is briefly described in the following infographic.
Another security concern is related to passwords. Recently, over 1bn of Yahoo’s clients were compromised by the biggest data breach in history. This was relevant because password sharing between websites became very common for a lot of users (Thielman, 2017). In order to avoid being the victim of this, follow the tips in the presentation below.
The online presence became a thing difficult to manage. As Krotoski’s article (2012) describes two different approaches, we can divide once again the users of internet in two categories: anonyms and authentic identities. My post presents both: pros and cons for having multiple online identities. However, convenience seems to be the selling point for it, but do you want to see the world through your phone or your eyes?
Couros, A. (2015) Identity in a digital world | Alec Couros | TEDxLangleyED. YouTube. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAlIBTgYfDo [Accessed 24 February 2017].
Internet Society (2013) Privacy & identity. Available from: http://www.internetsociety.org/what-we-do/internet-technology-matters/privacy-identity [Accessed 24 February 2017].
Krotoski, A. (2012) Online identity: Is authenticity or anonymity more important? The Guardian, 19 April. Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/apr/19/online-identity-authenticity-anonymity [Accessed 24 February 2017].
Morris, C. (2011) 14 identity theft methods used by criminals. Available from: http://patch.com/california/montrose/14-identity-theft-methods-used-by-criminals [Accessed 24 February 2017].
Perlberg, S. (2016) CNN buys Casey Neistat’s video App Beme. Available from: https://www.wsj.com/articles/cnn-buys-casey-neistats-video-app-beme-1480353128 [Accessed 24 February 2017].
Seife, C. (2014) Android can’t compete with iMessage. Google is changing that. Available from: https://www.wired.com/2014/07/virtual-unreality-the-online-sockpuppets-that-trick-us-all/ [Accessed 24 February 2017].
Singer, D. (2013) How technology has changed childhood – Ten stats. Available from: http://www.futurelab.net/blog/2012/05/how-technology-has-changed-childhood-%E2%80%93-ten-stats [Accessed 24 February 2017].
Thielman, S. (2017) Yahoo hack: 1bn accounts compromised by biggest data breach in history. The Guardian, 21 February. Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/dec/14/yahoo-hack-security-of-one-billion-accounts-breached [Accessed 24 February 2017].
TIME (2015) These are the 30 most influential people on the Internet. Available from: http://time.com/3732203/the-30-most-influential-people-on-the-internet/ [Accessed 24 February 2017].