Last updated on October 5th, 2023 at 08:58 pm
The basics of protecting your digital identity - at the very least these are the things you should be doing.
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Digital identity is essentially the association of person-specific information in the digital context like email address, social security number, banking, and credit card details, etc. According to Forbes.com, the definition of digital identity is “a body of information about an individual or organization that exists online.”
Armed with these details, any person can assume the identity of the real owner of the attributes in an online world. This makes it very important that the information is kept secure and protected against unauthorized access.
How to Ensure the Protection of Your Digital Identity?
Create and Maintain Multiple Digital Identities
The more separate you keep different activities you conduct over the web, the more difficult you make it for hackers to gain illegal access. Create separate email accounts for your primary personal identity, secondary personal identity, social purposes, and other remaining reasons.
The primary personal identity is the one you should exclusively use for your banking, financial, and government records. This email is not to be used for any other activity. The second email account should be created to establish your secondary personal identity and can be used for other purposes like internet services, phone lines, electricity, cable TV, etc.
The third email account you can create for all your social media interactions, including mobile apps. If you like, you can set up a fourth email account to handle all other activities such as information wanted by various websites to log in or participating in promotional offers, etc.
Both Gmail and Microsoft Outlook allow the creation of multiple aliases, which means you don’t have to create separate email accounts but can use your primary email account to log in.
Use Very Strong Passwords or a Password Manager
Not only is it vital to use unique passwords for every online account you have but also ensure that they are really strong to prevent hackers from easily accessing them. Good practices include making sure that the password is at least sixteen characters long and incorporates a combination of letters in both upper case and lower case, digits, and special characters. The passphrase should be completely random without any personal information like names of pets, spouse, birthdates, anniversary dates, car number plate, etc.
It is also important that you have different passphrases for each account without any reuse. Given the very large number of online accounts all of us have, it is virtually impossible to remember them. This is the reason why you should use a password manager that can store and auto-fill your login credentials into the account of your choice.
In addition to the above methods, you should use other security measures like two-factor authentication, when available, ensure that your antivirus on your laptop is updated, check for the presence of spyware that could be tracking your activities, and desist from downloading programs or documents from sources that you cannot trust, including email attachments or clicking on any link purporting from your bank.
Try not to use public computers or public Wi-Fi at all. Scrutinize your bank and credit card statements as well as your credit report regularly for any discrepancies and report them immediately. Staying vigilant is the most important aspect of protecting your online identity.