Home > Social networks, Web Communication > Risks of digital identity in social networks

Risks of digital identity in social networks

 Digital identity is the aspect of digital technology that is concerned with the mediation of people’s experience of their own identity and the identity of other people and things. Digital identity also has another common usage as the digital representation of a “set of claims made by one digital subject about itself or another digital subject” (Kim Cameron). Summarizing, it is all our footprints on internet. However, nowadays it is becoming very difficult to control our Digital Identity because of social networks. In spite of being  socializing tools, they are becoming important focus of danger.

According to Jerri Ledford there are five areas we should be especially cautious about when we are creating our digital identity:

  1. Your Name: a web search for a name give all the information that an identity theft needs, especially if that thief is preparing to shell out a few dollars for a background report
  2. Where You Live: Identity thieves can catch this information using the Web and it won’t take them much time to find your physical address.
  3. Date of Birth: It’s also one more piece of information that an identity thief can use against you
  4. City of Birth: Here’s an item that’s often used as a security validation question, and it’s sometimes included in your profile information. This information is very valorous because it allows thieves to set up new accounts otherwise access as well as change existing accounts.
  5. Maiden Names: It’s a fact that identity thieves can obtain in a diversity of ways: from hacking you social networking profile, from genealogical requests, or from a birth certificate obtained by request from your state of birth.

These are main factors that may avoid other risks. According to Jenney Cheever these are some of the main threats of social networks:

  1. Social networking could damage your reputation. Keep in mind that anything you post online is public information that can be seen by anyone. This includes your boss, potential employers and even your grandmother.
  2. Social networking can put your safety at risk. Always use caution when dealing with people you’ve only ever “met” online. Stalkers and predators are a very real threat, and these people can find out lots of information from your profile that they can use to harm you.
  3. Social networking can damage your social life. When chatting with friends on Facebook is a part of your social life, it can be a fun and rewarding way to stay in touch when you’re not together.

 However, what can we do?

There are many possible solutions and we can find lots of references on internet about it. However, I have chosen these ideas of Jason Robert which I think there are especially interesting:

  1. Worthless Information: As absurd as it sounds; one self-protective option is to give a little bit of truthful, but valueless, information to these social sites.
  2. Active Participation: The attraction of these sites deceit in their ability to stay connected, or to re-connect, with friends.

Inside these two ideas, there are huge of advices that the author gives to full it. Therefore I recommend that, if you are interesting in possible solutions, you will read the complete article.


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