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How to protect your digital identity?

Guest Post | Feb 15, 2022

Identity verification - How to protect your digital identity?

Technology makes our lives easier, but it comes with a price - security risks. Due to the rising cybersecurity threats and the time spent on digital devices, it’s obvious that people need to be aware of the dangers online. In the cyber world, there’s countless data that needs to be protected; otherwise, you’re putting your whole digital identity at risk.

Keep on reading to find out more about the concept of digital identity and how to remain safe online.

Digital attributes vs. digital activities

Similar to the identity in the real world, a digital one consists of multiple elements which identify the person. A standard ID scheme online consists of attributes, such as social security number, date of birth, vaccination code, and credentials, like an eID, digital driver’s license, or biometric-related ID number. Such information which completes your identity online can be parted into two categories: digital attributes and digital activities.

Digital activities are the records of something you do online. For example, it could be signed petitions, search history, the list of downloaded apps, etc., whereas attributes are parts of the online identity that make it fully digital - bank details, for instance, log-in information, email address, or medical history. Fraudsters target such data to use it against you. In most cases, scammers online use smart and unique methods for their benefit. That’s why it’s important to take security measures to prevent identity theft or data breach.

The players of technology

Digital identities are part of a wider ecosystem. Even though they are viewed as a tech trend, they are swiftly moving towards becoming the new norm. As technology improves and mobile usage increases, digital identities automate various processes; this way, they save time and money for various industries. Despite that, billions still don’t own a digital identity, which means that such people don’t have access to healthcare online, banking, and similar government services. The global pandemic showed that paper-like methods couldn’t compete with digital solutions; therefore, some state that digital identity approaches will be available for everyone in the near future as a legal standard document.

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The cutting-edge technology of digital identity is part of a bigger scene, as different parties create this trust mechanism. There are a lot of players in such a technology field. For example, the user of the digital identity is at the center of this bubble. The process needs to be enabled by another party; in this case, it’s powered by other technological components, such as smart cards, biometrics, or blockchain. Also, the whole system needs another party who manages the digital identity - a bank, for instance, which relies on the digital ID. The last vital component is the public which needs to approve and use this digital innovation.

Popular mistakes lead to risks

With digital identity comes mobility and a greater demand for security. Naturally, the demand for new identification systems is rising as well. This is no surprise, as according to ABI Research, more than 850 million citizens will be equipped with a form of mobile identity by 2026. With such widespread use of digital devices, it’s vital to make your cyber hygiene a routine of good habits online.

If you recycle your passwords and use weak credentials, you’re exposing yourself to risks. The same principle applies to using public WiFi - you’re practically opening a wide door and allowing hackers to strike. Not to mention unsecured websites; once you step a foot there, you’re living a security expert’s nightmare. For example, if you shop a lot online, make sure to check if the e-commerce store is reputable and has special security features like certificates.

Digital identity and the Black market 

Once the data is lost, the chances are that you won't ever reclaim it. Scammers online succeed with data breaches by initiating ransomware attacks and gathering data through phishing scams. According to the Bureau of Justice, this type of criminal activity or any misuse of personal information for a fraudulent purpose falls under the “identity theft” fraud. The alarming numbers show that approximately 9 million identities are stolen each year. Since many people do not report identity theft, the proper number of victims might be higher.

Such a risky scenery shows that the need to safeguard data is necessary for everyone - from individuals to large-scale corporations. Criminals have developed a new tendency to target specific data, and, for example, credit card details or identities have become one of the most wanted products on the Dark web, claiming a spot at the top with pharmaceuticals and contraband. Since it’s relatively easy for hackers to steal personal information, online criminals sell such data quickly and cheaply, then move to their next scam.

Solving the issue 

Digital identities carry the risks of identity theft and data breach. Despite these dangers, there are smart and efficient ways to combat fraud and eliminate the risks. As digital IDs automate the whole process, people have the option to undertake identity verification service online. This is the most speedy and safe way to confirm your identity on any device, such as your mobile phone. With the help of advanced Liveness Detection, ID Verification and Face Recognition, the experience becomes a user-friendly, quick 4-step online authentication.

Such an effective solution is a digital key to various services. For instance, ID verification is used in smart cities as an alternative to public transport tickets. Without digital IDs and the verification process, businesses leave wide security gaps in their system, basically waiting for criminals to attack. That’s why strong internal security measures and an automated, AI-powered identity verification solution prevent data breaches and help catch identity thieves.

Key takeaways

Digital identities bring benefits to the online world and many different sectors. Of course, where there’s technology, there is a certain risk of having your personal data given to the wrong hands. One thing’s clear, the truth behind identity theft or data breach isn’t rocket science. Safety measures, like good cyber hygiene, can prevent identity fraud. Of course, organizations should think about stronger security methods and implement innovative digital ID verification solutions to prevent identity fraud.

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