This is layman's guide to identity.
We are targeting this article to resolve common questionnaire about buzzword called 'IDENTITY' and how it is related to our life in this Internet enabled world.
Requisites: A person should able to use at least one of the services available on Internet. And of course, one is through this requisite as one is reading this article online :)
1. What is identity?
- It is your Driving License
- It is your Ration card (in India)
- It is your GAS card (in India)
- It is your Company ID card
- It is your Election ID card/Voting Card
- It is you National ID card
- It is anything that is connected to your personal, social, professional attributes such as gender, religion, designation that you enjoy. It is what others think about you as a person.
- , i.e. it’s a way to prove yourself that you are the person who you claim to be representing.
- In short it is your reputation (that you or others will enjoy :) ).
- And this is the reason you need to protect your identity.
2. What is online identity?
We are all living in this Internet world. Similar to our social identity we also bear identity on Internet either knowingly or unknowingly. E.g. When you create an email account (Have you gone through requisites above?) then you declare your attributes to the service providers. Such as your name, address, birth date, your hobbies in order to create 'user id' (of course there should be a password associated with your user id). In our social life, these attributes are known to the people who we trust and that create our social identity. On Internet, as we just discussed, we are binding all these attributes to a single 'user id' and that 'user id' is your one of the identities on Internet, i.e. now your email service provider will identify you as your 'user id'.
3. So do we have multiple online identities?
Yes, most of the people who use Internet do have multiple online identities connected to them. Similar to email service provider example above, you might be using blog service to write your online blog similar to this one. So blog service provider might have your separate identity e.g. 'user id' or your 'blog name'. Similar to this for performing online banking you need to identify yourself using bank provided net-banking ID/password to the bank.
4. So do we build online reputation?
Correct, during this whole process we are building our online reputation using different ID(s). The way we utilize different services using different id(s) will lead to build your Online Identity/reputation.
5. What is identity theft?
6. How do you protect your identity?
This is out of scope of this article. The generally identity theft is directly related to money.
Jump to "http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/cc/20020612a.asp" for few must-know tips to protect your identity online.