Have you ever really thought about Identity Security? In a traditional sense you probably think of your identity as your name or social security number or bank account number or credit card pin. These critical items are traditionally kept private, at least kept on your person or tucked away at a secure physical location like your home or office.
Identity is also the features of your face, physical appearance or makeup. It could be a disguise or how you dress or make yourself up as well. In a broader sense however, information about you can accumulate to become your reputation, standing in your community, the goal of a public relations campaign, or the target of libelous activity. Your computer, smartphone, and mobile devices like an iPad or Android Tablet leave a digital trail wherever you visit. As well those same locations and digital pathways can be recorded on your device or elsewhere to be used immediately or later for a variety of commercial or other legal and not-so-legal purposes.
Now that both the commercial and cyber-criminal world have a better idea about the digital signatures that you leave – mostly unwittingly – they have created new marketing, merchandising, and commercial tactics that depend upon and capitalize on the trails that we all leave throughout the cyber universe.
- Do we need to cover our tracks?
- Is our privacy being compromised when we are digitally followed?
- Does it matter?
- Do you care?
- Or are these things just another consequence of a connected society, the revolutionary changes that are occurring, and the protections that it may be fostering.
Current law and rules regarding the protection of your privacy and identity are still trying to catch-up with the methods and tactics of gathering data and information about you.
- PCI-DSS (The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org/security_standards/ offers some protections among participating brick and mortar merchants. Internet commerce is less compliant these days.
- HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/ offers privacy when utilizing public and private health care systems in the US.
As they used to say on a popular American television series some years ago, “Be Careful Out There!”
- Be aware of when and where you provide your identity credentials – even a login name and password.
- Require disclosure of terms and conditions for the sharing of your name, “handle”, and situations in which your app or social media account can be shared with other services or individuals.
- Be cautious about what you post, especially pictures of others who may not approve of the posting.
- And be sure to document your posting or identity sharing activities for future recollection. That way you will better know who to contact if a problem arises in the future.
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