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Definition and Gist of Digital Identity Explained With Examples

Digital Identity Explained with Examples
Your digital identity, simply put, is the unique identifier of your presence online. This piece explains the definition of digital identity with some examples.
Techspirited Staff
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2018
Fact
Those who grew up using digital technology are called 'digital natives', while those who adapted to it later, are called 'digital immigrants'.
The internet is an infinite space of data with people adding more to it everyday. With the help of this, it's easy to sift through information. Having an identity online, helps you identify yourself as an authentic internet user, and use the information it has, with greater ease. However, there are many who make the wrong use of their digital identity. They project themselves as who they are not, they use someone else's identity for unethical use of the web, or disguising themselves as some other user, they steal information or threaten someone's security on the web.

While we tend to use the terms 'digital identity' and 'online identity' as synonyms, technically speaking, they are different. Your digital identity describes you uniquely on the web. As an internet user, you create a social identity for yourself. This can be referred to as your online identity. Let's now understand in detail, what digital identity means with the help of examples.
What is Digital Identity?
digital identity
Digital identity is the identity that a person uses on the internet. It can be something like your email id, credit card number, or your website. It is something that forms a unique description of the user. The link between a real identity and digital identity can be validated through authentication.
Digital identity is frequently used on forums and online chat rooms, as a way to express opinions. It also helps connect like-minded people pursuing a similar goal. A digital identity can be of three forms; namely, pseudonym, avatar, or profile. Pseudonym can be an alias or the name used by an individual when online. An avatar is a graphic representation of a person in the digital world. A profile contains information about the user and can include an avatar and pseudonym or both.
Individual users aren't the only ones with a digital identity. Even businesses have discovered the importance of a digital identity and have taken steps in building one for themselves, and also using it to establish themselves on the internet. Example of this is Barnes & Noble and Amazon. Both are popular bookstores with the former relying on its reputation and the latter on its online presence. Barnes & Noble followed the path that Amazon took and created a website to retain their following.
Examples of Digital Identity
email address
► An email address serves as your digital identity in cyberspace. You can use it to stay in touch as well as connect with others.
linked in
► Commercial websites like LinkedIn help the recruiters meet potential employees. One's LinkedIn id or profile serves as his digital identity.
communication connect dots
► Blogs are created by people who wish to express their opinions and feelings and want to have their own personal space on the web. The blog address is another good example of one's digital identity.
online forum
► One can create his identity on forums that are dedicated to subjects of his interest.
credit card
► A credit card number can be used in one's digital identity, in shopping online.
showing youtube
► YouTube is a popular video sharing website that lets one upload videos for free. Individual users as well as companies can use YouTube as a platform to share video and earn popularity. Here, one's YouTube user id serves as his digital identity for this platform.
facebook login
► If we are talking about sharing, we cannot go further without mentioning Facebook. Facebook is the most popular social media sharing website and is also used as a way to tell the world of one's online presence.
biometric scanning
► Biometric scanning is a form of digital identity that encompasses retina scanning, thumbprint scanning, and DNA and face recognition. It is used in places where security is of utmost importance.
► Based on user activity, accounts are deleted or deactivated. If the user hasn't logged in for a long time, the site suspends his account. This is an example of how the web has a system of tracking digital identities.
Digital Identity Theft and Protection
internet security
With multiple identities in the virtual space, it's hard to keep track of them. This makes them a target of hackers. Phishing is a technique quite commonly used by hackers, which refers to luring internet users to reveal their personal information, which leads to the compromising of their security on the web.

To avoid all this, it's best to take measures to protect your digital identity against theft.
► The cornerstone of any digital system is its authentication process. Digital certificates act as the electronic equivalent of a user's identity, and help in the secure transmission and reception of information on the internet.
► Computers should be updated with the latest security software to protect them from breaches and malicious programs.
► Passwords should be changed often. Random password generators can be used to create passwords that are a strong combination of letters and numbers.
► It is advisable to keep a separate email address for financial transactions, so as to better secure your digital identity.
► Emails that declare of you having won a lottery ticket or jackpot, are often a scam. They are used as the means of identity theft or to steal confidential information.
To conclude, one's digital identity is his unique presence on the web that helps him access various web platforms. It authenticates an individual or business as an entity on the internet and helps them connect with others on the web.