Topic 2: Managing multiple online identities

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Online identity accredit to the assembling of information about an individual over the web which is different from the real-world identity. This online identity can be constructed consciously or sub-consciously – Established by the individual themselves by succumbing to social networks or generated using identifier which depicts partial identities about a person. Actually, a person doesn’t decide how many identities he/she has over the web. In the latest technology, web uses identifiers such as search history to frame an overall silhouette about an individual.

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(Credit: Google Images)

[Should a single maintain multiplex online identities? ]

An individual creates multiple extensive online identities about themselves by attesting to several social network accounts. Managing multiple identities may not necessarily be a bad thing as, firstly, an individual can draw a distinct clear line between personal and professional identity (Forbes.com). Secondly, it serve as an opportunity for marketers/online business to target the right goods and services at the right person which is known as behavioral targeting. Thirdly, it helps to prevent against online fraud and especially changes in online behavior will draw closer attention to internet deceit. In contrary to this, should an individual create an anonymous or authentic online identity? This is no longer under an individual’s control as the evolution of technology such as Facebook has successfully created a link between online and offline identity. As the saying goes about online identity – “You’re who you’re and what you do”. No matter how hard they try to impersonate, their online activities will ultimately reveal their real identity. In my opinion, I feel that if a person wants to build online identity, they should ensure that it’s non-anonymous and legitimate. If they are concerned with the privacy of data, they can capitalize on the technology/methods such as using 2 factor authentication or installing plugs-in to prevent the disclosure of private information.

[So, how to keep your online identity safe?]

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[Conflicting views to managing multiple online identities? ]

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Most people ascertain that if more information are being revealed, there’s a higher probability that information might be exploited due to the presence of identity theft. Identity theft arises when someone handles your information such as credit card number for fraudulent uses. Identity theft can take place in various ways such as spam & phishing and parallel lives. Additionally, in the latest times, one click can allow you to search for every single information you require. If you do not maintain a clean profile of your identity, it might adversely impact your reputation. Therefore, for myself, I prefer to maintain minimum amount of online information about myself over the web as I believe that exposing too much information can lead to information misuse.

References

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2 thoughts on “Topic 2: Managing multiple online identities

  1. I too have several social network accounts to manage between personal and professional identity. Personal networks would be instagram and snapchat where i upload my daily life activities. On the other hand, although i am not yet a working adult and do not own a LinkedIn account, i do have a facebook account for school work only. In that account, i am part of different closed groups for school assignments. Posts uploaded are only school related as many teachers might be following my whereabouts.

    I also agree that it is difficult to stay anonymous as no matter how hard they try to impersonate, their real personalities would be revealed through their online activities. So keeping your online identity safe is extremely important. With all the information of a person revealed unconsciously online, chances of identity theft would be increased. Thus, i make sure i always set my accounts to private and is very careful of what information i share online.

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  2. Hi Sheryl!

    I like the point you made about having no control over creating an online identity due to the evolution of technology, forcing individuals to disclose personal information based on online movements. This got me thinking and I find myself subconsciously disclosing private information like my credit card information on certain websites in order to perform online purchases.

    Further to your point, I understood that my online identity also couldn’t be concealed because my browsing patterns are stored as cookies, and information is sent to web-providers whereby marketers will leverage on the information to target advertisements catering to my preferences.

    Lastly, I agree to your thoughts of maintaining authenticity in your online identity, but at the same time, releasing minimal information about yourself online.

    I can attest to this as I have always been a cautious individual, afraid of disclosing too much information online and landing victim to identity theft or scams.

    Further to the argument, I also support legitimacy in forging an online identity. Therefore, I am against the idea of forging an ideal self online, which is different from my real self. Why conceal your true self to achieve temporary confidence, right?

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