Topic 2: Managing Multiple Online Identities

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In the past, when the internet was still a new invention, people were still learning the basics of using it. There was practically no need for the establishing of identities because people could do whatever and get away with it. Legal regulations were almost non-existent back then. Thus, the risk of exposing an individual’s identity was rather minimal.

However, as the advancement of technology continued to take place, the internet has become such an integrated tool in the lives of every individual. Smartphones, tablets, laptops are a common digital tool being used by people every second of the day. Social networking sites have become a normality and a heavy reliance among the society to connect with people efficaciously for business, work, school and leisure purposes.

There are higher expectations placed on people to establish online identities nowadays, so as to allow the other parties to know who they are communicating with. For instance, some examples would be email, chat applications and Facebook.  However, I feel the need for people to maintain multiple online identities for different purposes, segregating them between private and public uses. This would reduce the chances of an individual’s official identity from being compromised so that they do not fall victim to phishing or fraud. In addition, it prevents an individual from being overclouded by information from the different avenues in contrast to them having a single identity. By having private and public online identities, it does not indicate that an individual is dishonest or has something to hide as opposed to Mark Zuckerberg’s stand. They just don’t think it’s ideal to divulge a more personal side of them for their customers, teachers, students or supervisors to see because it might be inappropriate and unnecessary. Consumers would be turned away if they discovered a tainted reputation of a seller from personal information. Instead of having to consider what they should share or what they shouldn’t, it would be more effective to create and manage multiple online identities in this case.

However, the downsides of having multiple online identities could be the lack of monitoring the various identities and their security or even remembering the passwords for them. Unlike if an individual uses a single identity, they will be able to utilize filters/settings on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram regarding privacy issues and it would be easier for them to monitor. Thus, it also poses a risk of them losing confidential information of themselves online.

References :

Deb Shinder. (29 Feb 2012). Cybercrime and the problem of online identity verification. Available: http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/it-security/cybercrime-and-the-problem-of-online-identity-verification/. Last accessed 3 Nov 2015.

Patrick Fiorenza. (19 Oct 2011). WHAT’S YOUR POSITION – DO YOU MAINTAIN ONE OR MULTIPLE IDENTITIES ONLINE?. Available: https://www.govloop.com/whats-your-position-do-you-maintain-one-or-multiple-identities-online/. Last accessed 3 Nov 2015.

Meghan Casserly . (26 Jan 2011). Multiple Personalities And Social Media: The Many Faces of Me. Available: http://www.forbes.com/sites/meghancasserly/2011/01/26/multiple-personalities-and-social-media-the-many-faces-of-me/. Last accessed 3 Nov 2015.

People Icon. (n.d.). [image] Available at: http://cwallpapersbackground.blogspot.sg/2015/06/people-icon.html [Accessed 3 Nov. 2015].

TukTuk Design, (n.d.). Admin, avatar, men, people, person, profile. [image] Available at: https://www.iconfinder.com/icons/278092/admin_avatar_men_people_person_profile_user_icon [Accessed 3 Nov. 2015].

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5 comments

  1. amandakeee · November 4, 2015

    Hi Stephanie!
    Lovely post once again and thank you so much for sharing your views on having multiple online identities.

    I must agree that things were much simpler when it was all just pen and paper. Everything around us was straightforward and there was so need for lurking around and posing as someone you were not.

    However, you mentioned that you agree with people having multiple online identities for both public and private use. I know where you are coming from, but I would like to raise a point. Online identities have also played a huge part when it comes to checking a person’s background. An example would be a future employer doing some background research on a potential employee. So what I am trying to say here is that with just one account for each social media platform, we can generate more valuable and genuine results of the person’s character.

    Well, but then again, some people have established a reputable status online and wish to create private accounts for people closer to them.

    What do you think? ☺

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. stephanielimym · November 6, 2015

    Hello Amanda,

    Thank you for taking the time to read my post 🙂
    I do agree that having a single identity helps to showcase individuals in their most genuine and personal state. However, I feel that having a single identity provides them with greater risks and vulnerabilities. The internet has become such an open platform that its easy for any individual to make mistakes. Their histories can be dug up by prospective employers upon research even if the individual were to delete what they deem inappropriate. Also, it is not easy to maintain authenticity with a single identity because individuals tend to hide their personal selves in the bid to suit their professional lifestyles.

    Like

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