This week I decided to sneak in to a digital identity course that’s being taught by my security teacher Ken Bauer. My reasons behind this were to basically know what “regular” people (by this I mean non-tech savvy people) are afraid of, what their doubts about the internet are and the reasons why they don’t feel safe online. This will give me a better perspective on what to talk about in this blog and how to talk about it.
Today’s day one and I’m writing this as we take the course, so I’ll talk a bit about the experience. We had a talk with Dave Cormier and people dared to ask several questions. Interestingly enough, all the questions so far have been completely related to security. Will hackers get me? Is my information safe? What do people generally steal from internet users? Will I ever get hacked?
The answer to all of this was: you are always at risk.
Since the course is about digital identity, I will also talk about that. First of all, what is digital identity? It’s basically the way you represent yourself online. It’s how people will see you on social media. You may think “but it’s the internet, I can be whomever I want to be!” to that I say, of course you can! However be ready to face the consequences of that. Digital identity is similar to a tattoo. You choose the design and ink it in your body forever and ever. So, like a tattoo, be sure to create something you like, something that represents you and preferably something you aren’t ashamed of.
Once you realize everything you do can be found by literally anyone, you can start worrying about all those terrible, terrible pictures from middle school. That bad hairdo will be haunting you till the end of your digital days. And you may even start asking yourself: who am I? This, I believe, is the best question to ask. When you find out who you are and who you want to be, is when you can start taking steps into becoming that person. This is vital to create your digital identity.
But back to my research. Although everyone in this course (including myself) is part of the Millennial generation, we’ve been witnesses to technology’s drastic XXI century revolution. We think we know how stuff works when in reality we don’t. Due to this, we are incredibly afraid of what might happen if we share too much or too little. I’m pretty sure at least 50% of all the people here have been scammed, phished, cyber bullied or tricked while on the internet. My advice is to always be aware that the whole world can see what you post, if you feel confident about it after that thought then feel free to post it! Just remember you’re never anonymous (unless you really, really know how to do so, expect posts about that for my security blog posts in the future).
I’m eager to know more about how my generation thinks and how I can potentially help them as well as learn more to become a better computer systems engineer (and hacker).
Stay tuned for more.
All gifs obtained from http://giphy.com/