Sunday, January 30, 2011

Online Persona

Every website asks us for the same information: date of birth, zipcode, phone#, etc, so that it can later verify that we are who we say we are by answering a question or two based on this information. The catch is that those who are close to us probably also know all of that information, including what our friends look like. So long as everything is calm, this poses no risk. But what happens if you have a rather acrimonious break up with your partner? Suddenly all those secret questions that offer you privacy do not seem so strong..

Enter the Online Persona.

If we carefully construct our online persona to be fictitious by choosing a different date of birth, where we were born, etc, then we're adding layers of security (although only by obscurity.) Each extra piece of incorrect information acts as another password that only we know. Whilst this means that features like facebook's birthday announcements become meaningless, does it really matter? Those who need to know when your birthday is will know, one way or another. The real catch with this is you need to be able to remember all of the false answers or you may find yourself locked out of your own accounts!

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