Digital identities and digital securities

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“Digital identity and security are all about who knows what about me when” (Heuer, 2013)

Digital identity is an online identifier/presence that is either fake or real, adopted or claimed, and represents an individual, organization or electronic device online (Gemalto, n.d.; Heuer, 2013; Rouse, 2017).


Whilst students and teachers use social online programs/sites, they develop a “Social Profile”, this is information that is accessible by others (Owyang, 2012). Students and teachers can segregate their own digital identity or identities, and disclose or enclose information at will (Green, 2016; Heuer, 2013).


Educators must contemplate the effect of their actions if presented to the wrong audience. Your actions online create a “Digital Tattoo”. Like the name implies, tattoos are permanent, and so are your actions online (Smith, n.d.). An innocent picture in the eyes of others may be inappropriate for children within an educational environment (Heuer, 2013).


Digital security is all about what we can do and how we can protect our digital identity (Gemalto, n.d.; Heuer, 2013). Our actions online create a “Digital Footprint”, they are trails we leave behind us whilst using online resources such as; websites, social applications, email services, etc. (Christensson, 2014; Common Sense Education, 2015). Some websites like Facebook can know your location, access your contacts, and even track your activity (Heuer, 2013).


Teachers must educate students to be aware of the implications if their identity or information is shared online. Most commonly known as “Cybercriminals”, these individuals can trace people’s digital footprint and access digital tattoos, leaving student’s vulnerable to identity theft, scams, and even online exposure. Creating strong passwords, localizing personal data, or modifying security settings will help prevent students from becoming victims (Law Enforcement Cyber Center, 2016, p. 3-7).



Bigfoot Digital Footprint Research. (n.d.). DIGITAL FOOTPRINT AWARENESS. [Image]. Retrieved from

Buntinx, J. (2016, August 28). 4 Blockchain Companies Focusing On Secure Digital Identity Solutions. [Image]. Retrieved from

Business First Family. (2017, May 16). Reasons Cyber Criminals Hack Business IT Systems To Steal Information. [Image]. Retrieved from

Christensson, P. (2014, May 26). Digital Footprint Definition. Retrieved from

Common Sense Education. (2015, July 14). Follow the Digital Trail. [Video]. Retrieved from

Gemalto. (n.d.). What is digital identity? Retrieved from

Gemalto. (n.d.). What is Digital Security? Retrieved from

Green, B. (2016, January 13). Inside Views: Opportunities And Challenges That The Internet Of Things Creates. Retrieved from

Heuer, S. (2013, April 10). Fake It – to control your digital identity: Pernille Tranberg at TEDxOxford. [Video]. Retrieved from

Law Enforcement Cyber Center. (2016, September 30). Understanding Digital Footprints—Steps to Protect Personal Information for law enforcement. Retrieved from

Owyang, J. (2012, April 25). How ‘Social Profiling’ Will Work In The Real World. Retrieved from

Rouse, M. (2017, August). Digital identity. Retrieved from

Russell, K. (2013). Beware Of The Digital Tattoo. [Image]. Retrieved from

Seeking Talents. (n.d.). Social Profiling. [Image]. Retrieved from

Smith, M. (n.d.). What is a digital tattoo? Retrieved from



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