Digital Identity: What It Is and How to Protect It

Salvador Del Valle
February 23, 2024
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In a world characterized by accelerated digital transformation, innovation and constant change, an interconnection has been generated between the real and digital worlds. From this has arisen the need to have a digital identity, that is, an online representation of each person.

Cybersecurity takes on great importance in this context, because the confidential information of people or companies can be compromised. Stay to learn what digital identifiers are and how to properly protect and manage the identity 2.0

What is digital identity?

The digital identity, also calledidentity 2.0, It is the accumulation of personal and relevant information that represents an individual, organization or company on the Internet. It is made up of data such as: name, photos, bank accounts, home or work address, email address, usernames, etc.

But it not only includes all that information that identifies us in the online environment, but also covers what is known as fingerprint: the trace we leave when interacting on the Internet through opinions, publications, comments, likes, logins, among other elements.

The public and visible part of this trail in turn forms our digital reputation, that is, the perception we have about an individual or entity based on what is shown on the network.

This is why protecting digital identity and maintaining a good online reputation has become of utmost importance in recent years, as it is a key factor, for example, for online authentication and job search.

Why is it a target for cybercriminals?

Digital identity has become a target for cybercriminals because it provides an easy way to access multiple points of vulnerability that can be used for malicious and fraudulent purposes against the affected user.

Digital identity encompasses the use of social networks, presence in financial institutions, photographic records, and many additional components that cybercriminals can use in deceptive and harmful ways.

Features of digital identity

Digital identity covers a compendium of personal data that distinguishes a subject in the digital world, and stands out for having the following characteristics:


This identity is not built in isolation, but within the framework of online platforms where people interact and share information.

Social networks are a prominent example of this social environment, as they provide digital spaces to establish and maintain connections with other users, share content, express opinions and participate in conversations.

In this context, digital identity is not only created through online projection itself, but also through social interaction and perception.


This is one of the most outstanding characteristics of digital identity, since it involves a capacity for constant change and adjustment due to the nature of the digitalized environment.

Well, platforms, technologies and regulations evolve rapidly, so digital identity must be dynamic, flexible and modify its aspects according to the demands and transformations of the digital world.


The way online identity is perceived varies depending on the individual interpretation of each user. The projection of the digital footprint, which includes online actions, content and interactions, becomes the foundation on which others build their impressions.

Since each person can interpret the information available online differently, digital identity becomes a subjective concept, influenced by each individual's unique experiences, values ​​and perspectives.


It is not only made up of the information that a person or entity chooses to share online, but also incorporates data collected by third parties without the knowledge or explicit consent of the identity holder.

This process is based on automatic data collection or the acquisition of information from external sources, thus contributing to a more complete and complex digital representation.


It is indirect in nature, since it does not allow establishing a linear link with the person or organization, but rather with what is published in online media.

That is, the audience gains insights not through direct interactions, such as face-to-face conversations, but from information, articles, photos, and comments shared online.

Instead of interacting directly with the person or organization, others obtain information through what is presented, shared or communicated in digital media.


The projection of digital identity is not limited to virtual space; its effects can transcend positively or negatively in the real life, beyond the digital realm.

A positive digital history, characterized by constructive interactions and relevant content, can contribute to a strong reputation both in the digital environment and outside of it.

Whereas, irresponsible online behavior, such as engaging in illegal activities or disseminating harmful information, can have tangible legal or social consequences.

Such as the loss of job opportunities, because 75% of recruiters review social profiles before hiring, that is, a bad online reputation can cost a job, the deterioration of personal relationships, among others.


In the digital environment, each platform, community or online medium has its own norms, audiences and expectations, so taking a single approach to our digital identity can be insufficient or even counterproductive.

This is why it is essential to analyze the viability of managing separate identities according to the digital context in which we find ourselves. For example, using LinkedIn to show professional content and achievements and the rest of social networks to share more personal content.

If this assessment is not carried out, there is a risk of sharing information in inappropriate online spaces, which can have detrimental consequences for digital reputation.

Why protect your digital identity

Internet users constantly face multiple risks that can have repercussions in the real world, when using various platforms such as social networks, banking services, and in general, any platform in which personal data is involved.

Let's look at some reasons why correct digital identity management is necessary:

  • Prevent the Identity Theft- Prevent others from accessing your personal information and falsifying your confidential data.

This practice has increased over the years, in 2021 more than 1.4 million cases of identity theft were reported in the United States alone, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

  • Avoid damage to reputation: prevent negative posts or information that may affect the perception that others have of an individual or organization.

Currently, about 90% of companies consult online reputation before establishing business relationships, which highlights its importance (Online Reputation Manager)

  • Maintain privacy: being able to decide what information is or is not publicly available about a person or company.

People really concerned about their privacy (around 79% of users) have reduced their activity on social networks, as it represents the main source of exposure. (statista)

Due to these risks, cybersecurity has become a priority to keep digital identity safe.

In this sense, authentication methods have become extremely important, such as the use of username and password, or biometric techniques, such as facial recognition or the use of fingerprints to verify the identity of Internet users.

identidad digital en la actualidad

9 tips to protect digital identity

An important part of protecting digital identity consists of proper management of it. Responsibly managing social networks and other online profiles, combined with correct security settings, can make a big difference.

Therefore, below, we leave you some tips to help you safeguard your digital identity:

  • Use strong, secure passwords, preferably one for each account. Consider a password manager.
  • Avoid public Wi-Fi networks and consult unprotected web addresses, since they are usually insecure.
  • Limit personal information that you share online. Adjust privacy settings.
  • Be on the lookout for phishing scams that seek to steal your information through fake emails, alert messages, malicious links, among others.
  • Keep your software up to date, both on the mobile phone and on the computer, to have your operating systems up to date in terms of security protocols.
  • Monitor your online presence to see what appears about you when searching for your name, to be aware of the appreciation that people have about you or your company online.
  • Use two-factor authentication when available, to avoid being a victim of identity theft or any fraudulent situation
  • Manage your online reputation and requests to delete information that may harm it.
  • Consult with experts. The guidance of a professional to protect your personal data is essential. Zenpli puts at your disposal a team of experts in identifying fraud patterns, tools to safeguard information, and a secure way to manage and verify your online identity and that of your company.

It is clear then that cybersecurity is a crucial part of modern life, and digital identity protection is essential to maintaining privacy, security and good reputation online.

Lack of protection can have serious consequences, so it is essential to take measures to safeguard your identity in the digital world.

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