Writing Inspired By Thinking
Silo thinking shows you how to spread your digital identity around.
Silo thinking shows you how to spread your digital identity around.
Silo thinking distributes your digital identity across many platforms instead of concentrating it into fewer data banks. It is the only way to insulate your data information from being centralized. More like spreading your breadcrumbs around, not having all your eggs in one basket. You must keep them separated.
Merriam-Webster Definition of Silo
1: a trench, pit, or especially a tall cylinder (as of wood or concrete) usually sealed to exclude air and used for making and storing silage.
The intent was that each silo contained original material which is independent from each other.
Your Digital identity is comprised of your Digital ID and your Digital Data. Contained within your digital data, there are digital breadcrumbs defined as forensic places you visit on the internet. The fewer places where your data resides, the more power and leverage those who have access to your data. They can manipulate you and benefit from your data. That is why you must keep them separated.
Your Digital ID usually is comprised of one of these options, your email address, user id of your choice or an assigned one, or your phone number. Another form of your Digital ID is the use of Authentication Services.
Authentication services allows one application or website to authenticate your identity by using your digital id and password from another service such as Twitter, Facebook, Google Gmail account, and a variety of other services. The issue with this is that the third party now has additional information about the places you visit, and more data in their data warehouse. The benefit to authentication services is their ability to combine recent information with the data they already have from you. It is easy and convenient for you, but again it benefits them.
One typical example is Facebook. They know everything about you on their platform. They capture everything about you and what you do on their platform into their database. What you click on, like, dislike, click on things that send you off their platform, messages, both general, and private. Additionally, any connected Facebook application or platform information goes into their database. This information gathering also gives them future product enhancements and ideas. Any site that you use your Facebook credentials to log in to, they know that you use that application that is authenticating you, and depending on the arrangement with the application, they may have additional information past the fact that on a date and time, you were on the application or platform.
Facebook is not unique in the data collection process the same applies for another application or website where you use a single ID using authentication services to access their services.
If you install an application on your desktop or phone, then the possibilities of additional information are being collected can occur.
The benefit to the business that is using a third party’s authentication service is that they do not have to maintain identity services and might have reduced support cost. If you have issues with your password or get locked out, you must contact the authentication service support to resolve any issues.
An additional downside to you is that if you get locked out, it may be difficult to reactivate your account. This would prevent you from accessing any site where you use this common digital id. If your account gets compromised, then someone would now have access to every site or application your account that uses this common id through authenticated services on to access.
This article goes into further depth of the collecting of digital data or the breadcrumbs of your travels on the internet.
Some big digital identity data collectors?
Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google are at the forefront, with many more on their heels.
Scott Galloway wrote a book called The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google published in October 2017.
The companies above have over time assimilated many smaller companies through acquisition, creating an even larger company. The assimilated company’s data combined with their existing data creates an even more valuable data warehouse with your newly gained information.
The same process goes on a smaller scale for other companies that you may do business with. If you were a customer of “Company A” and/or “Company B” and “Company A” acquires “Company B” your data if it existed in either/or, the combined single database is much more useful to the combined company.
How do you create identity silos?
Spread your business and information around to more companies so that your digital identity is less concentrated into a single incident. There may be a cost to accomplish this, and you must decide if the cost to your benefit is worth it. Many times, a silo service is better because they count on that single service for their revenue, improving services, and customers service satisfaction tends to be better.
Have a digital id for each business or service you interact with, do not use authenticated services as your method to access that account.
If you have an account that you have in the past used the authentication service account to access, try disconnecting that account from the authenticating service and revert to a silo account. To do so will require you to investigate settings or consult the service’s help page.
As a consumer, you must compare price to value and what is in it for you. Use services that are not a part of another service. Instead of listening to music on Amazon, use Spotify or any of the other music subscription services. An alternate of using Amazon for movies, use Netflix or any of the other movie type subscription services. Likewise, check out Walmart or other online companies comparing price, the other companies are aware of Amazon’s pricing and may match it. Compare pricing and value to make your decision, which will suit your conscious and makes you happy. This is not a bash on Amazon, just a suggested starting point.
Spend your money locally and at small business owners when possible, this helps your local community and business owner.
Pay with cash when you can for the no trace options.
I strongly recommend a Password Manager. A Password Manager is software that works with a browser and applications securely storing and protecting your digital identity. They are available on all your devices, phone, tablets, laptops, and desktops. Search “Password Manager Software” for the many options and reviews. I use LastPass and used it for several years without issue. I have it on my desktop, laptop, tablet, and phone.
Why did I write this article?
To give you food for thought about the possibilities on the ways and options protecting your digital identity.
Create Silos where possible, be smart, and to use a password manager to avoid having the same common id and/or password.
Another article you may like is this one on Trust.
Thank you for reading and please share you thoughts.