Remembering countless online account credentials and secure passwords is a feat that no normal human being can accomplish without some amount of pain. Setting up secure password managers and two-step verification tools is a good start to improving security and making all those logins more manageable, but it's still a problematic system.
Tagged With online identity
Twitter's recent announcement regarding how they'll deal with the death of their users got me thinking. What about my virtual life after death? What can I do to make it easy for my estate to deal with my online identity?
You can establish and monitor your real name's Google presence, but you won't get complete control, especially when others with your name try the same tactic. Using a pseudonym/alias/author's name in conjunction with pages you control can be much more effective.
OpenID is an open standard for logging onto various web services with a single digital identity. The tool puts your online identity back in your hands — and as it turns out, OpenID on your own domain is surprisingly easy.
As part of a Data Privacy Day report, Microsoft commissioned a study of over 1200 hiring and recruitment managers. In one segment, they asked what kinds of sites they considered in researching applicants online. The short answer: almost everything.
We've always emphasised the importance of monitoring your online presence, and now Google's jumping in with their own tips for managing your reputation through search results.
Expect to see a whole lot more of Google and Facebook sign-in boxes on sites all over the web from today going forward: in what you'd think was a planned parallel announcement, Google and Facebook just launched their Friend Connect and Facebook Connect products today, which allow web site owners to set up sign-in and other social features to their web sites. All your online identity are belong to Google or Facebook? Tell us in the comments, and see a video demo of Google's Friend Connect here.
New web service Nombray is out to help folks establish their online identity by registering their name-based domain. Enter your name into the Nombray search engine and register the various available combinations of vanity URL available. (For example, a search for my name returns GinaTrapani.name, GinaTrapani.us, GTrapani.com, etc.) Then, register the URLs of your choice for $US20 apiece, and use Nombray's simple web page designer and hosting service to link to the various social networks and profiles you've set up across the web. (See CEO Chris Lunt's Nombray-powered chrislunt.net site above for an example, where Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are linked from tabs in a top frame.)
Sometimes you like a photo so much, you want to post it to Facebook, Flickr, and all your other Web 2.0-type identities. Media sharing web app Oosah (a strong contestant for weirdest web app name so far) has opened up a new feature that makes trading a digital photo or other media files between Flickr, Facebook, Picasa, and other social sites pretty easy. After signing up and confirming logins, you can simply upload to Oosah or drag a file from one web app to the other, saving you the time of multiple uploads. If you're going to spend valuable work time sharing your latest photo journey, you may as well hit at as many outlets at once as possible. Oosah is free to use, requires a sign-up to activate. Oosah
Web site IdentiFight searches popular web applications for accounts linked to an email address you specify. The main purpose of IdentiFight is to show you what information is available online to anyone who has your email address, then to help you cut the connection between your address and that info when possible. Keep in mind that you'll need to submit your email address to IdentiFight to run the search, and there's always the possibility that IdentiFight is doing some malicious email harvesting itself, but from all appearances, the creator seems genuine. As always, submit your email with caution. If you do give it a try, share what you found—and whether or not you were surprised with the results—in the comments. IdentiFight
Are you happy with the results people get back when they Google your name? If not, there are easy ways to monitor and guide what information is published about you online. Two years ago we covered how to have a say in what Google says about you, and more recently, and how to track down anyone online. But a rash of social media sites have arisen that give you more tools to help you manage your online reputation and become more findable. Let's take a look.
A few months ago, 43 Folders writer Matt Wood realized he was running five blogs, two Flickr accounts, a del.icio.us page, and a regular stream of Twittr, IM, and email messages. This year, he's resolved to trim his online "commitments," and he offers a few tips on how anyone can do the same. Wood recommends casting a hard, cold gaze at your online activities for the sake of prioritizing, one login at a time:Take baby steps - Chances are there's one online outlet that you know you just don't have the heart to maintain anymore, be it a blog, Twitter, Facebook, whatever. Drop one of them, then see if any other candidates fall to the bottom by attrition.If you were committed to canning one of your online outlets to stay better focused, where would you start? Share your executioners' tales in the comments. Photo by Kevin.
Re-evaluating Your Online Commitments
When you're trying to find someone online, Google's not the only game in town. In the last two years, a handful of new people search engines have come onto the scene that offer better ways to pinpoint people info by name, handle, location, or place of employment. While there's still no killer, one-stop people search, there are more ways than ever to track down a long-lost friend, stalk an ex, or screen a potential date or employee. The next time you wonder, "What ever happened to so-and-so?" you've got a few power people search tools to turn to.