Before we discuss on the advantage and disadvantage of having more than one online identity, let me tell you what online identity is. Online identity is a collective of characteristics infer based on your digital footprint. For example, Zalora will make judgement on your characteristics and form an online identity for you based on the items you buy or browse. Every website you visit will create an online identity based on the action that you made and this collectivity of the different online identity also called the partial identity form up together as your online identity.
One advantage of why people choose to have more than one online identity is to get a better control in what information is being released onto the web. Nowadays, people are using online applications for buying of clothes, daily necessities and even bank transfer which people like the marketers and theft started to see the opportunity which lead to cases like identity theft getting access of bank account and misused it for their own benefit and marketers buying sets of consumer data from web owner to analyze it and implement strategies to reach out to their target segments. From my experience online, I’ve actually observe more and more university and WordPress advertisement appearing on media like Youtube and Facebook. Therefore, it is important to start protecting the security of our data by creating multiple online identities for different purposes. For example, for this module, I’ve created Twitter and WordPress using my school email so as to separate my online identity from my personal and academic and this help me to better manage my image for academic purposes.
However, the disadvantage of having many online identities is the need to put in a lot of effort in maintaining every identity and make sure that the right information is being posted to different identity. For example, accidentally using the professional account to post something unethical is something that should be avoided. As a marketer, the disadvantage will be the increase in difficulties in analyzing online human behavior as it will be hard for them to analyze and predict the actual characteristic of a person.
In conclusion, creating and managing multiple identities can be one of the skills that people should adopt to keep their privacy intact. It is important to have a clear idea on how we want to shape our image online and our responsibility in securing our own data from leaking out.
Here is one video that I find it useful in understanding how people track and analyze our behavior online. Hope you find it useful too!
Krotoski, A. (2012). Online identity: is authenticity or anonymity more important?. the Guardian. Retrieved 3 November 2015, from http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/apr/19/online-identity-authenticity-anonymity
Henry, A. (2015). Should I Keep My Personal and Professional Identities Completely Separate Online?. Lifehacker. Retrieved 3 November 2015, from http://lifehacker.com/5898370/should-i-keep-my-personal-and-professional-identities-completely-separate-online
Internetsociety.org,. (2015). Online Identity Overview | Internet Society. Retrieved 3 November 2015, from http://www.internetsociety.org/online-identity-overview#overlay-context=
Internetsociety.org,. (2015). Protecting Your Privacy | Internet Society. Retrieved 3 November 2015, from http://www.internetsociety.org/protecting-your-privacy
Internetsociety.org,. (2015). Protecting Your Identity | Internet Society. Retrieved 3 November 2015, from http://www.internetsociety.org/protecting-your-identity