This week I had the stressful task of visiting Durham to replace a (slightly) damaged passport. It got me thinking about identity, which in turn got me thinking about identity theft.
Thanks to the vast databases and records possessed by such departments, the process of replacing said passport all seemed pretty straight forward and relatively quick. I pondered: In a world becoming more and more reliant on digital, are our details truly safe?
Even when filling in the form I required my counter-signatory’s passport number, which was promptly brought up in an email on their iPhone. It appears as though I was blissfully ignorant to the fact that more and more of us are trusting our devices with sensitive Information. When I enquired further it manifested that my friend had a passport scan, birth certificate scan and even credit card scans saved to a folder in their Hotmail account from when they went traveling 3 years ago – there seemed to be no worry of prying eyes discovering the information!
I underwent some brief research into the methods employed to ensure security and confidentiality of our personal information. Sure there are firewalls and encrypted files in place. But as the security of this technology advances, as does the cunning of its perpetrators.
As the MD of a digital agency I am undeniably paranoid about online security: it took me 2 years before I’d built up the trust to use my internet banking service and even then I ensure I select “private browsing” beforehand and clear the cookies and delete the history after use: With fraudsters and thieves abounding in our digital world, I think it’s definitely best to be safe than sorry.