Thursday, 19 July 2012

A Closer Look at Digital IDs [Part 2 of 4 of Digital ID Series]

Living in a Digital World, you may have come across the term Digital ID several times while you are searching over the internet. It is the electronic counterpart of government issued identity cards presented in lieu of a physical ID to prove identity or right to access information or services online.

On the previous post, we had a brief introduction to Digital IDs. This week, we will be providing an in-depth view and analysis of what a Digital ID is, what and how it is used, and why it is a must-have.

What is a Digital ID?

A Digital ID, sometimes called a Digital Certificate, is basically used to prove one’s identity online. It can be very useful especially if you are always doing online transactions.

An example of where you can use the Digital ID to prove your identity is when you do online banking. Most banks require their users an identification card to proceed with a transaction. But that is only efficient and possible if you are physically doing the transaction inside a real office. What if you are doing the transaction online? To be free of the hassle of sending out a copy of your documents to prove your identity, you may opt to just have a Digital ID installed and this will do the trick for your authentication needs.

Apart from proving identities, Digital IDs may also be used for protecting the integrity of the contents of documents and emails. Without a digital ID, altering the content of emails and documents done composed through Microsoft Office or Adobe Document is just a walk in the park. But with the cryptography technology employed by a Digital ID, you can be sure that the content of your emails and documents is intact and was not altered by a third party invader.

There are a number of digital IDs; some issued to websites, and some distributed to individuals for personal of business needs. All of these IDs are most of the time issued by a trusted Certification Authority like GlobalSign.

GlobalSign is one of the most trusted Certification Authority offering a number of digital IDs namely: which are ideal for enterprises, individuals, and small businesses.

What do I get from a Digital ID?

Aside from proving your identity and protecting the content of your documents, there a number of other things you can do with a Digital ID.  You’ll find below what these are:

  • Authentication
    • A digital ID will guarantee the authenticity of the signer of the document or email. This is important to be know who participated in the transaction. It also gives the bearer an enhanced security giving access only to the legit owner and prohibits access to someone fraudulently purporting to be the document/email’s owner.

  • Integrity
    • Digital IDs protect the integrity of the data being sent or the document composed to make sure that it has not been forged or altered either intentionally or accidentally. How this is monitored is through looking at the hash of the signed document or email. Technically, a digital signature includes a hash of the overall document or email being signed. Any change to the document after it is signed would invalidate the digital hash.

  • Non-Repudiation
    • Non-repudiation means that information cannot be disclaimed, similar to a witnessed handwritten signature on a paper document. 

How can I get a Digital ID?

Digital IDs are issued by trusted Certification Authorities. These CAs vet the identity of the person or company requesting for a Digital ID first before they issue the certificates to make sure they are real and existing.  

If you are planning to get a Digital ID for your personal or business needs, it is best to identify first which CA can best cater your security requirements. If you are running your own ecommerce business, a Certification Authority trusted by your target market will be the best choice for higher conversion rates. 

GlobalSign has been one of the leading and most trusted certification authorities with over 16 years of experience.

Why do I need a Digital ID?

Anyone who has been navigating through the internet for years may easily notice that there are a lot of bogus accounts in forum and social networking sites. Many are faking accounts either by assuming identities, or by entering incomplete or inaccurate information when registering an online account. This makes it hard for internet users to trust just any person or website without verifying their real identities.

A Digital ID may offer a resolution to this problem since it is capable of proving one’s identity online. What more, it provides complete security protection against cybercrimes and phishing attacks which number rises along with the growing popularity of online shopping, electronic banking, and other online services. This is done through encryption which translates a plain text into a secret language which only the authorized person can view and access. 

Get your own Digital ID, send us an email or contact us at (+65) 3158 0349.

Keywords: Digital ID, Certification Authority, authenticity, GlobalSign