Most of us lock our front door, our back door, even our windows. Many of us even have shades on our windows for privacy and peep holes in our doors to identify visitors. This physical door protects us from known and unknown threats and secures our most valued and treasured items. We do all of this in the name of safety and security.
A digital door is much like a door or window of your house. It is a pathway that leads into a place where you share life stories, family experiences, pictures and memories. A place where personal and identifying information is shared about you and your family, friends and relatives in both private and public spaces.
Some of us have a lot of Digital Doors (or gateways), and for many, the doors are standing wide open (ie. we are sharing a lot of personal information). Wide open digital doors leave us exposed and vulnerable to just about every threat that exists online.
For others, we may have fewer clearly defined digital doors–in other words, our social media presence is small, etc. However, this doesn’t mean you’re not at risk. In fact, this can often lead to a false sense of security when in reality you’re at great risk–specifically through the loss of usernames/passwords or personal data available on the dark web.
First, let’s identify all of your digital doors. Some of these doors come to mind quickly and easily (Facebook) and others are a bit further removed. When thinking about your digital doors, consider where you frequent online. Where do you share information–even with only a select group of people? Do you belong to CouchSurfing, NextDoor, or LinkedIn? What about Strava? Have you been part of any major data breaches that you are aware of (Dropbox, Yahoo, etc.)? Have you had your email address hacked?
Jot them down on a piece of paper or in a Google Sheet or spreadsheet. Note whether you are the author, consumer and/or participant in this service and who you are connected with.
If you are having a hard time discovering your doorways, consider all of the places that you login. If you need a list of some of the most common, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you a list of commonly used services
By participating in this exercise, you’ve laid the foundation for locking your digital doors. In the following weeks we’ll dive deeper into your digital doors and you may find you uncover additional doors. The key is to think critically about your digital landscape and be aware that what you share, wherever you share it, puts you at risk of identity theft and social cybercrime.