Online Basics - Online Identity

Explained by Common Craft
There are 2 basic versions of most websites, the version that anyone can see and the version that can only be seen by logging in. This video focuses on online identity and how it can be used to unlock the most powerful tools and services on the web.
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Video Transcript:

In the real world, we are often asked for identification. That’s because organizations need proof that we are who we say we are. Once an organization knows your identity, they can personalize their services and can help you more efficiently.

Websites also need this kind of information, but there’s a problem. It’s hard to give a website the same identification that works in the real world.

So, you need a way to help the website establish who you are online. This information, like your name, email address and more, represents your online identity, something that many websites require.

Think about it like this: The most useful resources on websites are typically hidden from view. To use them, you need a key. That key is your online identity - it unlocks the most useful parts of websites. By creating an account and providing personal information to the website, you can establish your identity and unlock access to banking information, government services, communication tools and more that are personalized and unique to you.

Consider Angie, who is new to the internet and doesn’t yet have an online identity. When she visits websites and apps, the most interesting and useful services are not available without an account that establishes her identity.

To solve this problem, she creates accounts across a number of websites, which unlocks a wide variety of resources. Some websites, like social networking sites, are free and when unlocked, provide tools for connecting and communicating with friends and family. Other websites help Angie store and share information that is important to her, like photos, videos and documents.

While many websites are free to use, some may require payment with a credit or debit card along with her online identity. These sites often offer powerful services that help with her work or help protect her information. Because Angie’s online identity may contain her location, age, nationality and more, it can provide access to websites like her bank and government services.

For Angie, having an online identity is an essential part of her digital lifestyle that has unlocked useful parts of the web that help her stay connected and be more productive.

What it teaches:

This video is part of our Online Basics series designed for people who are getting started with the Internet. It explains the concept of online identity and follows Angie, who discovers why having an online identity is a necessary and powerful way to use the internet. It teaches:

  • Why identity and identification is important in the real world

  • Why identity is also important online and necessary to use many websites

  • How to create an online identity by having an account on a website
  • How online identities unlock powerful resources on the web

  • Why having an online identity is an essential part of living a digital lifestyle

Video Info:

  • Duration:  02m 36s
  • Captions Available:  YES
  • Lesson Plan:  YES
  • Category:  Technology, Society
  • ISTE Standard:  Digital Citizen, Indicator 2a
  • ACRL Info Literacy Frame:  Information Has Value

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