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Share your thoughts on identity related topics - chance to win £250! NOW CLOSED

(226 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 25-Sep-17 10:44:19

The internet has provided us with many wonderful opportunities. We can discover and learn, meet potential partners, we can buy and sell things to other people, turn to peers for advice, book holidays, read our favourite magazines, manage our finances, and so on. Unfortunately the systems and tools we use to make our lives easier are easily misused by people with the wrong intentions. We read headlines of dating scams, online fraud, people creating fake profiles, and children accessing age restricted content.

We can use our phones to make payments from our bank accounts, but not prove who we are. We still have to photocopy and email our passports to prove our identities to get things done like rent a flat, which simply doesn’t make sense. The list goes on and on…

Mumsnet partner, Yoti, have created a secure ID app which helps people prove their identity, online and in person - and are on a mission to fix the identity related issues that aren't right and don’t make sense. If you’d like to read more about how they secure your data and plan to make proving your identity simpler, faster and safer, please visit

Yoti would like to hear your views on some identity related topics - have a look at them below - and if your answer is defined by aspects such as past experience, the age of your children or your work then please add that into your post. Of course, there's no right or wrong answers and all views are welcome.

Example Topics:
- Age restricted content is open to anyone online (for example anyone - whatever their age can access all sorts of content with no restrictions)
- Online personas can't be trusted (for example - it's easy to pose as someone older or younger when interacting with other people online)
- Cost of fraud is more than the NHS budget (£144bn more money is lost each year to online fraud in the UK than spent on the NHS)
- We need to show numerous paper documents (e.g. a utility bill and two different types of ID document) just to access a new service

Add your comment and you will be entered into a prize draw where one winner will get a £250 John Lewis voucher

thanks and good luck!

Standard Insight T&Cs apply

FloatingCamel Mon 25-Sep-17 11:15:45

I identify as non-binary. Hope I win!

NerrSnerr Mon 25-Sep-17 11:45:21

I think a lot of mumsnet users need to be more mindful about people not being who they say they are. Lots of people seem to take everything as face value, and it's not just financial loss that's the issue, it's the emotional drain. If adults on a website don't have the critical thinking skills to question what is bollocks then our children have no chance.

ShotsFired Mon 25-Sep-17 12:42:16

Financial institutions (worst culprits) who bleat on and on about keeping your ID secure and then routinely phone customers and ask them to give away security info. Completely undermines the message and also causes risk.
(Direct Line had a good system where they phoned me, explained the purpose for the call, then said I will give you x piece of information from your insurance quote/personal data, you give me the corresponding other half")

And more generally, businesses who don't understand what they are asking for, and ask for ridiculous amounts of personal information that is quite unnecessary. I have little faith they process/store it securely.

WelshMumof1 Mon 25-Sep-17 17:52:25

The problem is - this secure ID app - how secure is it really? Even the pentagon has been hacked before! There are constant news stories of data thefts. What is the point of another form of ID if that is not 100% secure, and can anything digital really be guaranteed? I feel like any digital identity is just open to problems in the future. The old paper trail may be inconvenient and awkward, but it still seems more secure to me than digital applications.

CopperPan Mon 25-Sep-17 18:07:59

Online personas can't be trusted (for example - it's easy to pose as someone older or younger when interacting with other people online).

I alter a lot of my details online to avoid people tracing me/putting my own online safety at risk, so I always take what people say online with a pinch of salt. It might not be malicious but you can't take everything at face value (although that's also true for people you meet in real life too!)

Demiguise Mon 25-Sep-17 19:10:46

Online personas are far too easy to tweak and falsify for anyone to take them at face value. For privacy and security reasons (I work in publishing) I change quite a few of my details on social media, which makes me quite aware that anyone else could have done likewise.

It is important to remember, though, that our digital ID and footprint can easily identify us to people we might not want to be able to make that link, if we're not cautious.

honeyandginger48 Mon 25-Sep-17 19:16:42

I'm always very cautious when doing anything online (or on paper - I shred everything!). My daughter went on a cyber security course recently and came home with loads of scare stories about how easy it was to hack passwords and take control of online accounts. I'd rather have to jump through extra security hoops than leave myself open to fraud.

ClashCityRocker Mon 25-Sep-17 19:20:02

I never get involved with anyone online bar engaging on forums - I try and avoid forming friendships or relationships as I think it is very easy to create a fake online persona.... And have been bitten before.

One thing I do worry about is how much information is stored on my phone on various apps etc. and how secure this is.

I suspect if someone managed to unlock my phone they could cause some serious damage to my bank account!

JemIsMyNameNooneElseIsTheSame Mon 25-Sep-17 19:29:43

Fake internet personas are rife and it can be so easy to be taken in when you are the trusting, caring type. Everything has to be taken with a pinch of salt. It's not the real world.

Sleepysausage Mon 25-Sep-17 19:43:42

People don't need apps for extra security they need better online security education. If someone tried up one your doorstep asking for your bank details you wouldn't give them so why do it online?
When our daughter is old enough to go online I hope we can guide her to be careful and stay safe online by being open and honest and hoping that in return she will do the same

Theimpossiblegirl Mon 25-Sep-17 20:07:53

People need to be less trusting online. I have seen intelligent adults fall for sob stories, known otherwise-savvy people to hand their bank details to someone over the phone and receive a lot of phishing emails that are quite convincing.
An app isn't going to help people be less naive, they need educating and the dangers need publicising more.
I'd also be concerned about an ID app that is not developed by a government department (although I wouldn't trust them not to mess it up atm), in terms of it not being accepted universally, so 'real' ID would still be needed or so many things.

Rae1000 Mon 25-Sep-17 20:27:31

Think it is a major problem. I am of increasing need to sharpen my own skills as my daughter gets older. I need a lot of advice

CherriesInTheSnow Mon 25-Sep-17 20:37:34

ID is very difficult for some reason for me; over the years I've found myself in many frustrating situations where the criteria to prove who I am has been a hurdle (including registering for a GP while pregnant and even getting security clearance for a new job).

If there can be something that not only I feel is reliable but more importantly companies across the country are willing to actually accept and utilise then it would be a god send and the way forward!

foxessocks Mon 25-Sep-17 21:37:09

People need to remember that not everyone online is who they say they are and this message needs to be taught to children early on.

OhThisbloodyComputer Mon 25-Sep-17 21:43:35

In the old days, if Harry The Blagger robbed a bank and demanded all the cash that customers had deposited, the customers were not held responsible. The bank and its insurers footed the bill, because they were the ones who hadn't secured the assets to the best of their ability.

These days, when a crook gains access to your bank account and tricks her or his way into the 'digital vaults' for some reason, the rules have changed. It's the customer's fault now, because the definition has changed in a subtle, but crucial way. You money wasn't stolen, you see, it was your identity that was stolen, and that's your fault. Which means it's your fault your money was taken because you didn't do enough to protect your identity. Your identity, of course, being that arbitrary and intangible ethereal quality that the bank made up for you, with its myriad of forgettable passwords and stupid fiddly rules for passwords and help desk staff on the other side of the world speaking in their second or third language as they rush to reach impossibly tight deadlines for getting each caller off the phone, otherwise they'll lose their job and won't be able to feed their family.

Can we go back to cash until this 'identity' crisis is sorted out?

AreThereAnyUsersnamesLeft Mon 25-Sep-17 21:47:57

on the lighter side... my mother won't use any body's name or place names or anything which could identify her or who she is talking about when talking on the phone ("anybody could be listening") - it can be fairly difficult to work out what is going on.

I do wonder about the fact that my doctor's surgery charges £50 to sign a passport photo but I would be amazed if anyone of them would be able to recognise me or any of my family in real life. I haven't tested it, but I do wonder if I handed in a form and my £50, would they take the money and sign it regardess? - or would they have the integrity to admit they have no idea whether I am ? - or if someone was to answer a few questions such as my address and date of birth, would they assume it was really me and sign it?

purplepandas Mon 25-Sep-17 21:55:03

People really need to think about their actions and be skeptical when online. If it feels too good to be true it most likely is. Feels odd to write that on here though!

AreThereAnyUsersnamesLeft Mon 25-Sep-17 22:03:56

For the employee right to work checks, I'm surprised Yoti can do this electronically.
Doesn't the Home Office require employers to check the original documents in the presence of the individual - or are you seeking to get those changed?
Touch is be one of the key ways to check for a fake passport - you cannot check the finish online. Same comment for watermarks, stitching etc.

theresamustgo Mon 25-Sep-17 22:31:06

People share so much private information online...including here! I don't think we fully understand how this is being mined, used, sold, building a tight web of traces...some of which will look pretty odd in my case as my 9 year old keeps getting his hands on my phone and augmenting my Google identity.

ErinSophia Mon 25-Sep-17 22:56:54

Online personas need to be approached carefully, not everyone is who they say they're online so it's important to not get too involved with anyone online.

Kathderoet Tue 26-Sep-17 02:00:16

I get constant fraudulent emails with links

My daughter has been contacted by people lying about who they are

People share way too much on social media - throw away comments are dredged up years later and used to their detriment by the media or in non famous people’s case can lose them their job

My bank account has been attempted to be accessed from across the world quite a few times

WhosTakingDeHorseToFrance Tue 26-Sep-17 02:58:06

Resoundingly skeptic here, trust nothing. Online personas are so easy to fake. I am very careful about what detail I share online and have no problem being asked to provide a paper trail to prove identity to financial institutions. I'm not sure an app is secure enough and I reckon the hackers will eventually break it, so no thanks to that.

asuwere Tue 26-Sep-17 03:41:48

I am quite careful with the information I share online, and don't trust anyone completely. Personally, I think an app which stores ALL your personal data/ID in one place is a bit of a risk and not safe at all. Plus, I would think altering online ID is much easier than altering birth certificate/passport/driving licence so not better. (Not to mention that the app doesn't work offline, regular ID can work wherever you are, no matter what signal/data you have on your phone.)
<looking forward to winning! smile>

MakeTeaNotWar Tue 26-Sep-17 07:01:01

Identity fraud is rife and I only recently learned how easy it is to set up spoof caller IDs. As a result, I tweaked my social media profiles to reveal very little personal detail. However as my DH's profile is wide open, a potential fraudster could still find out quite a lot about me.

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