Digital vaults are like a high security safe, but online

Digital vaults are like a high security safe, but online An important backbone of eGovernment services that ensures protection for online documents

Reflecting the increasingly digital nature of our lives today, people in the US under 70 years old have an average of more than 160 digital accounts of varying kinds [1], ranging from social media to bank accounts. These accounts contain sensitive information and documents that should be protected at all costs. That is a lot of access rights to data, platforms and services – and potentially a lot of stress if such access were to be compromised. When it comes to identity documents and official certificates, such issues must never happen. Digital wallets and the much more secure digital vaults are two solutions to safeguarding what is vital: our identities.

 

 

What is the difference between a digital wallet and a digital vault?

But what is a digital wallet and how does it protect digital identity documents online? A digital wallet is a safe place in which to store those useful virtual documents that you use for day-to-day living, for example, a driver’s license, public transport ticket, or even a fishing permit. The wallet enables the user to share and use various documents stored in the digital wallet. If the device that holds them is lost it might be inconvenient, but the digital wallet can be added to a new device with relative ease. Various security precautions make it almost impossible to fraudulently use the wallet if it is stolen.

While digital wallets are playing an increasingly important role in day-to-day transactions in the online world, the digital vault affords even greater flexibility. For today’s highly mobile citizens, a digital vault puts access to all key identity documents and sensitive data at their fingertips, wherever they are, whenever they need them. From providing a valid birth certificate in order to get married in another country to opening a bank account, the highly secure digital vault provides the optimal solution for storing your most sensitive trusted digital documents. Documents like these are placed in the vault because they contain sensitive information and should be protected at all costs.

Digital vaults represent a much higher level of security. This is a place where a person’s verified and authenticated source documents are securely stored in digital form and can be retrieved and shared, at different levels, by and with authorized individuals, companies, or institutions. These documents are ones that are used to prove core identities, such as a digital birth certificate or a passport, or have sensitive information such as health records or bank statements. Losing this, or having it stolen, represents a far greater problem for the individual. That is why as well as using encryption, like a wallet, a vault will always require a higher level of access rights, typically two-factor authentication at a minimum.

 

 

Whether stored in the cloud or within a chip on a smartphone, a vault can capture and authenticate all key credentials. It can also be used as a secure place within which individuals can securely collect and maintain their other very important digital assets, including their vaccination or medical records, for example.

A significant aspect of both the vault and the wallet is that ownership of the contents resides with the individual whose data it is. It is the owner of that data who will control exactly what data is shared with someone else, who it is shared with, and when. Document bundles make this process even easier, pulling together selected documents, and files into a single folder – or “bundle” – which can then be managed by the individual. When applying for a job, for example, you could put your resume, cover letter, relevant certificates, recommendations, and visa/residency documents into a bundle, to which privacy settings can then be applied. Those settings could specify with whom the documents in the bundle can be shared and would typically include an expiry date for the download.

Trust is perhaps the most important consideration of all. The high level of security brought by a vault provides reassurance and trust for both the owners of the documents and the issuers. This trusted information relay can facilitate both online replacement or renewal of certifications and authentications.

Crucially, this secure repository can eliminate the need for governments and their agencies to issue replacement certifications. In the UK alone, just under 400,000 UK passports are reported lost or stolen each year, according to the Home Office [2]. Can you imagine arriving at the airport and being unable to find your passport in your bag? With one’s passport securely stored in an online vault, accessible only to the holder and whoever they choose to share it with, that problem and all the potential inconvenience it involves, can either be eliminated or at least reduced significantly.

In short, the vault is complementary to a digital wallet. It provides a more secure storage method for core identities, making it the ideal backbone of eGovernment.

 

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[1] Forbes

[2] Gov.UK

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