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British firm highlights our online data risks

Garlik hopes to put the fear of god into all of us with its security warnings
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Even if it sounds like a shot at making headlines, the latest service from internet security specialist Garlik is anything but. Instead, the personal status-ranking tool is being used to promote awareness of online information protection.

The QDOS rating system takes your name and UK postcode, looks you up in various places online and spits out a score designed to indicate how your digital presence ranks. Should you choose, you can be ranked alongside other luminaries from the worlds of sport, science, literature and more.

Raising awareness

Garlik, the company behind online bank Egg, admits that part of the QDOS goal is to raise the issue of online identity in the minds of consumers with a view to making people think about how their information is represented.

Speaking to the IHT, CEO Tom Ilobe explains: "A lot of decisions are being made about us with information people find out on the internet. People are deciding whether to date me, whether to work for me, what kind of person I am.

"What we're trying to do is get people engaged with their digital status. If we as a company can get millions of people engaged, they will tell us what services they want in identity protection."

Hats off to Garlik for tackling a complex issue that needs to be urgently conveyed to far too many people, but the big question is what can we actually do when careless government agencies and private companies play fast and loose with our personal data? As it stands, very little.

J Mark Lytle was an International Editor for TechRadar, based out of Tokyo, who now works as a Script Editor, Consultant at NHK, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation. Writer, multi-platform journalist, all-round editorial and PR consultant with many years' experience as a professional writer, their bylines include CNN, Snap Media and IDG.