Digital Assets – A Broader Approach for Our Online Assets

As the online part of our lives grows rapidly, our digital assets too. What are digital assets? In the past, the term “digital asset” referred to digital content such as multimedia text, images, audio and video. These assets have direct commercial value for the “old” content industry, such as the music and broadcasting industries. As a result, governance and protection issues are among the hottest topics in the IT world. Digital Rights Management (DRM) is widely discussed. However, it turns out that from the user’s point of view – and from our personal point of view – digital assets are much larger. Some have real monetary value as an account PayPal, while others have sentimental value like our private photo collection. Therefore, a broader approach to digital assets is needed.

Here is a list of our digital assets:

Purchased content – content that we have purchased online, for real money or for free. This content is closely related to the initial definition of digital assets as multimedia content.

o Music, movies, videos, photos, e-books: iTunes, Amazon, iStockphoto, Netflix
o eMagazines and streaming TV
o Domains: GoDaddy, network solutions.

Note. A domain is a new type of asset similar to brands.

Free content – content created by us (created by users), which is freely available to the public, but is the subject of intellectual property rights.

o Blogs – WordPress
o Videos – YouTube, Vimeo

IP content – content created by us and publicly available for sale.

o Photos, video – iStockphoto, brightcove
o Everything – eBay

Personal content is our personal content, partly shared and partly personal. For the most part, the value is sentimental and only matters to ourselves, our friends and our family.

Multimedia (photo, video) – Picasa, Flickr, Shutterfly
o Online Storage and Backup – Dropbox, Carbonite, Box.net, Google Docs
o email/webmail
o Social Media Accounts – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace

Interestingly, a network of connections (or subscribers) is a new type of asset created by social networks.

Online money – real or virtual money (or equivalent assets), bought or earned. The balance on the account is equal to real money.

o Internet entertainment, such as online gaming accounts
o E-commerce accounts (seller or buyer) – eBay, PayPal, Yahoo! stores
o Loyalty Programs – frequent flyer customers, points of sale / coupons

Financial online services – here we focused on financial services, but this endless category applies to many other services. Some services are passive in the sense that they only provide information that actually replaces a paper report. Other services are active – the user takes action, for example, trading on the stock exchange.

Finance – bank, credit card, loan, investment, social security, foreign currency (change)
o Semi-financial: payment of bills, tax returns, electronic reports, paper receipts
o Legal and others – Trust document, will, life insurance, real estate, pension documents, medical information

Setting up your computer and network – Computer and network setup information, such as computer IDs and passwords, is essential for day-to-day operations. Because our IT equipment stores valuable information (part of which is reused as above), the most important information is an asset and should be treated accordingly.

We understand that the size and diversification of our digital assets are increasing dramatically. We need to be aware of this and take appropriate measures to protect them, as in the case of other assets.