Internet Identity is a privacy-enhancing blockchain based authentication framework built on the Internet Computer. It integrates with the APIs of WebAuthn, a widely used, secure authentication framework supported by modern browsers and operating systems. Users can connect passkeys to their Internet Identity, and use the secure TPM chip inside these devices for authentication instead of passwords or clunky 2FAs. Alternatively, Internet Identity supports devices like YubiKeys or Ledger hardware wallets.
Using chain-key cryptography, Internet Identity ensures private authentication by creating a unique principal id for each dapp the user authenticates with. This prevents the tracking of users across dapps, making each session private.
Create an Internet Identity
If you don't yet have an Internet Identity, you can create one at https://identity.ic0.app/.
If you click "Create Internet Identity", you are asked to create a passkey. A passkey can be any device that has a TPM chip inside it, such as a laptop with a fingerprint sensor, a smartphone with face ID. Alternatively, Internet Identity supports portable HSMs, such as YubiKeys or Ledger devices.
After the Internet Identity is created, users can already use it to securely and privately authenticate with ICP based dapps, or add more passkeys. It is generally advised to have multiple passkeys connected to your Internet Identity as well as a recovery method setup, such as a recovery phrase.
Once you added a passkey, you will be assigned an Internet Identity number. You should save somewhere safe, where you can easily access it. While your browser remembers this number, it will forget it if its cache is cleared, in which case you will need to type it in manually.
As mentioned previously, it is also important to add a recovery phrase in case your device gets lost or stolen. Your Internet Identity also allows you to login to the Network Nervous System (NNS) dapp. NNS is the DAO that governs the Internet Computer, and allows ICP token holders to participate in its governance by staking their tokens.