The Mydex Members’ PDS Guide

Introduction

Here at Mydex we want to help you get the most out of your Personal Data Store (PDS) but we do not want to be too prescriptive or tell you exactly how to use it because everyone may wish to use it a bit differently.  Please therefore feel free to use your PDS as it suits you remembering these few important principles:

  • Your choice: Your Mydex PDS is for you, so only put as much or as little as you want into it.  You don’t have to enter anything you don’t want to or are uncomfortable with.  In the long run we believe that the more you put in the more value you will get out of it.  More data stored in here means more opportunities for you to use it in helpful ways. 
  • Your privacy: The data you store is uniquely yours and you have sole right of access (to view, change or delete), unless you choose to make certain details available to someone else or another organisation.  Mydex CIC, which operates the service, cannot see your data, nor does it wish to.  The only exceptions to this are your email address (that we can see) and your password (that we cannot see but we can reset it for you if you wish).  The rest of your data is encrypted (stored in coded form) and only you have the key (your Private Key) to unencrypt (decode) it. 
  • Your size requirements: There is no practical limit to the size of your PDS.  You can create and store as many new section and subsection tabs as you like.  Tabs are  like file dividers; they help you navigate through your data and find what you need quickly and easily.
  • Your security: Keeping your personal data secure is at the heart of our service.  Mydex Personal Data Stores are designed at all times to meet or exceed the best contemporary security standards available, such as for online banking, and these are under constant review.  With our hyper-secure approach even we in Mydex cannot see what is in your PDS.  Of course, just as for online banking, you should make sure you do not give your logon details (see How to Register) to other people or write them down and leave them lying around.  If you think your logon details may have been compromised then let us know immediatley and we will reset your password.  Note: We cannot reset your Private Key so if you lose or forget this you will not be able to get back in to your PDS.
  • Your needs: You can use your PDS in lots of ways and we have designed it to be really flexible because we are all different.  That means you can design it around your needs and make your data come to life to support your unique attributes.  The good news is that, despite this flexibility, it really is very easy to use and getting started is very simple.  Just follow these initial steps and then the rest is up to you.

What is a Personal Data Store?

A Personal Data Store or PDS helps you gather, store, manage, use and share the information you need to manage your life better. It provides you with tools to control what information you share with which people and organisations, when.

How a Personal Data Store works

Currently, to buy something online, you have to fill in a form on your supplier’s website: name, address, card details etc. Then, if you want to buy something from a different supplier, you have to repeat the whole process over again.

With the Mydex PDS, you keep this information on your own ‘database’. So, for example, you have your ‘data field’ for ‘address’. If you want to buy something online, instead of having to type your address out again and again each time you do a transaction, you just ‘click’ on it to share.

The more data you add to your Personal Data Store, the more things you will be able to do with it. Say, for example, you need to apply for a parking permit. You’ll need a vehicle registration document, a certificate of motor insurance, and proof of address. You will be able to store all this information on your Personal Data Store – with verifications from the parties concerned that this information is correct. If your local council has got the right systems in place, you will then be able to share the relevant PDS contents or verification with your council on the click of a button.

The same goes for all sorts of personal details: your National Insurance number, your blood type, how long you have lived at your current address, your computer’s serial number. The list gets pretty long pretty quickly!

The data itself sits in an individual data store on a secure server and can be accessed using a variety of devices such as PC, Mac or smartphone.

There are many different examples of the uses Personal Data Stores can have for individuals, click on any of the links below to learn more

Car Ownership Managing Utility Bills Completing Tax Returns
Higher Educations International Travel Online Shopping

 

Looking to the future

The organisations you deal with may automatically populate your Personal Data Store with details as part of the transaction if you choose to allow them to do so. When you make your purchase online for example, the date of the transaction, the value, product or service purchased, serial number, guarantee, etc. can automatically get stored on your PDS for future reference.

  • Some organisations may go one step further and hand back to you data they have collected about you: your previous purchases, for example.  One major UK supermarket chain has announced that it is going to give its loyalty card holders access to their data and provide games and other applications to enable the customer to get more value for themselves from the information the company holds about them.  Such an approach is actively supported by the government’s midata initiative, run by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).  Midata aims to empower consumers by giving them access to data about how they interact with the companies they use, allowing us all to view, access and use our personal and transaction data in a way that is portable and safe.  See Consumer rights and issues on GOV.UK for more information.
  • On request, organisations will supply your PDS with certificates and verifications relating to specific data or facts about you which can be used in a variety of ways. For example, when applying for a bank account or something like a parking permit, use of your PDS could remove the need for you to provide paper documents or physically having to visit somewhere with them.
  • You will be able to specify which organisations you want to receive communications from, how (e.g. email or post?), about what (‘tell me about cookers but not fridges’), when – and you will be able to change these settings at will.

Sharing information

Once the information is on your Personal Data Store, you may wish share some of it. The process is very simple. You choose which connection you wish to make with an organisation and then review the default settings for which pieces (fields) of data are shared (e.g. name and address, but not telephone number) and whether this is automatic or requires your permission each time. Some of these default settings may be optional; after making any changes you want to these you simply click ‘send’ to complete the connection.

That’s it. You don’t have to navigate your way to the organisation’s website or fill in a password and username. Once you have agreed to share information with an organisation, Mydex establishes a secure, encrypted direct digital ‘pipeline’ that connects your data store to their data systems.
Remember, you are in control. You decide what information you want to share with which organisation. Mydex’s job is to make this information sharing easy and safe.

Staying in control

Currently, when you buy something online, to complete the process you have to tick a box saying something like ‘I have read and agreed to the terms and conditions’ .

Mydex turns this on its head: before you share any information with an organisation they have to sign your terms and conditions, designed to protect your data and your privacy. Any organisation that has connected to the Mydex platform will have signed the terms of the data sharing agreement.  In addition, you will be able to store a record of your online purchases from any organisation (including those not connected to Mydex), together with links to any relevant terms and conditions you may have agreed to.

Your Mydex ID as a Valuable Digital Passport

Once you have a Mydex PDS you will also have a corresponding unique Mydex ID.  This is your ‘digital passport’ to help you move between boundaries and across borders in the online world.  One day you will not need fifty different email and password combinations as you will be able to use your Mydex ID to access other services that recognise your Mydex ID as proof of who you are (just like the way you can use your social networking ID to connect to other sites) Unlike a social networking portals the information associated with your Mydex ID and contained within your Mydex PDS exists solely for your benefit, rather than that of the portal owner.  It is entirely under your control and has the benefit and value of being able to help you populate data and share it more widely when you want to.

For more detail on what Personal Data Stores do, click here

How To Register and Create a Mydex ID and Personal Data Store

Things to think about

To create and use a Mydex Personal Data Store (PDS) you need to become a member.  This is a straightforward process that should only take a few minutes of your time.   You will need to have access to your email account and you will have to decide on three specific things:

  1. A unique name for your Mydex ID (first used when creating your new account).  You can use your own name, a nickname or any other name you will be able to remember.  This will be with you forever so please think about it carefully
  2. A password of your choosing which must be at least 8 characters long. You will be asked to enter twice as part of creating your account. Your password controls access to your account with us but does not unlock the information in your PDS. If you lose your password, we can reset it for you - unlike your Private Key (see below). We recommend you use a mixture of upper and lowercase characters, alpha, numeric and other characters to create your password.
  3. A special ‘Private Key’ (first used when creating your new account). This is really important as your Private Key is what is used to encrypt your PDS and it is something ONLY you will know. We hold no record of it at all.  If you lose or forget it you will no longer be able to unlock and gain access to your PDS.

Please note: You can use a combination of letters, numbers and certain other characters for all three of these identifiers and they are case sensitive so ‘aRK7435’ will be treated differently to ‘Ark7435’. Therefore we recommend you ensure your ‘CAPS LOCK’ is not on when setting up the account. Other than letters and numbers, you can also use spaces, periods (full stops), hyphens, apostrophes, and underscores.  We strongly recommend you make your password completely different to your Private Key.  There is no way for us to check what Private Key you use - the whole system is designed so we never see it - but making it the same as your password will make your PDS much less secure.

These three separate items are what helps keep your PDS very secure.  We suggest you think about what these three items will be before you start the online process below.

Steps for creating your Mydex ID and secure PDS

 
Using any web browser go to the URL pds.mydex.org (note: you do not need to put ‘www’ before this) and then clock on 'Register as a member'.

You will now see the 'Create Account: Step 1 of 2' screen requiring you to enter three separate items of data. For each item additional guidance is given as a 'pop-up' if you roll your mouse pointer over the  to the right of each data field.
 

 

  1. Type in a name you would like to use as your Mydex ID.  If it has already been used you will be informed and will have to choose an alternative
  2. Type in your email address - this must be the first time you have used the email address to create a Mydex account as, for security purposes, any single email address can only be associated within one Mydex ID. If you find your preferred email address is already in use (because you previously used it to set up a new Mydex ID) you can request a password reset from us.
  3. Type in your choice of Password. Please remember that it is case sensitive. It can be anything you like, such as a favourite film or musician or anything else that is memorable for you. We strongly suggest, however, that you do not use something that is overtly linked to you such as your date of birth or phone number. The indicator bar below the 'Password' field will show you how strong or secure we believe your password is, and will indicate greater security when you use a longer password with a larger selection of letters and numbers
  4. Type in your Password again to confirm it
  5. Click on ‘Terms & Conditions of Use’ if you wish. If you are happy with these, tick the box to the left to accept them and then click the ‘Continue’ button
  6. Having clicked the ‘Continue’ button you will be taken to the ‘Create account: Step 2 of 2’ screen. Here you should enter your chosen Private Key. Remember, something ONLY you will know. We hold no record of it at all and cannot reset it for you or remind you of it
  7. Finally, click on ‘Create Account’ to complete the account creation process.
  8. You will be returned to the Mydex PDS home page where you will see a new message at the top of the screen saying, “A welcome message with further instructions has been sent to your e-mail address.”
  9. You will receive an email (sent to the address you specified in step 2 above) that says:
    “Thank you for registering at Mydex. You may now log in and verify your account by clicking this link or copying and pasting it to your browser:”
    ○ Note: If the email is not in your inbox please check your SPAM filter as they can sometimes get caught there! Please note that the URL is valid for 24 hours from when it was issued. This is another security feature we have adopted to protect you 
    ○ If you do not use it within this time window you will need to request a new URL by requesting a password reset.  You do this by clicking on ‘Request new password’ (see Request New Password)
  10. If you click on the link included in the email, or copy and paste it into a browser of your choice, your account will be activated and you will then see the following screen:


 
To complete the sign-up process and access your new account for the first time simply enter the Private Key you previously set in step 6 above and click on ‘Submit’.  You will be taken to your PDS and you will also receive another email confirming your account has been activated.
 
Well done. You have now completed the creation and validation of your new Mydex account and created your hyper secure personal data store. You can start to populate it with useful information.
 
Please note for your protection: If you do not use your PDS for a few minutes your session will be timed out and you will have to log in again.

How to Add Your Picture

 
If you have not already added a picture to your profile and you wish to do so then here is how to do it. It is entirely up to you what type of image you choose to use. Image file formats supported are jpg, png and gif. Files that are very large will be scaled down automatically to fit the display window.If you have not already uploaded a picture then you will see a generic silhouette of a head and shoulders, otherwise it will be the picture you uploaded before.

  1. Click the ‘My settings’ tab on the left hand side of the screen.  If you have not already uploaded a picture then you will see a generic silhouette of a head and shoulders, otherwise it will be the picture you uploaded before.  This is what will be changed when you upload a new image.
  2. Click the ‘Preferences’ tab at the top of the panel
  3. Click ‘Browse’ on the right hand side of the panel underneath the head and shoulders silhouette. This will open a standard file explorer for your type of device (Windows Explorer, Mac Finder, Linux)
  4. Use this file directory to choose the image you wish to use.  Highlight it and click ‘open
  5. The file menu window will close and you will be returned to the ‘Edit My Settings’ page within the PDS.  Your chosen file name will appear to the right of the ‘Choose File’ button. 
  6. Click ‘Save’ at the bottom of the panel to save your choices and apply the image to your PDS account.
    • If your original image is too large then you will see only a portion of the image displayed. This can be adjusted by clicking ‘Crop picture’. A new window will open that allows you to select the area of the picture you wish to display by dragging and stretching the highlighted box.
    • Once you have selected the area you wish to display just click ‘Save selection’ at the top of the new window and your picture will be updated.
  7. To return to your main data pages click the ‘My data’ tab in the main menu on the left.

Setting Your Preferences and How to Change Them

There are some choices you can make about the way your PDS works and these options are available in ‘Preferences’. To set or change your preferences click on ’My Settings’ on the left hand side of the screen and then click the ‘Preferences’ tab at the top.
 
Your preferences are shown in the panel. At the moment there is only two preference options available but as other functions and options become available this is where they will be displayed.
 

Linked Fields

You can choose whether or not you want identical fields (data) to be linked and hence to update everywhere in your PDS when you change any one of them.  For example, if you enter a new mobile telephone number for yourself, you can have your PDS updated everywhere that your mobile telephone number is recorded and shared. This preference enables you to define how your PDS should handle this.  The recommended setting, Manual update, is already enabled and shown by the highlighted button.  Manual update simply means every time you update a field that occurs elsewhere in your PDS it will ask you if want to update the other occurrences, it provides you with a list of them and lets you decide at the time the update occurs.
All you need to do is is decide what you want to do, which can be either:

  • ‘Never update the linked fields’, or
  • Manual update - ask me whenever I have changed linked fields (recommended)

Make your choice and simply click ‘Save’ to apply the preference.
 
When you are satisfied that your preferences are exactly as you want them to be, click ‘save’ if you have changed any of them and then click on ‘My data’ to return to your main data tabs.

Automatic timeout

For security reasons the default setting of your PDS logs you out after 5 minutes of inactivity but for your convenience you may wish to change this, especially if you are accessing via a private computer that no-one else uses. The options available are 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour or the maximum setting which keeps you logged in for 2 hours.
 
To adjust the automatic timeout setting simply use the pulldown menu under the ‘Automatic Timeout’ option and select the length of time you would like.
 

Make your choice and simply click ‘Save’ in the top right corner of the window to apply the preference.
 
When you are satisfied that your preferences are exactly as you want them to be, click ‘Save’ if you have changed any of them and then click on ‘My data’ to return to your main data tabs.

How to View your Data


 
In time you will be able to store almost any data in your Personal Data Store. Also, the more data you store the more useful your PDS is likely to be to you. We have provided you with a structure and prompts for a wide range of data fields that we think will be most useful but there is really no limit about how you use it. Although you are currently not able to store formatted file types such as image files, music files, office documents, etc. we plan to extend the PDS capability to include file upload for a wide range of file types. The data in your PDS will become even more useful to you as you make connections to more organisations.
 
The data is displayed in panels using ‘tabs’ (like file dividers) across the top and down the right hand side of the panel. The tabs across the top represent main categories of data (think of them as empty file dividers) and those on the right are the subdividers relevant to the main category that is highlighted. For example, your main file divider might be ‘house’ and within that you may have sections for phone, insurance, gas, electricity, etc. Each panel along with its relevant side tab is called a section. There is no limit to the number of sections you can add and we will explain how to add them, rename and reorder them to suit you.
 
When you first log on to your new PDS you will immediately be able to see some blank panels of data designed to hold the most common data at the heart of who you are and that support many other data areas of your life, such as name, date of birth, etc.  There are two sections available shown by the tabs across the top - ‘Personal’ and ‘Home’ and a third called ‘Manage’ which we will explain in a moment.  Remember that each of these sections contains subdividers navigated using the tabs on the right.  So, if the ‘Personal’ section tab is highlighted in white then, to start with, the ‘Basics’ tab on the right will also be selected and you will be able to enter basic information such as your name.

How to Add your Data

When you first use your PDS it will be empty unless you have already made a connection with one of your suppliers that has initiated your PDS and filled it with some information. The PDS is there for you to fill up with whatever information you want to put in it or collect from your suppliers and other sources. 
 
For every panel where you can store data you will see boxes where you can type in specific information (such as your date of birth, address, account number etc...) or in some cases you can select from specific options such as male/female.
 
You can of course add data in any order you wish but to help you get going we recommend you start by filling in the data fields in ‘Personal’ and ‘Home. You may wish to add additional data to help you make the most of connections to different organisations.
 
Important: If you attempt to leave a section of your PDS without saving, the website will warn you and ask if you wish to ‘Leave page’ or ‘Stay on page’. If you click ‘Stay on page’ it will highlight for you any data that has been changed. You can then save it by clicking ‘Save’ in the top right corner and you will see a message confirming your changes have been saved. If you click ‘Leave page’ then your changes will not be saved and therefore lost.

  • To add data to any field simply click on the field and type your data in or choose from the available options and then click ‘save’ on the top right of the panel
  • Once you have clicked on ‘save’ the panel will change to display information you have entered and the ‘save’ button will be replaced by an ‘edit’ button
  • To add further data or to change what you have entered simply click on the ‘edit’ button, make your changes/additions and then click ‘save’ again

Filling in Your personal information

We have included the most commonly used data fields identified through our research. Some are obvious and need no further explanation (such as first and last names) but there are some others we have included that are worthy of further clarification.  Of course, you do not have to fill in any of them but if you want to here is what we suggest:

Personal tab

Basics

  • Middle name - you can add as many middle names (or simply initials) as you like. Sometimes this will be useful when confirming your identity with financial institutions for example.
  • Suffix - if you have professional or academic qualifications (letters after your name) then this is the place to include them
  • Nickname - you may wish to use this if you are commonly known by an abbreviation or a different name to your given name, such as Andy instead of Andrew

Driving License

  • Groups - some people have licenses that cover them for separate categories of vehicles such as motorbikes, Public Service Vehicles (PSV) or Heavy Good Vehicles (HGV). These licenses have separate expiry dates and can be listed in here.

Passport

  • Most of the data to be stored here is printed in your passport.  In addition you can add an Expiry Alert so you will get a reminder that your passport is nearing its expiry date.

Home tab

Basics

  • Street - under the ‘Home’ tab we recommend you use this for all address information that goes before your post town/city. This could be house name/number and street name but may also include address elements such as a flat number within a separately numbered property as well as a village or a suburb name.
  • Date from and Date to - if you wish you can fill in here dates relevant to your involvement in this address.  It might be the dates you paid rent on it, owned it or the dates you lived there (or both).
  • Habitable rooms - this field gives you an opportunity to record the number of rooms you have available to live in which is requested in the National Census and may be useful if you connect with insurance companies or local planning organisations. As with everything in your PDS it is entirely up to you how you use this and which rooms you count as ‘habitable’ but we recommend you follow National Statistics guidelines as follows:
  • Habitable rooms include kitchens,whether eaten in or not, but exclude rooms used solely for business purposes, those not usable throughout the year (e.g. conservatories), and those not normally used for living purposes such as toilets, cloakrooms, store rooms, pantries, cellars and garages.

Adding and Managing Top and Side Tabs

You can add additional tabs (to either the top or side tab list), rename them and reorder them. Whenever you wish to make changes to the tabs it is straightforward.  Simply go to “Manage” on the corresponding tab row (top or side) tabs where you want to add an additional tab.

You can choose to add additional tabs in which you can keep data about a range of key areas such as your local authority, education, telecommunications and financial services providers, as well as data about additional properties, if relevant. For example, to add local authority information do the following:

  • Click the ‘Manage’ top tab. You will see the following displayed,

  • Click the ‘+’ sign to the right of where ‘New Local Authority Section’ is listed in ‘Available Sections’
  • You will see that ‘New Local Authority Section’ is now listed under ‘My PDS Sections’ as shown below

  • To confirm this you need to click on ‘save’ at the top right of the window
  • A new tab will be created next to ’Personal’ and ‘Home’ called ‘New Local Authority Section’
  • If you wish you can fill this in with information about your local council
  • In the future you will also be able to ‘connect to your local council, enabling a secure connection between you for the purposes of sharing relevant information, establishing your identity, etc. See ‘Adding a Connection’ for more information.
  • You can also rename this section as soon as you have created it. In the above screenshot the ‘New Local Authority Section’ is shown highlighted in the left hand ‘My PDS Sections’ list and there is a tick mark to the right of it. To rename the section simply overtype with the name you wish and click the tick. Your section will then be listed with its new name.
  • To apply this and other changes click ‘Save’ in the top right of the window.  This has been done in the screenshot below and the section has been renamed as ‘Example Local Authority’.  The new tab is included across the top and the renamed section is now listed in the ‘My PDS Sections’ list


Side tabs are special in that they actually control the display of the panels of data and they can be, once created, placed under any top tab you like to suit how you want to organise your PDS.
 
To add an additional side tab the process is very similar:

  • Choose the relevant Top Tab and then click on the ‘Manage’ tab on the right side at the bottom of list of side tabs. For example, if you have ‘Home’ highlighted across the top then to add an additional side tab to ‘Home’ you must click on ‘Manage Home’ on the right hand side.
  • Available sections are shown in the panel listed under ‘Available Sections’
  • To add another section to Home (such as a Utilities tab) click the ‘+’ sign to the right of ‘New Utilities Section’
  • If you wish you can rename it immediately by clicking on the pencil to the right of ‘New Utilities Section’
  • Click ‘Save’ to apply the changes

Note that side tabs can only be created from the top tab view that is relevant to that side tab, e.g. a bank account tab can only be created in the ‘Finance’ top tab.  However, once they have been created you add them to any top tab menu you wish.
 
You can create as many additional tabs as you like and you can rename and reorder them to match the most useful way for you to display the information.  If you combine the ordering and arranging of your tabs with appropriate renaming of them as well (see Renaming Tabs) then your PDS will become an ever more effective tool for managing your life as it will be customised around you and the organisations you interact with.

Renaming Tabs

You might want to rename some or all of the tabs rather than stick with their default names. After all, most of us would not want to stick with a top tab called ‘New Local Authority Section’ or a side tab called ‘New Utility Section’ when we could name them after our Town Council or specific electricity supplier.
 
When you create a new tab you can overwrite its name immediately and click the adjacent tick mark to apply this name. To rename tabs that you have previously created and saved you need to ‘Manage’ one of the attributes of a section as follows:

  • Click on the relevant ‘Manage’ tab along the top or on the right column.
  • This will bring up a panel of data that includes lists of existing sections (tabs) and other sections that are available for you to add
  • The existing sections corresponding to the tabs are listed in ‘My PDS Sections’
  • In this list you will see ‘New Local Authority Section’
  • To rename this section (or the others listed here) click the small pencil to the right of the the section name
  • The section name will be highlighted and you will see a flashing cursor.  You can then edit the section name
  • Once edited click the tick mark to the right of the section name to to apply this change and then click ‘Save’ on the top right of the window.  The tab name across the top will change accordingly

Reordering Tabs

Everyone organises themselves slightly differently and we want to ensure you can use your PDS in the way that is most effective for you. Because of this, you may wish to change the order in which the tabs appear either across the top or down the side. This is especially important when you have added many additional tabs and want to sort them into the most logical order possible that best reflects your life and the data you have chosen to store.

  • For example, to change the order of top tabs click on the ‘Manage’ tab.
  • This will bring up a panel of data that includes lists of existing sections (tabs) and other sections that are available for you to add
  • The existing sections corresponding to the tabs are listed in ‘My PDS Sections’
  • To the left of each PDS Section is a graphic or icon of three horizontal lines.  This represents the ‘order’ of the tabs.
  • To move a tab you need to click and hold down the left mouse key on the ‘three line’ icon.  You will then find that you can drag the PDS Section line you have selected and move it to further up or down the list.  This will be reflected in the order of the tabs across the top but only once you have clicked on ‘Save’ to apply these changes.


 

Adding a Connection

Connections enable you to send and/or receive data to and/or from other people or organisations. You can set up your PDS to have a connection with another organisation so that you can send data to that organisation or receive data from them. You can always choose who to connect with and what data is shared but these connections enable you to share some of your data with another person or organisation and, in some instances, for that organisation to update your data if you have given them permission to do so.
 
Connections exist to help you and can make your PDS much more valuable to you. Every connection and its value to you will be different but, for example, some connections will make certain things easier to do, potentially saving you time and money and also will help ensure that connected organisations have exactly the information about you that you want them to know, such as consistent and accurate address data. Other connections will enable you, if you wish, to share appropriate financial information or perhaps help you provide proof of who you are to an organisation that needs to be certain of your identity.
 
Additional connections will become available as organisations embrace Mydex’s service and in all instances you will have total control over what data is shared with them and what, if any, right they may have to update some of the data in your PDS. The only data shared between you and the third party will be that which is specifically authorised by you. To ensure it is totally secure this data is encrypted before transferring and only you and the third party will be able to see it. As a result even we at Mydex will have no visibility of it.
 
When you create your new PDS you will start with one connection only and that is to Mydex itself. To see this connection click on ‘Connections’ in the menu on the left of the screen. The ‘My Connections’ tab will be highlighted at the top of the screen and all your existing connections (initially just Mydex) are displayed here.
 
To see the details of a particular connection including the permissions that apply to data sharing and updating click on ‘Edit’ to the right of the corresponding connection. If you click on ‘About the connection’ that will give you more information relating to the way the connection is used by the third party to exchange data and information with you.

 
The ‘Permissions’ display specifically shows which separate pieces of data you are prepared to send to someone else and what data you are willing to receive from them. If you want to send a piece of data to a third party (i.e. a person or organisation) then this means they can READ a piece of information stored in your PDS. If you want to receive then that means they can WRITE something into your PDS. You can then also choose whether or not you want this READ or WRITE activity to happen automatically or each time require a specific agreement from you. So the ‘Permissions’ options can be summarised as follows:

  • Read (from your PDS) - you are sending data so that the connected person or organisation can read a specific piece of data stored in your PDS
  • Write (to your PDS) - you are willing to receive information from the connected person or organisation and this will update a specific piece of data in your PDS

For each ‘read’ or ‘write’ permission there are two further options:

  • Request - the connected person or organisation must explicitly request permission from you to carry out the corresponding read or write action
  • Automatic - the connected person or organisation can carry out the read or write action without explicitly asking you each time

Some connections only work if certain data is passed across the connection and in which case the sharing permission associated with this data is ‘mandatory’.
All connection information bars are colour coded as shown in the diagram above so that it is easy to see exactly what permissions are set as follows.

  • Green - permission granted
  • Red - permission denied
  • Grey - permission is mandatory

In the case of the Mydex connection there are three specific pieces of data that Mydex has permission to access - your Mydex ID that you set when you first created your account, your email address and the date you created the account.  In addition, for security purposes Mydex maintains a record of the date your account was last accessed and, if relevant, also records the date you last used the ‘Feedback’ or Contact us’ functions.
 
In all instances Mydex has permission to both read and update (write) this information but only by asking you for your agreement to do so first.  These settings are necessary for the Mydex service to work and hence all these settings are shown in the pale grey ‘Mandatory’ colour scheme and cannot be changed.
 
If you have a connection where you are able to change the permissions then for each permission you will be able to tick or untick it by clicking the tick box to the left of the permission (so if you untick ‘Write’ on a piece of data then the third party will no longer be able to update it.   The tick will be removed and the colour bar will turn red.  To move the particular ‘permissions’ setting between ‘automatic’ (blue) and ‘request’ (dark green) you click and hold the slider on the permission and drag it left and right until you have the setting you require.
 
Once you have made changes to the permissions then click on ‘Submit’ at the bottom of the screen to apply these changes.

Adding an application

Applications help you make better use of your PDS.  They act as additional functions to enhance the way you can use your PDS and give you a wider range of option for using and understanding your data.  Applications can vary considerably but in principle they will exist to either process your PDS data in a way that helps you (for example to create graphical reports based on financial data you have stored) or to enable you to use your PDS data with other applications such as an email client, money management or tax return software.

A list of available applications can be found by clicking on ‘Applications’ on the left hand menu.  Clicking any application will give you more information about it.

Getting help

Further detailed information about Mydex, Personal Data Stores and how they can be useful to you can be found by clicking ‘Members Guide’ on the top right of the home page or any of the PDS pages once you are logged in to your account. Also, help for the specific page you are on can be found by pressing the '?' which is to be found on most pages.

Giving feedback

Your feedback is very important to us as it helps us refine the service and continue to develop it and improve it. We would be very grateful if you would tell us what you like and what could be better for you, as well as what is missing or what you think you should be able to do with your PDS.

Sending us your feedback is really simple and you do not even have to log on to do so. Whenever you are using the PDS or at the logon screen you will see ‘Feedback’ at the top of the screen.  If you click on this it will open up the ‘Feedback’ section of the website.

The more information and specifics you give us the more useful it will be. Please type into the window as much information as possible, giving us your views, any questions you may have, your concerns or ideas for improvements. It would help us further if you could categorise your feedback and we have provided a simple pull-down menu for you to choose from the following options:

  • Application idea
  • Bug
  • User experience
  • Question
  • Suggestion
  • Additional attribute request
  • Static content issue

In addition a further pull-down menu enables you to indicate which area of the service we provide your feedback applies to and again we have provided a simple pull-down menu for you to choose from the following options:

  • Accessibility
  • Applications
  • About us
  • Bookmarking
  • Connections
  • Contact us
  • Dashboard
  • FAQs
  • Feedback
  • Help
  • Home page
  • Mydex charter
  • My data
  • My settings
  • News
  • Our services
  • Other
  • Privacy policy
  • Password reset page
  • Reports
  • Registration
  • Terms and conditions
  • Welcome email

Frequently-asked questions

As well as the information contained in these help pages we have created a list of answers to frequently-asked questions (FAQs).   These can be accessed by clicking on ‘FAQs’ on the left-hand menu and is accessible from the login page so you do not need to log in to your Mydex PDS to view them.
 
Current FAQs include:
 

Managing my settings

Your settings control a number of aspects of the way your PDS works for you.  To access your settings click on ‘My Settings’ on the left hand menu. The default display is the ‘Profile’ tab that simply shows you your picture (if you have added one) and how long you have been a Mydex member.
 
If you click on the ‘Change Password’ tab it will take you to a screen where you have the option to update your password. To update your password you need to enter your new chosen password and re-enter it to confirm, remembering it is case sensitive and needs to contain at least 8 characters. The system will confirm the two entries match and will also indicate password strength and, for your own security, you are encouraged to make it as strong as possible by using a range of letters, numbers and allowable characters. 

When you have entered and re-entered your password click on the ‘Save’ button.
 
If you click on the ‘Preferences’ tab it will take you to a screen where you can change the following:

  • decide how changes made to linked fields are handled
  • change the timeout before you are logged out due to inactivity
  • delete any existing image and upload a new image

When you have made any changes click on the ‘Save’ button.

Examples

Car Ownership

You can store your car details in your PDS including MOT and insurance policy details.  If you wish you can share this with, for example, a garage or insurance provider so that they give you servicing, MOT and insurance quotes when they are due.  The complete service record of the car could also be stored in your PDS, along with verification and receipts from the service department giving you proof of what was was carried out, and when, thus providing you with evidence you can use when selling the car.

Managing Utility Bills

With energy costs increasing, the need to manage energy usage and get the best possible deals is ever more important.  You can store your energy account and supplier details in your PDS and, with your permission, your supplier can send your usage data to your PDS as well.  Not only can you analyse this data to see how you could save more money, but you can share it with other suppliers to give them the opportunity to offer you a better deal based on your energy usage profile - after all, it’s your data and you should be able to make good use of it.

Completing Tax Returns

Tax returns are challenging documents to complete at the best of times.  Most of us have to work through piles of paperwork, bills, invoices, pay slips and bank statements each year just to get together all the information we need.  If much of the key data was stored in your Personal Data Store you could give permission for the tax authorities to view the relevant data themselves or you could allow a software application to extract it for you and pre-populate the relevant parts of your tax return.

Higher Education

In an ever more competitive job market, the exact nature of qualifications is becoming as important as the qualification itself.   For example, a degree in Business Studies may be relevant to some employers, but if that degree includes modules and classes pertaining to a specific discipline such as International Marketing then that may enhance your job prospects.  You can store, in your Personal Data Store, not just your final qualifications, but also the elements that make up those qualifications and, with a digital verification supplied by the academic institution, you can share that digital record with other institutions, a prospective employer or a professional body.

International Travel

International travel is becoming ever more security conscious and airlines now have to gather substantial advanced passenger information that can be very time consuming for you to supply.  In addition, if you travel somewhere that requires you to apply for a visa in advance you may have to surrender your passport for some time and supply proof of address and other personal data.  All of this can be stored in your Personal Data Store and could be shared with an airline or an embassy (or an insurance company to support a travel insurance application). Ultimately, your government could supply you with a secure, recognised digital ‘token’ that is proof of your passport and that would be recognised and respected across the world, a proof that you own and hold on to and that you choose when, where and with whom to share it.

Online Shopping

Many of us do a substantial amount of online shopping with multiple retailers, all of which seem to want us to input the same details over and over again.  If you could share just the relevant data fields in your Personal Data Store with an online retailer with a single click then that would be more convenient.  If that retailer were to send you your transaction history and receipts they too could be stored in your Personal Data Store for future reference and proof of purchase.  If you then chose to share your purchase history of, say, books from various sites, other retailers could then, with your permission, make suggestions to you about new products you may be interested in - just like Amazon does now, but with information gathered from multiple retailers and not just themselves.