Saturday, November 18, 2006

Blog Security.

My friend Michael recently had something very frightening happen. You can read his post here. In a nutshell, his apartment had been burglarized...and the person who did it took only one thing...his computer. Strange? Yes... Read his post, you'll understand.

This immediately got me thinking about how "safe" we are. I know that I go about my day pretty calmly. I don't really worry about walking to my car at night; leaving my office door open while I run to the bathroom; keeping the garage door open for the 5 minutes I'll be gone. I tend to be a relatively trusting person. I think we all are to an extent.

Those of you reading this blog, most of you I would imagine, know me. At least I think you do. How certain can I be? To be completely honest, not very certain. This is the WORLD wide web, for heaven's sake. Anybody could really be reading this. I know that people as far away as Malaysia have taken a gander. Why am I comparing Michael's recent burglary with the Internet? Here's why:

We post things on our blogs that we intend for our friends and family to read. Things about work; things about family; things about our personal lives. I know that I've read the stories about "keeping children safe from Internet predators"...we all have read those stories. But do we really try to keep ourselves safe? I'm not suggesting that we're looking for trouble...I just know that I've never really thought about it before. We need to keep ourselves safe from Internet predators too...just a different kind of predator, I imagine.

Perhaps we shouldn't post personal stories online. Maybe we can't tell a funny story about what happened to us at work. If people are out to get you, they'll find a way. Why should we make it easier for them by posting where we work (I know I've done that) or who our friends are or what our family member's names are?

I am a bit paranoid now. It's not a safe place. I just told my Mother to look at my blog...she's probably going to see this and get equally paranoid for me. But I can't blame her. In a way I'm surprised that I hadn't thought about this before.

Should I be as generic as possible on this blog? Should we all become faceless people on the Internet? In the world of MySpace and Facebook and Instant Messaging...should we all just become invisible? No. I don't think so. I do think we should consider this. I do think we should "watch our backs". I do think we SHOULD live in a world where we don't have to worry about the bad people. But we don't. Am I going to stop blogging? No. Am I going to stop telling stories about myself, my friends, my family? No. Am I going to be more selective in the stories I tell...yes.

Just some food for thought...

I'm going to make sure my car doors are locked...right now.

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