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::Reads entire entry by speaking into the flowerpot:: - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
captainsblog
captainsblog
::Reads entire entry by speaking into the flowerpot::
Now that we've had a credit card account hacked, I'm starting to see bad guys under every bed.  It really gives me pause just how omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent this interweb thing really is.

I liked to think I was pretty locked down. I never use my real name in connection with this journal; I have several tracker-blockers going in every browser, and I've turned off (often after much digging) social media settings that make it easier to identify you and your preferences.  In the Faceworld, I have a general rule about friending: no clients and no co-workers.  (There are one or two exceptions to each.) Just too much potential for cross-pollination of information. And I never, ever, use my work email address for anything other than work.

Doesn't matter.  Between other people being stupid and systems being so pervasive, I'm seeing way too much crossing of the streams.  Which, as you know, is bad.

Clients occasionally try to friend me on Facebook. I decline, and explain (offline) that there are ethical as well as personal reasons; if that Wall becomes something I market my practice with, it is then subjected to a ton of rules involving advertising and disclosures and who knows what else.  Despite this, though, in the past week or so I've been getting regular pictures of clients who have NOT asked to friend me; their names and pictures just show up in those ubiquitous "people you may know" blocks.  I know how this happens, most likely: Friend Finding tools that feed in peoples' incoming email addresses and match them up with known email addresses or likely name-city combinations that Facebook already knows about.  Years ago, I got caught doing this myself - Facebook's iPhone app proceeded to populate all of that phone's contacts, including clients synced from my office Outlook, with their Facebook photos and other ID information- even if I had never interacted with them in social media at all. No, I do not need to see your wedding selfie every time you call me, Megan; and really, Charles, I didn't want to have the name "Chuckie Vegas" permanently associated with you.  But I do.

They also seem almost fetishly obsessed with making wild guesses about who you "may know." I've been with my current gym for just over a year. In that time, I've friended one person who I met there- she works there, and I did it, in part, in the effort to get her votes in a contest.  But just that one person has now gotten Zuckerberg trundling dozens of others from that gym past me because they "liked" it or "checked in" there. I don't dislike them; some seem pretty cool. But I don't know them beyond recognizing their faces. It also backasswardly goes against one of the principles of this fitness place: they default to relative anonymity.  At any of their studios, I'm RAYS09.  Their public posts about members are similarly limited to their first name and last initial.  Yet there they are, with full names and sample selfies being sent to someone that they know back as barely as I know them.  Unintended? Definitely. Consequences? You would hope not.

Then there are the impracticalities resulting when things do occasionally go bump.  The paper ran an article today about how to check up on your Google privacy settings; given the hack, it seemed a good idea, so off I went.  They asked for my Google password even though I was already logged in; in theory, a good protection, but I haven't entered it in months.  When I couldn't come up with it, they required a reset, which now requires the password also being changed, through two-step verification, on at least five other devices.   (Oh, and my privacy settings were all fine as they were:P)

A similar c-fudge is resulting with Old Credit Card Bank; they're due to be paid off out of our new mortgage, but with the delay from the hack and a mandatory three-day wait between closing and funding, it's possible they will not get full payment by the day the current payment is due. So my thought was to send them the minimum payment and we'd eventually get that back once they got New Bank's money.  Just one problem:  they've disabled online access to the account because of the breach.  And we went paperless with them after all their nags about saving Mother Nature. Fortunately, I'd kept a .pdf copy of the last statement which shows the minimum amount, so I will bring that in to a branch this week and get it taken care of. Still, I pity the shlub who didn't think that far ahead and could wind up in default because they couldn't access the information needed to give other people their money.

Hopefully, all this will pass.  First thing Monday, we're expecting clearance to close and it should all be sorted by the end of the week.  Then next up, for me at least, is a colonoscopy two weekends hence.  At least there there's little doubt whether I'm really me or not.

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