Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ranting and reckoning

A short rant on a (the) virtual enemy…

What the? So my email suddenly goes AWOL, and once I dig into the problem I discover, with the assistance of my husband's amazing technical wiz Wayne at his office, that my email has been 'harvested'! What on earth is that? Harvested by online 'bots' whose job is to find email addresses with unprotected something-or-others and then somehow hack into personal information, including passwords, and hijack everything.

Why would anyone do this? "You don't know the criminal mind, Mom." my 13 year old says. But why would any criminal want anything of mine? Especially the email of a 40 something suburbanite wife and mother, who writes poetry? I just don't get it… and I guess that's just the thing… it's not to be gotten! It just is. And people like me… naive, honest, trusting people like me who strive to learn to navigate the virtual world in an attempt to impact the real world, do so without really knowing or understanding some of the potential dangers that come along with this territory.

So you are probably saying to yourself… it was only your email address, not your bank account and not true identitly theft… right? But, this person (whose email was actually programmed as a forwarding address with my internet provider - sick!) didn't just steal my personal email (remember that mail theft is a federal offense in the United States… and maybe Canada too), but they took my information and that of many others from a huge online community called 'Faithwriters', and posted them on a website… with dark intent… they placed me and those others on a list… an anti-christian, gay bashing 'watch list'… and THAT makes me really PO'd. That makes my skin crawl. That makes me want to reach along the vast miles of internet highways and bi-ways and… what? And what? (take a deep breath…)

And here I'll have to park… 'cause it shouldn't surprise me, and it shouldn't shock me, and it certainly shouldn't cause me to hesitate for one moment to continue what I'm doing here… writing things down… writing poetry… speaking my heart out… speaking my mind… sharing God stuff. 'Cause when I do that, then somebody is certainly bound to get PO'd… and try to stop me… even if it's just by making me feel a little foolish, or perhaps a little fearful, or maybe by stealing my email.

Well, I call your bluff!!!


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