I’ve been accused of being paranoid about my security, particularly in an electronoic medium. I am loathe to give out my email address, social security number, phone number, etc unless it’s to people I really know.
Even this backfires on me sometimes. I can count at least twice where a friend of mine has taken my e-mail address and signed me up for free movie tickets or somesuch, exposing my addy to spammers everywhere. I’ve been tempted to just use a
Anyway, back to “paranoia.” I’ve been told that I should just trust companies, that they aren’t out to hurt me, etc. Then shit like this happens.
I have no doubt that a “company” might not be after me; after all, I’m probably too small for them to even recognize. But, in the Internet Age, one individual has a great deal of power. It only takes on e-mail to expose how to crack DVDs ( for example ), or one FTP transfer to send 92 million e-mail addresses to spammers everywhere. You can’t necessarily trust a corporate entity to look out for your best interest, since that entity is made up of wildly disparate individuals.
The other thing is that once the snake is out of the bag, so to speak, you’re not going to be able to get him back in. AOL fired the man responsible for the theft and sale. But so-fucking-what? The damage is done. AOL didn’t manage its internal security, and now there’s absolutely nothing you can do about that. Think about this before you read your Social Security number over the phone to someone in Bangladesh – are you sure they’re going to keep it in a safe place?