10.15.2008

An Object Lesson

I just had a lesson delivered to me via the internets about trust, cookies and expectations of decent behavior.

In the course of my job, I am at four different school sites on a regular basis. At most of these sites, I take my laptop and do 90% of my work from it.

But at one site, I am fortunate enough to have access to a flat screen Imac with a huge hard drive. The upsides were good, I could leave my laptop at home and travel lighter, I could attach the projector permanently, I could delete all the music files that were inappropriate for an elementary school environment.

But I've just learned that leaving a computer with passwords logged, cookies enabled and, effectively, my entire digital life unlocked, is a very, very dangerous thing to do. Because I'm not in that computer lab all the time and I generally do not log everything out when I leave there, I am exposing myself to greater risk than I should. And, from this day forward, I will not.

That one tweet in my Twitter stream was like a blaring claxon call to arms, to protect my digital identity, to seal off easy avenues of entry and to make it more than passably difficult to infiltrate. Am I pissed off? You fucking bet I am.

And I'm going to make it perfectly clear to the person who posted to my Twitter stream just how fucking pissed off I am. And how much of an invasion he did by broadcasting his message to my audience. I'm actually kind of amazed at really how angry I am about this. Maybe part of that anger should be directed at myself for being too trusting (which isn't usually a problem).

Either way, there's going to be some changes made starting tomorrow morning at 8 am sharp.
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