Take Responsibility for Your Own Data Security

The New York Times, in a story “Stop Asking Me for My Email Address“, said this:

I was in the middle of buying a swimsuit recently when the sweet lady behind the boutique counter asked me for my email address.

“We won’t spam you or anything,” she said, perplexed. “We just need it for our database.”

I knew then that the conversation was headed into a whole lot of awkward, as it had dozens of times before.

Awkward? Why? When did we become such namby pamby pussies that we can’t say “Thanks but no thanks”?

I’ve also been in that situation dozens of times. And each and every time I simply say, “No thank you.” Nothing awkward about it.

Another headline last week was “We’re All to Blame for Target Hack”. Bullshit. That’s an offensive “blame the victim” mindset. But, that being said, it’s called “private data” for a reason. It is way past time for individuals to take more responsibility for their own privacy and security. I wasn’t worried about the Target hack because I know I’ve never given Target any kind of data that can be used against me by The Bad Guys.

DON’T give out your email address just because some company asks you for it. There are half a dozen web sites that will allow you to set up a “fake” address. Use it for these kinds of situations if you have to and simply never check the address.

NEVER use your Social Security, Social Insurance, Passport or Drivers License number for identification or tracking purposes.

We regularly hand over data simply because we’re politely asked.

Politely say, “Thanks but no thanks”.

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