Going the distance

Protect your identity with sensible precautions

By Edward T. Creagan, M. D. November 18, 2016

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You all face the risk of cyber theft, and this can be an absolute catastrophe. Let me share a story.

As part of a trip to Europe, the host organization arranged a tour on magnificent Lake Konigssee in the German Alps. We spotted a peculiar "bird". It hovered as the boat moved forward, developed two piercing red eyes and obviously had four legs in the form of landing gear.

The entire apparatus was about the size of a large grapefruit. It was a drone. To my dismay, a number of passengers whipped out their smart phones and traditional cameras to take pictures of the device. Of course, the device also could take pictures of them.

A gentleman sitting next to me was absolutely apoplectic about these events. From his dress and his demeanor and from the attitude of his entourage, he did not want anyone to know that he was on this ship on an obscure lake buried in the Alps.

One does not have to be a career diplomat or a rocket scientist to understand the implications. Three reflections as we each go deeper into the digital world:

  • Be mindful that you're always being monitored.
  • If you're concerned about discretion and your whereabouts, it's hardly a good idea to stare blindly into the face of a drone that could send a digital image around the world in a heartbeat.
  • And thirdly, recognize that with increasing surveillance and the sophistication of technology, there's really no place to hide. This doesn't mean to be paralyzed in a state of paranoia. It simply means to have awareness and recognition, and to take sensible precautions if you're concerned about your identity being stolen.

With

Edward T. Creagan, M. D.

Follow on Twitter: @EdwardCreagan

Join the discussion at #Stress.

Nov. 18, 2016