Thursday, November 4, 2010

I don't pull my hand out of the alligator's mouth until I get bit.

I'm scared of the Internet.

There's been a big twitter/blogosphere explosion today, in the circle I follow anyway, regarding online plagiarism. I won't attempt to recap. This story won't be the last of its kind and, as links to links to more links show, it isn't the first.

I got sucked in and disappeared into the mists of the linky web, lost in the horror stories about stolen words, stolen heartache, stolen photos, stolen lives.

From the first moment I used my name, my husband's name, and worst of all my baby's name in this little corner of the Internet, I've been terrified of everything I've willingly offered up to whoever wants it. All of my family's private photos and personal information is gathered here in one accessible, searchable place.

I'm not worried about being plagiarized. But I'm terrified of identity theft. So why am I doing this? It isn't because I'm naive. I'm not brave. I'm not even rebellious.

I drive as fast as I can get away with. I procrastinate until I can't anymore. I have a nasty habit of assuming bad things on the news won't happen to me.

I don't pull my hand out of the alligator's mouth until I get bit. Then I'm careful, cautious, smart until the statute of limitations on my memory is reached.

But I can't delude myself on this one. My baby's safety is potentially on the line, and I continue to balance on the edge of action. Do I stop everything? Change everything, though information is forever available to someone with enough time and energy?

YouTube. Facebook. Twitter. Blogger. The office website. Old school websites. Bylines and news clips. CCAP. Our lives, up for the taking.

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