Fair Game

Although I am trying to change passwords on sites and accounts that have personal information, for the most part, I tend to think that no matter what you do to protect yourself, if it’s on the internet, it’s fair game.

This was brought home to me last night when I tried to place an order from a company that had a couple of clever gifts I wanted to get for people who are hard to shop for. Generally, I don’t do a lot of gift-giving, but these people were especially kind to me this year, and I wanted to show my appreciation. Hence, the gifts.

I tried to put in the order online, but there was no place to enter the two different addresses, so I called their customer service line. They asked for my account number, which I didn’t think I had, but she said the account number was on the catalog even though I didn’t tell her I had a catalog. I found the number and gave it to her, and it turns out they already had all my information. Apparently, they set up an account when they sent the catalog.

I ended up having to pay the shipping costs on each item rather than only once if I’d done it online, but that was okay. The real issue is she told me that they would send me the tracking code when the orders were shipped, but she never asked for an email address. When I queried her about that, she rattled off my email address. Huh? Where did she get it? Now that I think about it, it was probably on the mailing list they bought for sending out their catalogs.

When I said she rattled off the address, that wasn’t exactly true. She very laboriously read it off to me. Considering her thick accent and her inability to understand me, there is a chance that these people will get the gifts I ordered, their names will be spelled right, and the brief message accurate. On the other hand, who knows what will happen. Your guess is as good as mine.

Normally when things are this difficult, especially if it’s something for me, I just forget it. It’s not worth it. But I did say these people were hard to shop for, right? So I stuck with the process and am keeping my fingers crossed that everything will be okay.

But yikes. Here I am trying to streamline my presence online, and it turns out there are all sorts of accounts in my name that I didn’t even know about. Yep, if it’s on the internet, the information truly is fair game whether we want it to be or not.

***

What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

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