Everything was innocuous until those devices started tracking us, memorizing us, and even anticipating our thoughts.
Today we have phones that can pretty much replace computers.
Soon we will have cars that will be able to drive themselves because we are too lazy and feckless to do it ourselves.
In a very real sense, we are the street Johns in a world of prostitution that fall for the whore of convenience.
Yet, rather foolishly, we ignore possible cyberthreats to our lives that this encroaching seduction by convenience brings with it.
Heck, some even make it easy to be victimized by rolling out a red carpet of convenient information that can be used against us.
Do you telegraph your exact location and what you're doing through Snapchat?
And then, do you engage in idle chit chat with online friends that creates a text record of said details?
But it just isn't online.
Do you have a stick-figure family on the rear window of your vehicle with names of your children?
What I'm getting at has nothing to do with paranoia and everything to do with being circumspect.
In social media, I live 5,000 miles from where I say I live, for example. My hometown isn't accurate nor is where I work.
But anyone who knows me in person would know it's me.
Yes, sophisticates who don't know me can still pinpoint my location, but there are a lot of imbeciles engaging in cyber crimes because all of us make it so easy for them to get at us.
I'm just trying to muddy the waters.
So, what should you do?
I's advise to at least try to make it more difficult for someone to get your information.
1. Disable location in any social media platform and turn it on only when needed.
2. Delete your home location, birth date, and personal info where possible in social media.
3. Or obfuscate such information by changing the location, birth date, and personal info so that people do not catch on to the idea that you're being circumspect.
4. Delete "friends" in social media that you don't actually know in real life, or if not, stop being forthcoming about the details of your life. Even if you think you've been careful, you haven't been.
5. Shred all hard copies of anything that can identify you because criminals will sift through trash and can often get enough info on you to pretend to be you. Conduct as many transactions offline as you can.
You may think that you've not let any information out, but your trail is really more like what you see above: a graffiti-covered goldmine.
It is true that once you put something on the internet, it's always there.
But it is also true that if you dial way back the available information you put out, the criminals looking for easy pickings, are less likely to go after you.
Even more importantly, if you delete things and go quiet, it reduces the number of hits someone can find out about you on an initial search.
Reducing the potential for hits causes analytics not to pay as much attention to information that is not frequently accessed.
And you become more invisible.
Prepare well, my friends.