Being visible as a journalist on the Internet, I get feedback because my writing reaches a large audience. Thanks to you, my loyal readers and followers, most of the feedback is positive. But, there is the occasional negative comment, usually from the reader who either looks at the world through a fog of misguided optimism or one who is completely convinced that everyone in the entire world is out to get him.
Both viewpoints are insane.
I present, herewith, two examples. I have taken literary license with them so they make sense (some of these people can’t construct a sentence that even remotely resembles proper grammar).
hi geek. I think to you may worry to [sic] much about passwords and things because I have never had anyone steel [sic] my password because noone [sic] would try to do anything to me because noone knows who I am on the internet so noone will know my name and my password which is a long one its 123456asdfjkl; Can anyone hack me? thanks joe.
Yikes! Joe, just draw all your money out of the bank in cash and throw it out of a 30-story window.
Here’s another one from the overly-paranoid, conspiracy-theorist sector:
Are you f****** serious, you idiot? You recommend 12-character passwords. Are you insane? The government has all of your information. If you’re using windoze [sic] you’re hacked. The NSA is watching every move you make. I run Linux. Everything is encrypted on my computer and my login name is 84 characters long. My password is 128 random characters (I got them from your recommendation of Steve Gibson’s perfect password site, so thanks at least for that). Think about it.
What do YOU think? Do I worry too much, or am I a complete idiot for recommending the things I do?
Hint: Not one system I have administered or owned since 1995 has been breached; I have not lost a single dollar to hackers as a result of any compromise to the security of my accounts and neither have any of my clients. But, in the interest of complete disclosure, there have been several people whom I have supported who have not listened to me and have subsequently suffered financial losses. I consider those my personal failures.
I think it’s safe to listen to me and take my advice. So, I hereby declare 2011 the year of “Internet Security Awareness.”
Let’s ramp it up, shall we?
And, Joe, I can hack you in less than three minutes thanks to the information you sent me. I won’t, but someone might try. Please read everything I’ve ever written about online security…