Just a thought... The man who can keep a secret may be wise, but he is not half as wise as the man with no secrets to keep. [Edgar Watson Howe]
Today, according to our itinerary, we arrive in Ghent, Belgium at 6 am for a day of tours and exploring. Looking at the forecast before we left on this trip, we saw that rainy weather seems to have settled into this part of Europe, with temperatures in the low teens. Rob and I may not be having the cycling adventures we’d hoped for, but I’ll fill you in when we go “live” with journals again next week. In the meantime, here’s what I prepared for you today.
No matter where you are, it seems it’s the time for April Showers, but it’s also definitely phishing season. Having heard of a friend in the US whose business website was held hostage by hackers (and his company had to pay to get it back), and a poorly protected women’s charity that recently lost all of its contacts and the ability to promote an upcoming event here in Victoria, I am shaken when it comes to the prospect of losing touch with you through social media.
So, when I got this the other day, my blood ran cold.
That is, until I got to the porn site part.
While I knew this wasn’t me, how many upstanding, church-going, community pillars would flat-out panic at the thought of their after-hours (or even at-work) proclivities being spread out to the world?
Then I got one a few days later from no less an organization than the CIA. (Uh-huh.) Again, the focus was on child porn and things I would never, ever associate with, so - having just gotten the “we know what you’ve been looking at” scam just a few days earlier, I was wiser to what was happening. Unlike the first one, it didn’t look like it had been typed up and photo’d or faxed; this one had just the slightest patina of professionalism to it. These people are such slick slime. And for their troubles, they demand 10x the payout: $10,000 US.
I have no doubt that somewhere cowers someone - perhaps a politician, PTA member or a teacher, a student with big hopes or another perfect victim - who is literally shaking and panicking as to how they are going to come up with one or ten thousand dollars to pay for their indiscretion (or crime) to stay silent. It’s a nefarious scheme bent on punishing the target - probably not just once - and as much as I think anyone who has a place in their life for child pornography should indeed be outed and tried, it should be by our criminal law system, not some two-bit crook with a big bitcoin demand and a bigger set of cojones.
Be aware. Talk to your children/partner or, if you’d rather not, just send them this journal. While you probably don’t need or want to know if they’re looking on adult sites, make sure they are aware that there’s a phishing expedition going on that’s out to get everyone it possibly can. And it is not legit. Back with you here tomorrow.
(@erindavis on Twitter)