“He loved the people just as much as he feared and detested persons.”
― Sinclair Lewis, It Can’t Happen Here
Once I was accused of loving people that I came to know individually, but detested people in groups. And then I came to a spiritual renovation which, painfully at first, changed my whole worldview of humanity. There are bad people. There are people striving to help others. And the whole of humanity in between.
For twenty-five years in the online world, I have been fairly well isolated from the dregs of humanity that poison your computers with viruses, and ploys to get sensitive information. And yet we all – hundreds of millions of us – have been exposed to scams, theft, and fraud by failures of government and commercial companies to protect our finances and our personal information.
In forty years, I have had bank accounts drained twice. Family and friends have had credit maligned for items purchased in places we never visited nor lived. Or received email from Nigeria, or China, or your sister-in-law, with pictures and links we should never click. Then Facebook and Russians or other ne’er do wells started to manipulate the public, through data analytics of our habits and friends. Trading a Windows-based computer for an Apple or a Linux one only slowed the criminals for a time.
Once my father-in-law got calls on his cell phone reportedly from my son needing money, and apparently gleaning details by way of social engineering, I knew the scams were getting more sophisticated. And then my son, on his work phone, got called to extort his emotions by false claims of an injured family member. And I have had, on the very phone I was holding, a call incoming supposedly from me.
The milk of human kindness, and positivity for fellow man was in danger of being soured. But the God whom I serve, I have faith will burn the dross of humanity, whether emailing, calling, or manipulating software from Alabama, Mumbai, Mexico or the Baltic. The times of testing have always been upon us. And for this old Sailor, I don’t have the means or the heart to launch Tomahawk missiles.
But I do have the means to needle, cajole, inspire and support family and friends by getting the message out through a blog. Report and record, where possible, these frauds.
And should they be politicians pestering you for your vote, persistent contact to insist on protecting us from technology abuse should help. After all, weren’t the Russians able to cajole you in the voting booth?