Saturday, 29 March 2014

Violation of Volition

The preceding ten days has been a maelstrom of insanity accented with violations of my space and time. Yes, there have been major multi-dimensional offences committed.

The most distressing moment was when I realised that someone had complete access to my online presence, my online information and consequently my inner most thoughts via one of my laptops that had been stolen.

I have a habit that I developed mainly through work that has me writing an email that lets me honestly express my thoughts and feelings on a matter without any intention of ever sending it. Just writing it down gets it out of my system and I don't dwell on it anymore. It is always more brutally honest than I would ever be in reality. My email drafts folder is my Picture of Dorian Gray.

There are rules to this that I always honour in case by some cruel twist of fate, the dreaded email is sent:

  • Never address the email to anyone;
  • Do not mention the name of the person it is for; and
  • Delete the email after a couple of weeks.

With the recent theft of one of my laptops, I have learnt a few lessons:
  • Always set your laptop up to require password access;
  • Encrypt your drives; and
  • When a laptop is stolen, change all your passwords immediately.

The more recent set of rules is a result of the said theft of one of my computers on Thursday afternoon.

Yes, insurance covers it and it was reported to the police and all that. I am fine, no harm except that I now must lockdown my online presence and seriously reconsider my venting mechanisms.

Since Friday morning, I have received a few emails from people who were surprised to check their electronic post and find that they had grumpy or delightful or confusing notes from me. Luckily, none of the people who got these letters were the intended recipients so they laughed it all off and complimented me on my ability to insult or wow a person with such eloquence and lack of profanity.

There were (until I deleted them all yesterday afternoon), just under a dozen emails in my drafts folder that consisted of voluminous amounts of my thoughts on different subjects. Nothing terrible but nothing I actually ever wanted to share.

It seems that the person who took my laptop is the same person who has been making my life very difficult this last few weeks and finally got some ammunition to use against me. And boy did they use it.

So, the lesson here is to never write it down if you never want anyone to see it. Keep the thoughts in your head or whisper them to your pet rock but don't put them in gmail and then leave an unlocked laptop around to be stolen by a creep on a mission. It makes it far too easy for someone to screw with your life.

Now, with passwords changed, property secured and draft email folder empty, I shall continue my life and hope that no more damage has been done than the Send button being hit on a few ephemeral tanty-driven electronic brain dumps.


Mark C said...

I once worked with a coach who made me do this exercise but vocally, talking to an empty chair. And after I'd had my say at the person I had to go sit in the empty chair and respond as the person. Aloud. And then back to my seat and so on. My family may have thought I was nuts but there were no data sovereignty issues ;) Try it one day, it's like the unsent email on steroids.

Damana Madden said...

I should be clear that none of the draft emails were sent from my email address but from another one that I don't control. As far as I knew, my drafts were untouched. Only copies of the text were taken and sent from this other account.

jeninebeek said...

really sorry to hear that. Sounds like you handled it like a professional.

Damana Madden said...

I'm not sure there is a proper way to handle such things. You can only deal with it. Thanks, though.