Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Paranoia Paranoia Everybody's Coming to Get Me, or Get Over Yourself!

My friend Mark is insanely paranoid.

Example No. 1: Mark is on the cutting of all electronic technology, and frequently chides me for not being on said cutting edge. Once, he basically bullied me into downloading some kind of encryption service to overlay my email server so that incoming and outgoing emails were attached to some key so that no one else could intercept and read them except me. Yeah, because people really are hacking into my system to learn things like when I'm having dinner with Mira or how my travel flight plans were cancelled a few days ago.

Example No. 2: I recently sent Mark -- among others, via BCC -- an email about a nonprofit group I'm involved in, asking them to shop through our web site as a way of raising some money. His response? An email back to me to the effect of: "Please verify that this is from you. What is your sister-in-law's name?"

Man, I swear, this guy is starting sound like Dale Gribble from "King of the Hill" -- everything carries with a fear of invasion of privacy and invidious stalking. I understand his caution against identity theft. I get quite a few emails which appear to be from legitimate banking institutions asking me to "log into my account" to "verify" certain things. I prefer to shred my credit card cash advance checks rather than just toss them. And I never leave my social security number unguarded. However, there's a limit to my paranoia.

A part of me still inwardly screams at Mark "Get over yourself! You're not that important!"


Melissa said...

It is one thing to guard your personal information that can be stolen, but he may be going a little overboard.

Jon said...

Mark needs to see a shrink, me thinks....

Matthew said...

Is there any reason that Mark would have to be this way?

Dennis! said...

Good to know I'm not the only one who thinks this behavior is bizarre.

Matthew: As far as I know, he has never previously been a victim of identity theft. The only thing I can think of -- and this is purely speculation -- is that Mark is carrying over hyper-security measures from when he was in the military (and gay), and EVERYTHING he transmitted via email (etc.) had to be carefully monitored at risk of interception.

In any event. Yikes.