Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I've realized that I am paranoid in different ways than other people.

My parents constantly warn me about walking around in cities after dark. I figure if there are people around, it's safe enough. I used to ride subways in New York City at all hours of the night, which horrified my dad.

I dislike giving out personal information of any kind: name, address, phone number, email address, whatever. I hate when I go to a store and buy something and they ask me for my address or phone number. I hate hate hate telemarketers and junk mail.

My friends are careful about germs, and use paper towels to touch bathroom doors. Some of them refuse to eat food from street vendors or raw/rare meat. I figure the worst that can happen is that I'll get sick and develop new antibodies.

I choose very long passwords (10+ characters). I have my browser configured to flush cookies on exit and not save any form data. I worry about my new RFID-enabled passport, and contemplate wrapping it in aluminum foil (yes, really).

My parents worry about burglars and have a complicated alarm system that includes infrared and pressure sensors. At my house, there is no security system. I have a safe, but in my mind it is primarily to guard against water or fire damage, rather than theft. I'd hate to lose all my digital photos and such things.

I think it comes down to me being much more anxious about data security than physical security. I wonder why?

Maybe this is the exception that proves the rule: When I go camping (or vacationing in tropical climates) I am constantly applying sunscreen and insect repellent. That's just good sense, though...isn't it?

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